You know who is the only company with long-term success being popular on Facebook? Facebook. For everyone else, it is a terrible business model. "Field of Dreams" was just a movie, folks, wishful thinking and building something no one wanted is not why Reaganomics worked.
Mic has been acquired by Bustle, who say they intend to relaunch it, but it was not a positive acquisition, Mic was out of business, after having spent $60 million since 2011, when Facebook chose not to renew a video agreement they had with the company. They are not alone. BuzzFeed, Vice, and Refinery29, all claiming to be new media, have also retreated.
Who is maintaining? Outlets that have become vanity acquisitions for rich people that want to promote their beliefs, like Washington Post and The Atlantic. And outlets that are run like a business, such as Wall Street Journal and USA Today. There is also Science 2.0 and Medium, because we are not doing anything except giving people who want to write a place to do so.
My title is from a New York Times article article "What Happens When Millennials Run the Workplace?" It spoke of a culture where people had a sense of entitlement and, because their opinion was just as important as everyone else's, were routinely insubordinate to management. They had a good thing going but they voted to unionize anyway, perhaps because they felt like they were Sticking It To The Man and that is what, like "Field of Dreams", some people think is reality. The reality is there is no man to stick it to at a small start-up, so those who exploited that culture now have to go find a new job where they can lie about being at a funeral but then put pictures of themselves rebuilding their childhood treehouse on social media and not get fired.
The NewsGuild of New York, the union they felt they needed to join, blasted inexperienced management for this failure- yes, the millennials they cheered for joining them were all wrong for running the company, they said. So unions remain as clueless as journalists about the new media landscape.
For now, bring on the odes about how they were 'keeping journalism alive' and stupid business just didn't get it. In the real world, you keep journalism alive by doing the work someone will to pay you to do, not what you think the world should want. In the NYT article, one person complained about her previous job at a feminist non-profit because they did not act like a "new" media outlet. They had a mission they stuck to, they even wrote letters, actual physical letters, to donors. Just like me. And maybe you, and people at a whole lot of other non-profits that still exist. Because the non-Field of Dreams reality is that millennials are the future, but the money today is with older people. And they don't think it's cute if you decide to hang out on social media all day.
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