In his latest offering, The Nichepaper manifesto, Umair Haque hits the Media 2.0 nail on its head once again. Newspapers are out, nichepapers are in. Nichepapers offer knowledge and insight about one specific topic (cf. Michael Massing). Haque really cuts the mustard when he lists the 8 rules of nichepapers (reproduced here in abbreviated form):
Nichepapers strive to impart meaningful, lasting knowledge;
Nichepapers co-create knowledge through “commentage“, i.e. the art of curating comments to have a dialogue with the audience;
Nichepapers develop topics — instead of telling quickly-forgotten stories;
Nichepapers strive for scarcity: to develop a perspective, analytical skills, and storytelling capabilities that are inimitable by rivals;
Nichepapers develop topics of conversation, not individual stories, and let them co-evolve with readers;
Nichepapers provoke us to think; they challenge us; they educate us in ways that newspapers stopped doing long ago;
Nichepapers pitch topics and stories to the community, and let the best ones snowball;
Nichepapers aren’t about technology; they are tech-neutral, using whatever works best for a given task.
According to Haque:
The 21st century news organization is a portfolio of the different kinds of nichepapers. An Intelligencer for healthcare, a Pioneer for education, a Chronicle for finance and entertainment — that’s what the future of news looks like.
Okay, where can I sign up? In the meantime, why don’t we try to think of another name for this new(s) game? Nichepaper still has a Media 1.0 ring to it. Any suggestions?
UPDATE: Brilliant follow-up post by Alan Patrick – covering everything from bottleneck resources to HobbyMedia and Social Journalism. Wonderful stuff.