A distributed strategy for news

I’ve been talking with folks lately about the need to develop distributed strategies for news, which includes:
* Widgets that enable people to embed your news (and links and brand) anywhere.
* A platform strategy enabling people to build on your content, data, and functionality.
* A network strategy that includes blog networks (a la Glam).

The objection always thrown up is that Comscore/Nielsen/ABC et al won’t count that. I say we need to count differently. Rather than counting page views from users on a destination, we need to count relationships with people wherever they are.

A few things to note in this context:

* Google (which, by the way, now has more traffic than Yahoo — even though its real traffic should be counted via its distributed strategy with ads and widgets everywhere) accounted for two-thirds of search traffic to U.S. newspapers, which increased a third from 2006 to 2007. I assume that universal search — that is, the inclusion of news headlines in standard searches — has and and will continue to have a huge impact on traffic to news sites. Google is the new newsstand. (This, by the way, makes Mark Cuban’s silliness look even sillier.)

* Reuters has opened its content up via an API. It’s thinking like a platform. This will distribute Reuters news anywhere and everywhere by enabling people to build value themselves atop it.

* Note again TripAdvisor’s use of Facebook as a platform to gather (free) content more than distribute it.

News cannot continue to think of itself as a destination. It has to think of itself as a feed that goes to where you are. Remember that momentous quote Brian Stelter got from a young person in the NY Times: “If the news is that important, it will find me.”