Why Jeff Bezos Really Bought the Washington Post

Clare Price's picture
Clare Price
Clare Price wrote:

Jeff Bezos, billionaire founder of Amazon.com, bought the Washington Post last week and unleashed a global gabfest of speculation. Did he buy it because he’s an avid reader? To save a national journalism icon and ensure his legacy? Because print is dead and he’s simply putting a nail in the coffin?

You can get behind any of these ideas. One thing that everyone agrees on is that Jeff Bezos is a very smart guy and someone who recognizes trends before they happen.

I believe that Bezos bought the Post because the content game is about to change and he knows it.

Content and content marketing are today’s Internet rallying cry. Content. More content. Quality content. Content is King! We are awash in content. Content is the biggest bubble since the housing bubble of 2006 and listen up people, it is about to burst.

There is simply too much content out there for anyone to get their arms around it so most of us sample.  We check our Twitter stream, see what’s floating by. We use as many collection and curating tools as we can find, and yet, we’re still drowning under the content waterfall.

Content needs context to be useful and relevant. We need to put our content in perspective. We look for guidance in framing our conversations and we turn to social media. Good start, but most social streams are still too general, crowded, chummy or clubby.

If you stop thinking about the Post as a NEWS paper, with the mission to provide us with the latest, breaking news, and start thinking about it primarily as a contextual tool focused on providing perspective, discourse, analysis and opinion; things the Post already offers today, it becomes a radically different content vehicle.  

The Washington Post is the perfect contextual tool. It has authority, a solid reputation for discourse, great reporters who already dig harder and deeper than any other “news” organization. It provides perspective and even more importantly, it has influence.

Influence, what some are calling “influence marketing,” is focused not on who creates the content but who shapes it and how it is shaped: by who distributes, where and how much impact they have on the audience to change beliefs and behaviors.

If you think about the story that made the name and reputation of the Washington Post: the Watergate Scandal, it was less about breaking news (Happening Now!) and much more about Context, Perspective and Influence.  The Big Story was: What happened, Why it Happened, Who Made it Happened. And, most famously; “What did the President Know and When Did He know it?”

Driven by the vision of context not “news”; focused on perspective and conversational influence not traditional reporting, the Washington Post becomes the harbinger of the new content age – where CONTEXT not generic content rules the day.  I think that Jeff Bezos knows that and he intends to lead the charge.  

Reprinted from: http://5easypages.com/why-jeff-bezos-really-bought-the-washington-post

Vote up!
Vote down!
0 votes

1 Responses

Jerry Rackley's picture
Jerry Rackley
Jerry Rackley wrote:

I think Clare brings great clarity (no pun intended) to this acquisition.  Jeff Bezos doesn't just want to own a newspaper, he wants to own the content engine that the Washington Post is.  The railroad industry once made the mistake of assuming it was in the railroad business instead of the transporation business.  The newspaper industry seemed headed down a similar path of assuming it was in the newspaper business instead of the content creation and dissemination business.  Bezos will change that orientation at the Washington Post, and he has legions of Kindle users ready to read what this acquisition produces.  

I'm not surprised that Bezos made this move.  I think in certain ways, this acquisition shows how innovation has atrophied at Apple since the death of Steve Jobs, as this is a move I would have expected from Apple, under his leadership.