This Stanford Knight talk gives a preview into the future of digital media

This Stanford Knight talk gives a preview into the future of digital media


Digital media is the next big frontier – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Traditional business models and distribution are disappearing, and consumer content consumption habits & expectations are changing. In a recent talk about her year as a Fellow in Stanford’s John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship, Marie-Catherine Beuth (@M_C_B) discussed a project she has been working on during her year at Stanford. The regular Le Figaro blogger talks about the need, not just to receive quickly consumable summaries of news (Flipboard, Pulse,News360, Feedly, etc.), but to have time-efficient ways of consuming news.

Dubbed (though it has since changed to Newstapes and available as a subscription email service), the service presents all news topics in three parts: Facts, Details, and Context. One could imagine, for a given tech article, that “Facts” would feature a TechCrunch piece (usually first to a story), “Details” would be a piece on Wired or The Verge (a bit more in-depth analysis) and a piece on FT or The Guardian for “context,” shedding light on a particular issue on the topic.

“From ‘All the News that fits to Print’ to ‘All the News that fits your Schedule'”

NC4-233x300In the future, Bleuth points out, this type of service could be applied to any digital media. Her talk presents a fictional landing page for the New York Times, which takes into account the facts you’ve already receive, your knowledge in a particular category, and the time you have, in order to dynamically present you with the best news for you.

Certain players, like France’s Ezakus, are already working on ‘pre-targeting’ ad tech that allows website owners to know in advance what kind of user is visiting their site, and dynamically deliver local or relevant content to them. Technology like this, which leverages a plethora of real-time bidding (RTB) platforms, is just one link in the chain, allowing eCommerce sites to find users anywhere on the web (say,, buy in real-time an ad on that site, and pull them into their own site, knowing that their user profile is optimal for purchase, for example. Ezakus also works with publishers, of course, leveraging this same technology in a way that recalls Bleuth’s vision for the future of digital media.

One thing is sure: the future of content consumption is not magazine-like UX’s and pretty RSS Readers – it’s the technology behind those interfaces that knows more about you than you would be comfortable sharing, and uses it for the sole purpose of putting the information most relevant to you in front of your nose, faster than you could find it yourself.