Modern Media

live | digital | social

The Guardian publishing experiment

Media Martini: Newspapers Based on What Readers Share Most

Happy Friday! There was one story that really caught our eye in media this week – what do you think about it?

The Future of News Media? Newspapers Produced By Algorithms

The Guardian is experimenting with a new kind of newspaper — one based on the sharing habits of readers. This new print version, #Open001, will feature stories generated “by algorithms based on social-sharing activity and other user behavior by the paper’s readers.” For now, 5,000 copies of the experimental paper will be released once per month, and distributed to offices of media and ad agencies. GigaOM calls it both a ‘marketing effort’ (given that The Guardian doesn’t currently publish in the U.S.) and a ‘publishing experiment.’

Would you be interested in – and pay for – a newspaper based on what your own social network was sharing, or all the users of a given social network? What would this kind of paper look like, and is it really what you want to read?

In the end, it boils down to this: do you prefer the choices of newspaper editors, or a paper assembled by robots/algorithms taking reader sharing into account? (Check out our recent post with data comparing what editors pick vs. what readers share most). This experiment raises some interesting questions; feel free to weigh in through the comments below, and tell us what you think about this potential new direction for news media.