When it comes to online media we have definitely took a few steps back but far more in the right direction. On one side we still have yellow journalism. These are the large publishing sites/blogs that pump out eye catching headlines for shitty articles on every imaginable subject with the goal to drive traffic and generate ad dollars. On the other side we have independent publishers which focus on niche subjects and communities. The more targeted, and personalized content from these creators has value which drives subscriptions and builds an audience. Naturally these publishers earn influence within the communities they generate content for. This influence allows them to acquire relevant sponsors, who can then connect with the community through them. The companies who create or sponsor this type of content see much better results than they see from purchasing traditional ad space today. Online ads don’t connect, have never gave us value, and so we have been conditioned to just tune them out. There are large Companies and Publishers who will never understand this new “connection economy”, but those who do will make the obvious choice to create and sponsor valuable content.
Another driver of this “shift” in online media is the increasing number of individuals who are gaining control over their attention and the content they consume. Instead of relying on social media for all their content (clicking on the Eye-Catching links) they are subscribing to email newsletters, and RSS feeds. This allows them to get the content that is valuable to them directly from the content creators.