RIF to RIF

Image of Steve Buttry from Twitter
Image of Steve Buttry

This blog, which started with the hope of outlining the concepts which would lead to a Rich Information Format to strengthen communities, has not been updated recently because of another RIF, all too common today, the Reduction in Force.

As painful as this RIF was, we had no choice due to the abrupt decline in advertising revenues in the last three quarters, with no upturn in sight. On the same day we announced the RIF, we announced the first large step in actually creating the organization to support C3 – separating content creation from product creation.

Product is Separated from Content

In this model, Lyle Muller, Editor of The Gazette newspaper, working with Dave Storey, Publisher, is responsible for creating and maintaining the physical product of the printed newspaper, The Gazette.

Steve Buttry, Information Content Conductor, is responsible for creating another C3 – Content Creation & Collaboration, a networked set of blogs and information organized around topics or micro-geographical areas.  We are trying to create a visual description of this activity, and our current attempt is below, although we already know that we don’t like the name “Superblog”:

Information Topic Area Ecosystem

Because these announcements were made on the same day, amidst the largest Reduction in Force in the company’s history, we confused some people and aggravated others.  While we were cheered on by some, we were jeered by others.

Steve and Lyle decided that we should Live Blog about these changes, taking questions from the community.  What an hour that was!  Lyle, Steve and I were in separate rooms, on separate floors, with no way to know who was taking which questions, in what order.  You can see for yourself whether we helped our hurt ourselves.

In the coming days, I will be describing the other critical elements of our reorganization, as we put into place the foundation for C3.

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3 responses to “RIF to RIF

  1. Even though I had to bow out early because of medical problems, I watched this RIF and reformation with great interest and wish, painful as it is i’m sure to endure, that I was there on the front lines (assuming I would have made it through the RIF) to help rebuild. I’m hoping to be on the community or homefront teamwith blogging in some form and I’m exrtremely curious to see what the future holds.
    –Kathy Alter

  2. People look quizzically sometimes at me (or make snarky comments on my blog) when I try to explain why and how we plan to separate content from product. But our plans aren’t as puzzling as conventional thinking, such as this David Carr’s wishful-thinking plan to charge for content, stop the aggregators and somehow conspire successfully to reverse reality.

  3. Whoops! Forgot to paste in the link to David Carr’s NYT piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/business/media/09carr.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all

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