I’ve enjoyed an interesting day at ANZA Tech in Santa Clara. We’ve spent the day being coached by Dan Sapp on presentation style. I’ve always been pretty skeptical about the need for such training for someone like myself who has presented a lot over the years. I thought it would ruin my natural style, the same way singing lessons often ruin a previously natural voice. But lately I’ve realized that it isn’t enough to just get up and talk to a room full of people – unless you change their behaviour in the way you intended, it’s a wasted opportunity. So I learned some great tips today and feel like I’m coming out of it a better presenter.

Anyhoo… The New York Times has an article today about the increasing decline of newspaper circulation in the USA. And before Rob Irwin starts writing his rebuttal about how their web numbers are up, the NYT has already anticipated him:

Revenues from Web sites are rising quickly as well, but they account for only a small portion of overall revenues, and it could be decades before Internet revenues exceed those from the printed editions of major newspapers.

This has always been my point. As readers (and listeners and viewers) move to the web, the underlying economic viability of the old media is increasingly under threat. Why? One reason is that they have a LOT more competition online. Most old media companies suddenly move from competing with a handful of local companies in their own region, to competing with a globe full of companies and, increasingly, citizen media, for the attention of their audience.

What happens to these old media companies when the audience minutes they own declines? Revenues decline. And then? Layoffs. Cutbacks. And then? Some of the people they layoff, writers, editors, camera operators, directors, producers, etc, start their own online company, creating even more competitin.

Stir, repeat.

For us lowly start-ups, it’s all growth, all upside. For the old media, it’s all downside.