The Rapidly Changing Golf Media Landscape - II

The conversation has been continual today; in comments, emails, IMs and on Twitter... readers and fellow golf bloggers are speaking out, and the clear consensus is that "the traditional business model"... in golf, like in every other niche... "won’t keep working.”

As blog readers, web surfers and Twitterers, the participants in today's online discussion are ahead of the curve tech-wise, thus comfortable in the digital world. However, even people like my Dad, a total technophobe, and voracious daily reader of the New York Times, are beginning to acknowledge the changes taking place (not that he's agreed to learn how to use a computer or anything).

TechCrunch, the popular and respected technology blog, wrote about the digital future of media just yesterday. The post presents all the evidence one needs to be convinced that the future of media is digital.

Of course this transition is not going to be painless for anyone. Transitions rarely are.

Golf manufacturers, course owners, and golf service providers are going to have to figure out where they want to put their advertising dollars in an environment that suddenly offers so many new options.

Traditional golf publications are going to need to enhance their web presence, some have already done this successfully, others are not quite there yet. They'll also need to decide if they want to enter the social media fray and really communicate with their readers. I hear a number of comments to the effect of, "... the "creators" of the media need to be more in touch with the "consumers" of the media - currently, they are way too out of touch".

As for independent golf content producers bloggers, vloggers and podcaster... They're going to have to figure out how to get paid for their work... whether by monetising their blogs with ads or creating premium content for paid subscribers or through various sponsorships... otherwise their production won't be sustainable.

Finally there are the consumers. Initially this may seem like a win/win for the consumer, but there are pitfalls to the disarray; Content may be getting cheaper and more accessible, and some of the independently produced content is excellent. However when you take away the newsroom, the copy editors and the regular schedule, you often get poorly researched, poorly written pieces that come along whenever a particular blogger is feeling inspired.

So, as we head into 09 , we do so not knowing exactly what the golf media landscape of the future will look like. We just know it's changing, and after all, most of us recently voted for change, right?