Wherein you learn something you already knew

Longtime readers here have realized this truth, Aggregation is deep in journalism’s DNA:

Using history as our guide, we shouldn’t be surprised in the recent developments at the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed — nor should we be surprised when, in the coming months and years, other sites disdained by some make similar moves. These are organizations beginning their march up the value chain — beyond LOLcats to politics, beyond aggregation to original content, beyond cheap to upmarket.

My friend is right: This is entirely predictable, and furthermore, precisely what disruption theory predicts.

Skok continues, however, and makes a thoughtful point:

Herein lies Christensen’s critical point, and one that media companies should not forget. Because new-market disruptions initially attract those that aren’t traditional consumers of The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, these incumbent organizations feel little pain or threat. So they stay the course on content, competing on “quality” against these new-market disruptors. Meanwhile, the disruptors, once they establish themselves at the market’s low end, move into the space previously held by the incumbents by producing cheaper, personalized content. It is not until the disruption is in its final stages that it erodes the position of the incumbents. This is the definition of the innovators’ dilemma.

Go over and read it to find out where he’s going next.

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