“The question is less what they’re going to charge and more how are they going to reconceptualize what they are going to offer,” Nash said of the Times. “I’m skeptical that the future involves payment for raw content. It’s just too easy to find the raw content somewhere else…To me, it seems like the Times has to focus less on what the price is and more how are they going to let people interact with the content and interact with one another. How are they going to create community online.”
And in discussing how media companies, publishers and advertising agencies are trying to create community, the subject of Twitter inevitably came up. Nash revealed that, while speaking at Book Expo earlier this year, he had said, “Twitter will not save publishing.” ”
“That was the most live-Tweeted comment I made,” he said. “Then a week later it occurred to me that Twitter also needs to figure out its own damn business model. And what’s going to keep people Tweeting?” After thinking on it, a few weeks later Nash announced at the 140 conference, “Books will save Twitter.”
“Obviously that was said kind of for the sake of provocation,” he said. “But it hints at something that I think is meaningful, which is that tools are only as good as what we use them to do. And if they’re not allowing us to do something better, or faster, or more conveniently or more dynamically, then we’re not going to use them…Twitter is allowing us to talk about things that are important to us.”
Also discussed: the future of the Kindle — a “transitional technology,” Nash said.
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