Look: I chose digital over print 12 years ago, when I shifted my writing gradually online, with this blog and now blogazine. Of course a weekly newsmagazine on paper seems nuts to me. But it takes guts to actually make the change. An individual can, overnight. An institution is far more cumbersome. Which is why, I believe, institutional brands will still be at a disadvantage online compared with personal ones. There’s a reason why Drudge Report and the Huffington Post are named after human beings. It’s because when we read online, we migrate to read people, not institutions. Social media has only accelerated this development, as everyone with a Facebook page now has a mini-blog, and articles or posts or memes are sent by email or through social networks or Twitter.
Are you wondering why blogger Andrew Sullivan is going independent? Check out this post he wrote after Newsweek decided to go digital only. In it, he says that we look to people for news these days, not institutions. When I read this in October, I wondered why Sullivan would keep his brand under the umbrella of an institution if he really felt this way. Today, he’s answered that question.