With bags of experience as a jobbing journalist, I have been through the fear factor of technological change before. When I was in my 20s, at the vanguard of online writing, I laughed in my youthful way at how people like me were supplanting much more experienced journalists. It's not really funny (people's livelihoods never are). The fundamental difference for my generation is not that I was a better writer. I was just a better all-rounder. In 1990, a good journalist could rely on an editor to polish up their text, research pictures, run a spellcheck and liaise with clients. By 2005, that was the preserve of a select few lucky dinosaurs. I was used to doing it all myself. And I wrote a mental note: don't get lazy. The tech trend is inexorable. Don't think writing is a given living.
The line between professional content and user-generated content is becoming ever more blurred; and for many brands this is great news. They often seek the authenticity of 'real' stories and situations. Take, for example, pictures. There are plenty of places to buy low-cost imagery with easy-to-understand licenses (everything from Getty to IStock, for example). Yet these stock libraries often fall a little flat in the viewer's eye. For starters, what if you want something more authentic, less staged? Aren't we all bored of the endless ethnically-balanced group of businesspeople shaking hands? Second, what if you can't quite find what you want? There are a range of new services which allow the global crowd of amateur and semi-pro photographers (and frankly,, these days, you can