Introducing the „Digitalist“

By | November 3, 2010

I want to introduce into our discussion the term „Digitalist“, the successor of bloggers and journalist within 5y. Let me do some very pointy and rough assumptions:

“Digitalist” derives from “Digital” and “Journalist”

The Digitalist has all the assets of today’s journalists (knowledge of specific field, personal network of persons with information and the skill to present the new combined information to the audience in an article, TV report or audio). Additional to that the Digitalist runs his own business, because unlikely to the today journalist he is independent of media houses (publishing house, TV station, Radio station) for the distribution of his content. Distribution via web / social media is costless. The income of the Digitalist will derive from alternative streams: payed speeches at conferences, consultancy in the field of competence, selling studies, writing books (for non-2.0ers) or becoming an employed corporate manager in the field of communication and reputation management.

The down side for content consumers in this futuristic picture is, that they have the manual work of collecting the Digitalists of their choice to fulfill their need for information. This is already today painful and time consuming.

There I see a new additional role for media houses. The shall consider becoming media aggregators, which run intelligent systems of collecting Digitalist-articles for me as content consumer and pushes them onto my mobile or any other screen I prefer. The push of information shall be based on my location (GPS-smartphone), likes (FB and others), my searches and favorites. Of course I want to have a section of „what my friends and colleagues are reading“. Media houses can monetize this aggregation service by advertisement or subscriptions again (same business model as today).

The competition for the media houses in the aggregation field will be the social media platforms with their like-systems. My rough guess is that media houses will prevail because the have more content competence and the social media system will welcome media aggregators via their APIs to intensify the traffic. Who will earn then the advertising bucks stays an open game.


The Digitalist will be the journalist, report and blogger of the future with his/her own costless digital distribution of content and alternative streams of income.
The media house may consider to keep the intimacy with the content consumer as the media aggregator of choice.

4 thoughts on “Introducing the „Digitalist“

  1. Leo

    Interesting thoughts you are sharing Martin. I can definitely see this happening, but unfortunately not in such a global manner. I feel that the German-speaking world has yet to find out what to make of this “blogging thing”. What is it here for? How does it create value for society as a whole. To a large majority this is not very clear I think. Journalists are definitely more prominent. And they go digital. Whether bloggers will be allowed to enter that scene? Well, I hope so, but I doubt it.

  2. mask

    One should add to the concept of the Digitalist, that the audience of the Digitalist is completely different than the audience of the journalist. A journalists audience derives mainly from the audience of the media of whoever sHe is working for, whereas a Digitalist can define his target audience in any way he likes to. A Digitalist has every freedom of choice for his ideas and contents, a journalist is already bound by some editorial charter.

  3. Michael Hafner

    I agree with opart of the business perspective (creating revenues from speaking and consulting etc.), but I think the aggregation part should not be left to the traditional businesses – there are smarter and better ways to do that.
    some updates will follow…

  4. Helmut_Hackl

    Martin, thanks a lot for my new job title 🙂
    I have extended to me a little and call myself now: “mobile digitalist” – in German: “mobiler Digitalist”.
    What would I be without your idea ?????
    Ciao – Helmut


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