diamond geezer

 Wednesday, March 03, 2010

diamond geezer Strategy Review - Putting Quality First

Like the BBC, diamond geezer's mission is to inform, educate and entertain audiences through services of high quality, originality and value. The public expect diamond geezer to be a wholly reliable source of accurate and impartial news; a tireless supporter of originality and excellence; an upholder of the highest values and standards; and a bit geeky besides. But media is changing profoundly, and diamond geezer must change too. It must articulate its public service mission more clearly than ever before. It must explore new ways of delivering that mission. But it must also recognise the challenges facing other media, and not tread on the toes of upstanding commercial operators such as that nice Mr Murdoch. We love you Rupert, and we hear you.

This strategy directs the DG to do fewer things better; put quality first; make funding work harder; and set new boundaries for itself. You've got too big for your boots, matey boy, and drastic cutbacks are essential.

Doing fewer things better means significant changes to the diamond geezer service portfolio - including by
• Halving the number of sections on the site [This target has already been achieved. Last week a 50% cull of DG content was successfully introduced, focusing on the least-read posts at the bottom of pages. Nobody complained, and therefore this repositioning has been 100% successful]
• Turning the site into a window on the web by providing at least 53 external links in every post and doubling monthly ‘click-throughs’ [Readers must be forced to read external sites instead, otherwise DG's mission to inform will have failed]
• Recommending the closure of the Random Borough feature [Like that other niche channel, Radio 6 Music, the Random Borough feature has minimal public recognition. It must therefore be sacrificed. It is original, distinctive and entertaining, featuring content which cannot be found elsewhere. It must therefore be sacrificed. It costs almost nothing to produce, relatively speaking. It must therefore be sacrificed. It poses no threat whatsoever to entrepreneurs in the commercial arena. It must therefore be sacrificed. QED]

Putting quality first means delivering clear content priorities at higher quality across all of diamond geezer's services — including by:
• Reprioritising to higher quality content across everything the DG does [No more wasting readers' time with cheap sniping at TfL press releases. In the new future, London needs more articles about Victorian wigmaking, municipal statues and the Ley Lines of Barnet]
• Increasing the quality of local posts [There must be less focus on pan-London issues, and more incisive reporting on the potholes in Campbell Road, and the new pedestrian crossing opposite Bow Police station]
• Boosting investment in local news at breakfast, mid-morning and drivetime using resources released by sharing content at other times [After many years of successful breakfast-time publishing, diamond geezer must now diversify into other time periods by shamelessly cutting and pasting content that others have written]

Making funding work harder means cutting corners and hoping nobody notices - including by:
• Spending 14% less on the website per year by 2013 [diamond geezer will no longer publish on Sundays, but will instead encourage citizens to purchase a copy of the News of the World and look at the pictures]
• Freezing pay and suspending bonuses [There must be no more Creme Eggs purchased using readers' Paypal donations]
• Reducing senior management numbers [The DG workforce must be cut... from one to, erm...]

Setting new boundaries means thinking of other companies' shareholders first - including by:
• Recognising the lead role commercial blogs play in serving popular information to 30-50 year-olds [There are many blogs, funded by advertising, that pander to the lowest common denominator interests of adults in this age group. They write posts about celebrities, posts about cupcakes and posts about how fabulous West End Musicals are. Everybody in the 30-50 age group will be satisfied by this diet, in precisely the same way that they all like listening to Jamie Cullum and Lionel Richie. Therefore we will abandon middle-aged adults to the commercial sector, and the culturally highbrow ones can bloody well wait until they're 51 until we serve them again]
• Prioritising quality over quantity whenever a choice is required [This allows the DG to stop after 100 words and go down the pub for the rest of the evening, so long as those 100 words are ace]
• Leaving room for other broadcast media to develop in a digital world by rolling over and giving in [When newspaper proprietors and satellite TV moguls instigate a decade-long campaign of spite and bile against you, concede that maybe they have a point, and castrate your services until they're happy you pose no threat whatsoever to their continued global monopoly]

The DG’s mission is as relevant today as it was nearly 8 years ago: to inform, educate and entertain to fulfil its public purposes at best possible value to the widest possible audience. This strategy is intended to deliver a diamond geezer focused on high-quality content within clearer limits, keeping open a digital public space for all. Not a DG in retreat, oh no, not scared and whimpering at all. Oh go on then, I'll delete everything, if you insist.

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