Really nice summation of the problem with the “people will always turn to trusted brands” idea that many people in traditional media companies cling to as their hope for survival:
The community gathers around its self-created experts, and with little cost structure to manage, a quality content origination process is activated. It might seem impossible that the value that publishers create will be completely removed, but as we see more and more authors, musicians, and industry experts choose to set up without a ‘publisher’, the likelihood increases. Even beyond these emergent experts, we have an ocean of what is popularly called user generated content, which is of varying degrees of quality, but on aggregate poses a substantial risk to traditional publishers.
Andrew Davies, co-founder of Idio, hits the nail on the head here (and the whole article is worth a read). Yes, people will turn to trusted brands – but those brands will often be people rather than the traditional media brands of the past. And there will be a whole range of trusted sources, from friends, through to industry experts. The question is: can you build a business out of a group of trusted individuals?