Newsmedia companies must put the old “content economy” behind them and embrace the “link economy” – a transition that, while painful, will improve odds of surviving and thriving in the rapidly transforming information landscape, said Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do and the proprietor of

Jarvis warned that the collapse of the newspaper industry in the United States is a “canary in the coalmine” for other newspapers around the world. “The dynamics are universal,” he said.

To stave off further disaster, he said that newspapers need to focus less on the idea of the print product and more on connecting people. “We have to redefine utterly what a newspaper is,” he said. “Redefine it around this structure of relationships.”

He made a distinction between the previous era where newspapers were part of a “content economy” and the new era, which he dubbed a “link economy.”

“Content gains value as it gains links,” Jarvis asserted. “You have to make your stuff open. If you're not searchable, you won't be found....

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