“The shuttering of Gourmet reminds us that in a click-or-die advertising marketplace, one ruled by a million instant pundits, where an anonymous Twitter comment might be seen to pack more resonance and useful content than an article that reflects a lifetime of experience, experts are not created from the top down but from the bottom up. They can no longer be coronated; their voices have to be deemed essential to the lives of their customers. That leaves, I think, little room for the thoughtful, considered editorial with which Gourmet delighted its readers for almost seven decades.”
This was written by Christopher Kimball, the publisher of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, in an Op Ed piece earlier this week in The New York Times, obviously in response to the death of Gourmet magazine.
But it strikes me that his piece is really talking to all of us who sell any kind of expertise, yes, but more importantly feel that there is value in a lifetime of real experience. This blog has ranted often about the use of crowd sourced web sites for design, and discouraged work on spec. All of this done in support of the notion that design has value, and the value is derived from the shared experience of us, our colleagues, and certainly our clients.
Mr. Kimball goes on to say,
“To survive, those of us who believe that inexperience rarely leads to wisdom need to swim against the tide, better define our brands, prove our worth, ask to be paid for what we do, and refuse to climb aboard this ship of fools, the one where everyone has an equal voice. Google “broccoli casserole” and make the first recipe you find. I guarantee it will be disappointing. The world needs fewer opinions and more thoughtful expertise — the kind that comes from real experience, the hard-won blood-on-the-floor kind. I like my reporters, my pilots, my pundits, my doctors, my teachers and my cooking instructors to have graduated from the school of hard knocks.”
Seems to me he is not just talking about the publishing industry, he is also giving good advice to the design industry.