Exactly what Rob Curley has been working on since joining The Washington Post Co. in September has been a matter of curiosity for people who've watched his thoughtful, transformative influence on interactive newspaper sites.
A podcast interview with Marketwatch's Frank Barnako makes it clear: Curley is working on “local, local, local” … and video too. None of “the trough full of projects” that he's been working on has been put up yet, Curley told Barnako. But a key project is “very local,” presumably located in the suburbs rather than the District, and features a big time database, using the FAST search engine, SMS, audio and video.
The video aspect is being carried over into other things as well even though Curley thinks it is a little early for local. “As cool as video is on the Internet, it is not a mass medium as far as local is concerned,” he says. It needs to be on a box in the living room. “It will be three years” before video isn't the exclusive province of 22-year-old YouTubers, he says.
Looking forward, Curley says video “is going to be a vibrant part of Internet journalism. Video journalism is one of the ways we need to connect with our users,” he says. It won't necessarily migrate toward the newspapers, however, unless it is planned. “TV stations are actually in a much better situation than newspapers. They're already collecting that information.”
The Post, however, intends to turn that around. “You can't believe the number of people committed to producing video journalism” at The Post, he says. “You can't believe the buy-in we have here from the big building downtown.”
Washington Post Digital CEO Caroline Little will probably have more on The Post’s local project when she keynotes Kelsey’s ILM:06 conference on Thursday in Philadelphia. Please tune in for my coverage of her talk, along with everything else in this super summit produced by Matt Booth.