The past weekend saw a Kenyan media house air a captivating investigative series covering what was claimed to be the largest drug haul in Kenya, tracing the drama and intrigues from the Netherlands to the shores of the Kenyan coast with names mentioned and all manner of conspiracy theories put forward. The blogosphere and social media sites exploded with conversations around this content and it was interesting to read peoples take on the “expose”.
More than deal with the contents of what was aired, I feel that we can use technology to better enhance the information experience of Kenyans. I choose the term “information experience” because a lot of what we consume is not “news” in the way that we choose to define it, but more of information.
What was evident after the content was aired on traditional media, was that a lot of questions were raised. A good number of people also missed the screening and could therefore not make head or tail of chatter happening online. The Kenyan consumer is very inquisitive and will ask many questions, some not well thought out, some legitimate; which if not answered leads to opinions formed from misinformation.
This is how to enhance the news experience and stretch interest beyond screen time. Knowing that the information would spur a lot of interest, I would make the content available on multiple scalable platforms. It would air on tv, be available on mobile as “mobisodes” for bite sized consumption by my mobile consumer, served on one of the numerous video hosting platforms for my international and locally connected audience and perhaps even a series of articles if I owned my own newspaper.
Beyond making the content available, I would also provide links to supporting content that will better inform my audience and give better context. A lot of historical information lies dormant in storage; pictures, video, articles, some that never saw the light of day due to the limited inventory traditional media has. This can be used to paint a better picture of emerging news. I would make available a platform where people can engage and comment on the content while making it easy to share those thoughts with others. This is where the winning proposition lies; bringing a better understanding to consumers based on an improved information channel.
Traditional media may not die any time soon but the winner in the digital space will be the one who develops a service(s) that will inform and transform consumers by augmenting information and providing a richer and more immersive experience.