How about just calling it MEDIA? Sure, labels are useful, but at the end of the day there will be media that people connect with, and the unwatched, unread remains. There seems to be a renewed slugfest between the “revolutionaries” storming the gates of traditional media, and the keepers of corporate status quo. As both sides trade barbs, it’s curious to this blogger why the loudest amongst both sides of this “debate” promote such zero-sum theocracy.
From bloggersblog today, a link to this rant against blogs from South Africa’s Sunday Times, calling blogs “the air guitars of journalism” And from my favorite contrarian Strumpette, some snarky satire on the introduction of MLB’s “Citizen Player Program”
Chris Brogan lends his typically keen insight and measured criticisms to discussions that took place at AlwaysOn, Hollywood. His concerns that “we” (people who create media independent of large corporate infrastructure) are living in a fishbowl. Brogan then takes the informations he’s gathered and builds a very smart roadmap for moving beyond amateur media. Chris “gets it”…big time.
In almost no time, “talking about nothing” shows are going to dry up. You have to deliver value. In video, audio, and even a blog, if you want to bring your message into a larger circle of people, you’re going to have to give value back for what you’re doing.
Most of this discussion seems to be framed in an either/or construct, which I believe to be a false pretext. Those who believe that Web 2.0, social media, and citizen content will completely evaporate are wrong, just as wrong as those who believe that the democratization of media spells the demise of large corporate media. What I see happening is that the “amateurs” are building relationships with their audience, and with corporate media. There, you’ll find the winners. Don’t believe me? Then why are guys like Jeff Jarvis having dinner with Rupert Murdoch and making deals with Washingtonpost.com?
For those of you who believe that bloggers don’t have juice, how do you reconcile CNN’s decision to release Presidential debate footage under a Creative Commons license? Clearly they were bowing to the outcrys of the “air guitar” players of the blogoshpere.
Much of what is taking place in social media space is all about buzz, and in-the-moment, viral types of content. This is the type of media that I believe will be the shortest-lived. They are also easy targets for critics as the sum-total of ALL new/social media. The below-the-radar people in this space are sometimes the most successful. At VON07 in San Jose, I met Nicholas Butterworth of Diversion Media. His firm has built two successful social media sites, Travelistic and Snowvision. Butterworth says that the key to social media success is community and relationship.
Coverage of VON07
Butterworth, and other micro media moguls like Zadi Diaz and Steve Woolf of Jetset are defining a new class of crossover talent. Media makers who understand the community nature of social media/Web 2.0 and have the business savvy to grasp the value of that community. The fact that they’ve partnered with Next New Networks demonstrates that savvy and sets them apart from the “air guitar” set. Amani Channel of My Urban Report is another example of new media being courted by old. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has expressed interest publishing content from his blog. Again, the gates aren’t being stormed so much as being opened by smarter old media firms.
The bottom line is that the marketplace will decide the winners and losers of traditional vs. social media. I’d keep an eye on the ones creating value for their communites and the ones who build tools for participation.