Friday, February 20, 2009

Enthusiastic yet scared

Today's class was really interesting. I found the work these individuals had done in their organizations fascinating and it is impressive how - without much support in the beginning - they brought their companies to get behind their ideas. However, the thought I wanna share is a more controversial one. While I share the fascination for the change social media and social technology is bringing to reporting and news coverage, I find it a little bit worried how overly enthusiastic, number-centric and how little reflective our guest were regarding their work. What they basically did, although they mind argue some nuances, is turn Google and facebook into a content provider or at least content filter machine in that case (Election). They might argue that this process was initiated, steered and controlled by the user base but I think there is some grey area where the companies have large impact on how news travels the social graph.

Traditional journalists at CNN, MSNBC, NYT or BG - one might think about their work what one wants - all share that they are very reflective and self-critical about their work, their influence, potential biases and impact. With today's individuals I was missing this selfcritical reflection and instead got a lot of pure enthusiasm.

I think it is worthwile debating what kind of (self)-regulation is necessary when internet service providers in the social space like google and facebook will become the most prominent power in content and news generation and coverage. As content coverage and generation shifts more and more to the internet, this will undoubtedly happen. Currently, these companies employ no journalists, have no guidelines for these kind of questions and are not regulated or closely absorbed regarding this criteria. I think this has to change.

also, I think that Google, facebook, twitter and others have to go a long way in filtering out meaningful content in a way that is convenient and informing. The social media revolution of news and reporting should be one of increased depth and added perspevctive and not just an explosion of noise.

1 comment:

  1. As I mentioned in class - with all of the "future" bets from our presenters pointing to mobile strategies - I found it fascinating to learn from some of the Advertising Agencies in Los Angeles about the marked increase in mobile phone usage among African-American and Hispanic demographics. What will this mean for the next campaign? What does this mean for some of the business models some of us may be working on? Here is some data from one of the many studies on the topic:

    African-Americans and Hispanics are 50% more likely to be SMS users.

    82% of Americans under 25 are active SMS users. But for all ages under 50 more than 50% are active users. African-Americans and Hispanics are 50% more likely to be SMS users, according to GfK NOP.