Session 1: Aha! Moments
The first session degenerated (is that the right word?) into a discussion about who should control the conversation in our society: “little m” media (bloggers and community contributors) or “Big M” media (i.e. media companies and professional journalists). We have had that conversation – several times (at We Media alone) – and very little new ground was broken. Why is that? The prevailing theory on the WeMedia chat is that the audience isn’t the right one… one person noted that until events like WeMedia invote more people who focus on consuming information, or producing it out of love/passion, instead of those who have a need/desire to monetize it, we won’t make any progress. My personal theory is that we have to better define the various categories of media before we can start ranking them, analyzing them, and similar. Right now everything is one bucket – m/Media. Lets separate out all the different kinds of media, by audience, by format, by qualification, by value, by timing, by personality, and by whatever other criteria is needed. Once we have all the players in this giant game of media Risk identified, then we can start to see who will achieve world dominance.
Other Aha! moments from the first session included:
– Proliferation of journalists vs. proliferation of sources. Our real challenge is to bring sources toether so journalists can add value.
– People and connections — bringing an audience together to communicate with each other is critical. Lets talk about how the audience talks to each other, not how we should talk to the audience.
– How are we going to create a vast social network where people can consume news? We currently lack the technological and other infrastructure (and possibly the know-how) to do that.
– One thing that big organizations still provide is an element of trust in the information that is delivered. Can’t say that about all sources.
– Important thing is not who is reading information/articles/blog posts, whatever… but who is producing new output as a result? We should measure media as a platform for promotion not consumption.
– This conversation is not just about journalism, but rather about information more broadly.
– We is a really hard idea to figure out.
And that was just the first session. Lots of good things to come. Stay tuned.
Brian is Managing Director of little m media which provides strategic guidance and support to organizations around the use of the internet and technology to facilitate communications, engagement, education, and mobilization.