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Traditional Media Debate

The Death of Print Media?

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Last week, Mashable posted an interesting poll, asking readers if they liked print books better than ebooks. Over 2,000 readers voted in the poll. The clear winner? Print books. Over 75 percent of voters prefer print books or like print books and ebooks equally. So, a clear win for print media, right?

Maybe.

What I found most interesting was the comments section. Although some people left comments in support of print books, the overwhelming response was from people who had voted for ebooks, or at least had called it a tie between print books and ebooks. They listed tons of advantages and even predicted that the ebook would eventually take over. It’s hard to argue with them. Although I love my print books, it wasn’t so long ago that people didn’t even know what ebooks were. Now, over 23 percent are voting in favor of them over print books. When looking at print media in general, it’s clear to see that blogs, websites, and other resources are winning out over magazines and newspapers, which are closing their doors at alarming rates.

Is this the beginning of the end for print media? And more importantly, what does that mean for you as a blogger?

Growth

To me, the rise of the ebook isn’t necessarily an end for print media. It’s more like an evolution in how we think about information communications. Perhaps evolution isn’t even the right word. What we’re doing is growing. Just because one form of media is rising doesn’t mean that another form is on its way out. At least not completely.

I will point to what is happening in the newspaper/magazine world again, however. If we’re just expanding the ways we can communicate, not pushing out print media, why are so many print media sources closing their doors?

This is the part where bloggers need to sit up and take note of what I’m about to say. No matter what your niche, if you aren’t willing to grow along with the industry as a whole, you aren’t going to succeed. Continue Reading

The New Media Way Is Better Than The Old Media Way

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The New York Times ran a story yesterday on a new group known as The Coffee Party. What follows is a classic contrast in how old media handles a news story vs. how new media handles a news story. Leave your politics aside for the moment and look at this excerpt from Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion:

Update: Interesting, I received a phone call from Kate Zernike, the author of the NY Times article, who felt that I did not sufficiently credit her article with disclosing Park’s background and motives. Specificially, Zernike pointed out that the Times’ article said the Coffee Party “was formed in reaction to the Tea Party” and offered “an alternative” to the Tea Party. Zernike also felt that the pro-Obama nature of the Coffee Party was adequately disclosed because the article pointed out that one of the organizers in California (not Park) had campaigned for Obama.

I explained that I did not feel that the NY Times article adequately disclosed (i) the depth of the connection to the Obama campaign reflected in Park’s background, or (ii) that the specific purpose of the Coffee Party, as expressed in Park’s Tweets, was to undermine the Tea Party.

I told Ms. Zernike that I would do an update to this post, and I hoped that she would do an update to her article to explain Park’s Obama connection and apparent motivations. Ms. Zernike declined, explaining that she had to limit her article to 700 words.

There are several points here.  First kudos to NYT writer Kate Zernike for even engaging with Mr. Jacobson (Legal Insurrection’s author). That’s the new media way. In times past her article would have received at best heated letters to the editor that would have most likely been ignored.  Unfortunately she chose not to (or is not allowed to by her editors) comment directly at Legal Insurrection. That’s the old media way.

If you choose to read the 60 comments on the post you will see there is a vibrant and quite heated debate about the merits or lack thereof in the original NYT piece (warning lots of comments with adult language). Thats the new media way.

Mr. Jacobson updated his post as soon as he had new information and shared Ms. Zernike’s perspective. That’s the new media way.

Ms. Zernike stated she was unable to update her article due to an arbitrary 700 word limit. Thats the old media way.

Mr. Jacob has no such limitation and I am sure will continue to update his post as more information becomes available including any further replies from Ms. Zernike. That’s the new media way.

Ms. Zernike gathered the facts pertaining to her story and then she and her editors decided what was relevant and she presented a summary of that information. Thats the old media way.

Mr. Jacobson researched her story, and provided his sources right in his post including past Tweets from Annabel Park (the subject of the original article) and YouTube Video that Ms. Park helped to promote online. Mr. Jacobson then offered his conclusions and his transparent views about the Coffee Party and Ms. Zernike’s story. That’s the new media way.

Ms. Zernike of course provided no background on her own inherent views an political leanings coming into the story. Thats the old media way.

The old media way believes professional reporters are able to completely ignore their personal views and “just present the facts”. We all know that’s baloney.

Mememorandum (Techmeme’s sister site focused on politics) then picked up Legal Insurrection’s story as a hot topic in the blogosphere including links to the original NYT article and more than a dozen blogs who were also commenting on the original story and Legal Insurrection’s post. That’s the new media way.

What is the lesson here?

The new media way is the better way and the reason the old media is dying a horrible and painful death.

Any other differences between the new media way and old media way that I left out?

Please leave them below in the comments section.

ps.

That’s the new media way by the way 8).

You Need To Be A Social Media Evangelist

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I had never heard of Dan Grover until I found THIS POST on Techmeme this morning. To make his point Dan uses the example of a recent Read Write Web post that ended up being ranked high by Google under the search term “Facebook Login“. Guess what happened; tons of people clicked that search result and landed up on Read Write Web instead of Facebook and were baffled. They left comments asking why they couldn’t log in to Facebook, several were upset.

Dan explains that “noobs” have no idea how the internet works. He is right. He states most high school and college computer courses are a joke. He is right. It is a fantastic post and you should read the whole thing right now then come back.

Now if you went and read the post you are probably starting to see why this is relevant to social media, bloggers and podcasters.  Dan mentions that people can’t fathom how Twitter works because they have no idea how blogs work yet, what they are or why people write or read them. He is right again and this is the soap box I find myself on day after day after day.

This is the very beginning of this communication revolution. For all the hype and yes all of the amazing documented successes of new media we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the potential of new media. How could we when most of the world doesn’t even comprehend what it is or how it works?

In fact many of those noobs are suspicous or openly hostile to new media.

So if you are like me and you have seen how powerful new media is and can be. If you think these communication tools can make our world a better place then start teaching those noobs how to use it and how it works every chance you get. Become an evangelist for new media within your industry whatever that may be. Don’t get caught up in geek speak when your talking to people who don’t fundamentally understand what you are talking about. Without them we will never get where we are going.

If you are a blogger with any level of success you probably get asked to speak at events now dont you?

People have this weird misconception that you are an uber geek. Guess what, compared to them you are. Accept it. Get out there and talk to people and explain what new media is to them in as simple terms as possible. Give them real examples of how it works and how it could work for them.

Now unless you are speaking to a crowd of geeks I guarantee you at least half the room is lost five minutes in to your talk. Even those that are pretending to understand really don’t. Every talk I give make sure I include two points.

First, New Media is the simultaneous reinvention of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books and movies all at the same time and it is happening right now.  That is an awesome concept for someone to get their head around. You can bet most people don’t believe it when I say it so I make sure to reinforce it as much as possible to let it sink in.

Second, nothing I say that day is going to help them understand it fully. They are going to have to experience it first hand. They have to start reading blogs, leaving comments, finding podcasts, watching YouTube, searching for things they are interested in joining the conversation.

I think if I can make those two points then I have done my job. Get them curious and learning, and pretty quickly they are going to be sucked in just like I was and if you are still reading this post most likely just like you were.

If you want to avoid making some common mistakes as a new media evangelist check out Chris Brogan’s talk at BlogWorld last year.

America's Tweethearts Story In Vanity Fair Is Good For New Media

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While attending Affiliate Summit West earlier this week Joe Morin asked me if I had read the new Vanity Fair article America’s Tweethearts or Social Media Insider’s reaction to it.  I hadn’t yet but Joe sent me a link to both and after reading them I  of course have some comments.

I liked both the article and the post. Yes the author Vanessa Grigoriadis comes across as clueless to the real benefits of social media and according to one of the comments at Social Media Insider has written this kind of article before. So what?

It’s a valid story. These women (Julia Roy, Sarah Evans, Stefanie Michaels, Amy Jo Martin, Sarah Austin and Felicia Day) deserve the recognition. Despite the reporters snarky tone, Stefanie, Sarah (Austin) and Felicia are in fact entertainers/celebrities intentionally. Good for them! Twitter helps promote their careers and the article is pretty significant evidence of that fact. I don’t think Julia, Amy Jo and Sara (Evans) are complaining about the publicity and how it can and will help their careers either.

Vanity Fair has over a million paid subscribers (thats the latest info I can find) and I am guessing a majority of those readers haven’t tuned into Twitter or social media yet.  No matter what the story says that’s good for all of us folks.

And by the way look what the article did not just for us but to us, people are posting and tweeting all over the place about this story (1645 retweets at the time I post this). Everyone is talking about why its good, and why its bad, how Ms. Grigoriadis is clueless, and how these women are being exploited, or how others deserved to be featured in this article. Welcome to social media folks.

It’s a beautiful thing and regardless of the reporter’s or Vanity Fair’s intent they just advanced our new media revolution a little bit further.

Congratulations to six very deserving women and to all of us.

Am I Crazy? Is this story somehow bad for us?

America’s Tweethearts Story In Vanity Fair Is Good For New Media

Author:

While attending Affiliate Summit West earlier this week Joe Morin asked me if I had read the new Vanity Fair article America’s Tweethearts or Social Media Insider’s reaction to it.  I hadn’t yet but Joe sent me a link to both and after reading them I  of course have some comments.

I liked both the article and the post. Yes the author Vanessa Grigoriadis comes across as clueless to the real benefits of social media and according to one of the comments at Social Media Insider has written this kind of article before. So what?

It’s a valid story. These women (Julia Roy, Sarah Evans, Stefanie Michaels, Amy Jo Martin, Sarah Austin and Felicia Day) deserve the recognition. Despite the reporters snarky tone, Stefanie, Sarah (Austin) and Felicia are in fact entertainers/celebrities intentionally. Good for them! Twitter helps promote their careers and the article is pretty significant evidence of that fact. I don’t think Julia, Amy Jo and Sara (Evans) are complaining about the publicity and how it can and will help their careers either.

Vanity Fair has over a million paid subscribers (thats the latest info I can find) and I am guessing a majority of those readers haven’t tuned into Twitter or social media yet.  No matter what the story says that’s good for all of us folks.

And by the way look what the article did not just for us but to us, people are posting and tweeting all over the place about this story (1645 retweets at the time I post this). Everyone is talking about why its good, and why its bad, how Ms. Grigoriadis is clueless, and how these women are being exploited, or how others deserved to be featured in this article. Welcome to social media folks.

It’s a beautiful thing and regardless of the reporter’s or Vanity Fair’s intent they just advanced our new media revolution a little bit further.

Congratulations to six very deserving women and to all of us.

Am I Crazy? Is this story somehow bad for us?

Inspired By Abby Johnson at WebProNews.com

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I can’t help but give a shout out here to someone that has given me inspiration in her work that she produces and the content she provides.  I am talking about Abby Johnson with WebProNews.  I first met Abby when she interviewed me following a presentation I gave at BlogWorld & New Media Expo on Blogging For A Living.  Abby was quick, professional and respectful of my time and turned the content around and followed up.  She is a consummate professional in our industry.

Abby gets to attend some cool conferences, but unfortunately she doesn’t get to be a spectator as she tends to work very hard.  I subscribed to her feed and love to see what she has next.

This video caught my eye because I thought it would be good to know that Sony, like Apple is getting into the application development world by making their dash thingy open sourced. Love the info Abby and keep up the god work. Perhaps you would let me interview you some time and turn the tables a bit? See you at BWE10!

Size Matters To Those That Want Size

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I was hoping I could get a better title than that but I wanted to also see what kind of Google search results that will provide with giggles late at night.  The reason I wanted to talk about size is because there seems to be a differing opinion as it relates to the size of your Twitter followers.  One of the most attended and best received panels this year at BlogWorld Expo was about the gaming of Twitter and the inflation of follower numbers.  I unfortunately was not able to attend the session as I was otherwise busy with a few things, but I know it did well.

The inspiration behind the panel was why it is a bad idea to inflate or increase your follower numbers just for the sake of a big number.  I was reading Seth Godin’s blog about bullhorns.  Yeah I know he has a way of speaking in metaphors better than anyone.  You have to read the post yourself to get the idea. In the post Seth talk’s about Anil Dash’s recent and often discussed series about being on the suggested user list and why having a million followers on Twitter is actually not really as it seems.  It seems among my brethren in social media and marketing circles that they are shouting from the mountain tops that size doesn’t matter and note that many of which don’t actually have the size spoken of and are not benefiting from Twitter with the same dollars that Kim Kardashian is seeing with her $10,000 per tweet budget.  Are any other people out there with 100 followers making that kind of coin? Not hardly.  Why? Because the size of your bullhorn matters.  If Kardashian get’s 10K how much would Oprah get?  I shudder to think of that amount.

I can remember when people like Jason Calacanis and others were begging to be on the list and others were upset they were not included.  It’s about the numbers.  We all know that size doesn’t matter (it doesn’t right?).  If size doesn’t matter why do companies only want bloggers that have huge traffic numbers, and only pay attention to Twitter people that have large followings?  It is because they can put a metric on it and sell it.

Apparently, it is all about the Twilebrity?

Until we come up with a better metric or until we can stop “measuring”, size will always seem to matter.  To the people that are writing the checks and paying for Tweets or making lists of the tops in Twitter that has the most traffic it does matter.  Now, where did I put that stupid bullhorn?  Sorry Seth, apparently that is the game we are playing and until the rules change, those like you that have the largest will be the winners.

Why Pepsi Is Good For Bloggers

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This is certainly not a “Pepsi is better than Coke” or now begins the cola wars , I am referring to the world of monetizing.  Recently ABC reported, Pepsi announced that it would discontinue spending money on advertising on Super Bowl Sunday.  I have for years thought that the price of advertising on that day is way over priced, unless of course I was the guy getting the commission for that sale.  Millions of dollars being spent to have a slot of 30 seconds for the world to see you and your brand is a big gamble.  I suppose if your 30 seconds was the best or in some cases the worst you would extend your brand to many eyeballs all watching.  This is beginning to change and apparently Pepsi is leading the charge.

Why is this good for bloggers?  Brands like Pepsi and others are going online for their eyeballs.  I am not going to get into the debate in this post about why eyeballs are not the metric I think is for our future, but suffice it to say, eyeballs don’t buy.  Pepsi is also doing something that I believe is a masterful move into also contributing to charity while changing their advertising strategy. Forrester has a great post on its blog discussing the issues of the Pepsi move and its impact on the world of marketing.

Bloggers had a very difficult time selling their content to brands in the beginning. It always went back to eyeballs (perhaps this is the time for that debate). Bloggers that had millions of page views a month, a feat derived only by the top of the top of bloggers, made very little on their content as compared to their traditional media counterparts.  That in itself is supposition with the fact that bloggers were never considered in the same breath as traditional media.  As we all know, this is changing now.  Bloggers are seen as influencers and as people that can vault a brand into rock star fame.  Look at Ford for your example.

We are seeing other areas that are getting the dollars like Facebook for example.  The ABC example of Toys “R” Us building a Facebook page and seeing growth of between 40,000 and 95,000 fans per day after its late November launch is an example of what is catching the attention of those writing checks for marketing campaigns.  Their will be a race to see who can get your attention where you are, and Facebook is getting the attention of every household in America.

As traditional brands such as Pepsi and Ford and others begin to move their war chests of advertising dollars to other areas of the media, meaning bloggers and social networks, we all will have a better chance at a piece of the pie.  Rather than putting millions of dollars into a 30 second spot, brands may even give millions of bloggers that share.  This is only going to mean $2.00 perhaps but it is a huge increase over the .02 I made from Google Adsense last year.  My percentage of increase looks good on a corporate report!

Using Social Media To Explain Social Media and Other Concepts

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One of the sites I like to go to often and one that will no doubt get a large amount of traffic over the next few months is Common Craft.  I especially love the way the use video to explain difficult or complex issues.  They did a great job on explaining social media.

They have recently released a new video on the complex term of cloud computing. This video is another great example of explaining things to people like your grandmother, or me for that matter, issues related to what would normally only be understood by those in the field or the cool smart kids.

Twitter Stepping Towards Commercial Accounts

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Looks like all that talking might actually be leading to some doing. That’s right, Twitter has finally taken its very first steps out of the world of the free, and into the world of the paid…kind of.  Twitter has unveiled a new thing called Twitter 101, which is basically a series of web sites and downloadable material that all aims to help businesses really investigate how they can use the service to their advantage, and even shows some companies that have done so very successfully.

Whether or not this will translate into an actual business plan and way for Twitter to make some serious income, remains to be seen, but it’s good that they are at least taking their first baby steps towards monetizing something that many have claimed will be impossible to do so.  When asked, Anamitra Banerji, manager of commercial products at Twitter, had this to say about what Twitter 101 might mean to the company and its future:

“yes, many companies are on Twitter, but many have questions about how and why to use it, and many are still not on Twitter. It’s a lot easier to ask people for money if they understand how it could be useful to them without paying anything…Twitter 101 is the first step toward doing that…If you intrinsically see some value in Twitter, you will want to pay more to get more…”

Pay more to get more.  I guess we’ll see if anyone will be willing to pay when it comes to something they can already get for free.  We all know Twitter is great as a broadcasting tool, great at building networks and updating in real-time your friends, customers and potential clients…whether or not it’ll be a great way to actually make money for themselves?  That’s another story.

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