The new and true essence of media

The new and true essence of media
: I ended my psychotic blatherings at the Online News confab with a kicker Hugh McLeod left in the comments here because he said something smarter and more forward-thinking than I could:

Perhaps online newspapers should stop seeing themselves as “things”, rather a point on the map where wonderful people cluster together to do wonderful things. A Joi-Ito-like [Joi being a central weblogger] brain trust, held cohesive by good editor. Some of the cluster will be paid (the journalists), others won’t (the audience). But everybody is welcome to contribute, and is kinda working together with the same goal: to create the most vibrant intellectual collective that they can.

I agree enthusiastically. When I read that quote, I changed “collective” to “community” — felt better. But it was damned well said.

Hugh keeps refining his view and he just left this comment below:

Media is not “entertainment” or “information”. Media is an interface. Interface implies action. I leave Buzzmachine more switched on than when I entered. So for me, there’s an actual kinetic quality about visiting here. The same should be true (but mostly isn’t) for ABC, CBS, The NYT, Nickelodeon, MTV etc etc. I want the benefit of interacting with any given media brand I use to be more flamingly obvious, less vague and elitist.

Well-said again. I’ll blush at the too-kind reference to this humble site. And I’ll change the word “interface” to “relationship” because it, too, feels better. But hear the theme:

This medium is about relationships and the audience wants (desperately) to relate to media (or at least news media) as more than just an audience. They want a conversation. They want influence. They want power. No, we want all those things.

That is the real guiding principle for the future of media: relationships.