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.

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    That Lawrence online pub I took a quick look at before, it looked very interactive. They asked if readers wanted to contribute a movie review. It looked like they invite participation. That looks like one of the secrets of their success. Instead of *we talk, you listen.* I think you’re on to something.

  • jeff, your collaborative paper sounds something like Korea’s OhmyNews (,1284,58856,00.html)
    It works there, why not here?

  • ….a moment with Easycure

    Nice of you to be humble, but face it” You are a portion of the leadership that is changing media as we know it.
    Most future news media outlets will be have neither conservative or liberal bias because the flow of factual information will be emerging so quickly that nobody will be able to comment (read: spin) on it quickly enough to change the factual information into what has traditionally been “real” news.
    In the past, “real” news was what media outlets thought we’d want to hear. In the future, media that reports only what they think we want to hear will be disappear into oblivion.
    Lead the way, Jeff. We’re all with you….watching the transformation of what we call news.

  • A pseudo-scientific explanation of the difference between publishers and bloggers:
    Publishing: 1 reader + 1 reader + 1 reader + 1 reader = 4 connections.
    Blogging: 1 blogger + 1 blogger + 1 blogger + 1 blogger = 6 connections and 20 potential conversations.
    Translated into prose: networked individuals are exponentially much more powerful than spoke & hub publishers.

  • Good point, Henry.
    I was wondering if there was a ratio between Technorati links and the number of actual, offline, face-to-face conversations.
    Let’s see… here’s some current Technorstats:
    Gawker: 833
    Buzzmachine: 738
    Let’s see, I’ve probably have had at least 100 offline conversations about each website with other people. I reckon Gawker will have had at least a million offline conversations even in the last 3 months. I’d say Buzzmachine would have had less, but the wattage of the conversation would’ve been higher, just because of their respective subject matter.
    I dunno, would a ratio of 1000-2000 to 1 be unreasonable?
    Somebody with a better mathematical mind than me- please help!