Friday, 6 November 2009

Day two of Media140 with Jay Rosen, a big name in the twitterverse, and a peep I follow and frequently retweet. He’s always got interesting things coming online.

Online viewers number 132.

Atomisation has been overcome. Rosen recalls the 1976 movie ‘Network’ and says that the Internet is just as good for connecting a cause to other people as big media. Causes are connected horizontally to other people, not just up through the media. “The ability of people to connect horizontally ... just changes the situation a lot.”

One of the most important things journalists can do is try and reason with this situation. But the media is also still viable, so both directions apply.

Open systems don’t work like closed systems. Twitter is an open system. Anyone cannot sign up for the Sydney Morning Herald and its news staff. Disappointment will result if we expect open systems to behave like closed systems.

For example, checking and refinement happens after publishing in open systems. People in closed systems see chaos, but it’s just a different way of doing business.

Citizen journalism is when the constituency previously called the audience picks up the tools of publishing and uses them. They enter the press sphere even if they’re not members of the press.

There’s no such thing as information overload, there’s only filter failure. It’s useless to try to prevent people making media. It’s easy to make ‘content’ and people like doing it. We’re going to have more and more content. Not possible to stop or slow the process.

Behind the revolution in content production will come better ways of filtering the content. There’s Twitter and there’s ways to search Twitter. It isn’t a closed environment. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the flood of information – the real scarcity now is mindshare – we need to improve the filters. Filtering the best stuff to the front page is one of the most important ways journalists can operate.

Do what you do best and link to the rest. Every page on the Web is equidistant from every other page. Don’t duplicate what others are doing. It’s a principle of economies, also, not just the Web. It’s important for journalism organisations, too. A lot of content on MSM is redundant. Editorial producers need to link more, concentrate on speciality.

John Wannamaker said ‘Half the advertising I spend on advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half.” This is an inefficient system. Advertisers reach a lot of people who are not ready to buy. The system is limited by its ‘addressasbility’.

Now, we’re starting to focus on the wasted advertising, and eliminate inefficiencies. Price of advertising is dropping, as a result.

The nature of trust online is different from the way trust is built under a mass-media system. It is a more reliable way to generate trust, to tell people where you’re coming from. As opposed to claiming you’ve got no stake, you’ve got no interest. Objectivity is dead.

The view from nowhere is the old philosophy. It’s hard to generate trust by claiming that you have no perspective. It’s easier if you can explain where you’re coming from to people. Transparency is the new objectivity, in social media.

It’s not amateurs vs pros. It’s not old media vs new media. The holy war is a distraction. Hybrid forms will be the strongest forms. Rosen is looking for the people who can develop a pro-am approach. All innovation is going to be in hybrid forms.

Addition through subtraction – people who are not interesting in coming to terms with the new media landscape should just go home.

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