Postings from the Edge

Global PR, new PR, social media and printing ink

Monday, 21 January 2008

Why social media is like newspapers - not news stories

Chris Brogan has an interesting take on social media. He suggests companies look at Sunday newspapers when considering how to approach social media. It isn't as daft as it sounds.

Its good to see some more nuanced discussion about the different forms of media instead of the whole "dead tree" mainstream media diatribe. I really get annoyed when people from the online media world trash newspapers on the basis of comparing their business models. For me this is quite wrong. I have spent a lot of energy arguing against the dreaded "web writing is sooo different from writing for newspapers"

Yeah, right. Try telling that to a sub-editor (copy editor in the US) who has to cut down a 700-word outpouring to a 150-word brief, or to write a grabbing headline or standfirst that will advertise the story and work graphically as well. Or a magazine editor who has to work with pictures and typography to create a compelling layout. There may not be hyperlinks, but the good print journalist writes in the hyperlinks so you don't have to go somewhere else to get the story.

It's true many news stories are not suitable for publication on the web - but in the same way that broadsheet articles aren't suitable for publication in a tabloid. A good sub-editor could soon sort that out though.

Too many people look at the newspaper as a content delivery system instead of looking behind this to see a content creation system. Too many people judge newspapers on their circulation and advertising revenue - the business side - rather than the dynamic process of how content is created.

Of course the role of paper is going to be reduced - but don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

A Sunday Newspaper Strategy for Traditional Companies : []

1 comment:

Chris Brogan said...

I'm glad my idea isn't as daft as it sounds. : )

Truly, the notion is to come up with ways to view the landscape that doesn't match our original ways of hearing about it. My goal is to jar, reframe, and then build conversations from that point.

I like your added ideas a great deal. Thanks for covering it.