Some New Media creators think that everyone know about their world, read blogs, know who Michael Arrington is, and watch internet video shows.
At VON I had a lot of discussions with telecom guys from Voice over Net, and was astonished to see how many people in this field don’t trust blogs, don’t know what Technorati is, and think that TechCrunch is a new type of snack. These people are outside of what I call the “social media walls”. They are important to us because they are our main growth potential.
Two main concerns were raised again and again regarding blogs:
- Blogs are not reliable as they are written by independent people. They don’t have any seal of approval, that traditional media has.
- Blogs give way too much private information about their writers, in a way that reduces their value.
Both points have merit, and pose real challenge for bloggers. However, at least the first one derives from lack of knowledge, more than true understanding of the medium.
Yes, bloggers don’t have third party seal of approval. There is no editor that controls the information published, no degree in blogging like the one exists in journalism, and information flow is free in form. Actually, anyone can just start writing his blog and that’s it. No on can stop him from doing it.
What most people are missing is that the democratization of media outlets, the fact that everyone can voice their opinion, has stronger moderation tools than other media channels. In a way, this is a self governing mechanism.
If you write crappy blog, no one will read it. If you write stupid things, immediately you’ll get feedback via comments, amount of links to your blog, and sometimes head on attack by more prominent bloggers. This crowd-rating system is much more powerful than the regular moderated media. If you write crap in your newspaper, and have a lot of readers, it will take longer time for people call your bluff. Here, things are instantaneous – the minute you write something wrong or unethical, reactions start to flow, and readers can see your true motives.
The only problem with this post is that it is written in a blog, and supposed to be addressed to the people who don’t read them. So, I am going to email it to the people I met in VON, and some of my other contacts. You are welcome to do the same.
Also, I’d appreciate if you will write me other concerns you’ve heard about the reliability and importance of blogs, as well as the way you tackle them. If we can get a clear understanding of what prevents people from utilizing this amazing medium, we can create better tools to convince them to be more open to it. And if we do that, we advanced our industry a bit.
So, feel free to comment, add your thoughts and ideas and bash me in case of need. Looking forward to hear from you.
Another Kind of Wall