Blogs are increasingly used by mainstream media (MSM), e.g. to cover conferences and trials, and as a blog by its nature is different from a newspaper, whether it's on paper or online, blogging is slowly changing the way news are being covered.
I recently blogged about Frank Ahren's interesting reflections from his experience blogging the Enron trial, but a recent podcast with social media consultant Adriana Lukas, who was the one who prompted me to start blogging in the first place, provides further insights into the nature of blogs and how they are changing things.
Blogs differ from MSM in a fundamental way: "Blogs start with identity, not with the audience. They give a blogger the ability to define identity on his or her own terms – unmediated," says Adriana.
This resonates with something Frank Ahren says: "It should be clear by now that personality is key to building a news audience, be it via print, Web, radio or video." So we might see an increased emphasis on personality or identity.
New media is just digitalised old media
When trying to define what kind of tools she as a social media consultant is helping companies implement in their communications strategy, Adriana says: "I divide between old and new media on the one hand and social media on the other hand. New media is just digitalised old media. Social media are tools like blogs, tagging, podcasts, wikis etc that facilitate communication. It is by its nature interactive and I especially like the social aspect of it."
A lot of people argue that blogging has no purpose as there are no financial rewards to be had from blogging. Adriana has a different perspective: "When I blog I get attention, it's not monetized, but the value is there... It's who, not how many, who reads your blog that's important. I would rather have 1000 important readers than 100,000 random readers, if impact is why I blog."
The one and the many
Adriana says she is fascinated by the correspondence and symbiotic relationship between the micro and macro level, how one person blogging and blogging as a big trend both have the power to change things, both can have massive impact. I'm paraphrasing her argument in this paragraph, apologies if I diverge from her exact words, but I think what she is getting at is the individualisation that characterises both the time we're living in and the event of social media.
Her argument reminds me of something Thomas Friedman writes in "The world is flat – a brief history of the globalized world in the 21st century":
"The thing that gives Globalization 3.0 it's unique character, is the newfound ability of individuals to collaborate and compete globally. And the lever that is enabling individuals and groups to go global so easily and so seamlessly is not horsepower, and not hardware, but software – all sorts of new applications – in conjunction with the creation of a global fiber-optic network that has made us all next-door neighbours."