Sometimes when people ask me why I think Social Media is more important than traditional media, I ask them to find a story they like in social media. Most people don’t do that, it’s what they pay journalists to do for them.
The ones that do, usually have a hard time finding it because social media is “messy” and “there’s lots of noise”. Both of which are true, those are, in my opinion, the two most significant “cons”.
But when I ask them about the story they like, I really find out if they can see around the corners or not.
If you read what people write themselves, you can find some really interesting stories. But when you see how people are replying, commenting and riffing off each other’s stories, you start to get a clue that it’s not about reading. It’s about reading and writing. and recording and shooting video. and sewing and building. It’s about doing, creating and sharing rather than finding, buying and consuming.
It’s also quite cool to see the personal computer actually be used personally by so many people. The last three years are the first I feel the original vision for the personal computer have been realized. While it’s still a small a minority of people that are really getting it done, it’s a huge increase in the idea of what one person can do with an open and adaptable machine (the internet) and a phone or computer. Not “to” or “at” the machine, but “with” the machine, as they find it.
I’m really excited about 2008. I may even get commenting working again on my own blog.
Here’s a deservedly, popular story about what a woman named Susan Reynolds did with the machine when she found out she had breast cancer.
I’ve not been tracking this story very much, but It looks very engaging. It’s really not about what story I’m reading though. It’s about what story I’m engaged in, and there’s a bunch of them. The important part of that for you, dear reader, is social media isn’t passive. It’s dead boring if you just want to read it. You have to create when you find a thought you feel you can contribute to.