October 26, 2009

‘Social media’ could be seen as an oxymoron. Presumably if people are involved in media at one moment, i.e. tv, radio, newspapers- then they are not being social. They are being anti-social. The internet has transformed this. Of course, it has. The internet has transformed everything. Anywho, the crux of the issue, is that people are now engaging with the media they use.

No longer is it a one-way flow of information. To use a phrase I must have heard over 400 times in the past 4 weeks, the-people-formerly-known-as-the-audience, are now interacting with the media. Whether this is through Facebook, Twitter, blog comments, or any other of the many buzz-word sites kicking round cyper-space at the moment.

There are, of course, cynical ways of looking at ‘social media'(see above). As a cynic I would love to go on about how everyone and everything is stupid and annoying etc. but sadly there are some very positive things about all this new fandango.

From a professional (not yet) point of view social media helps stories to be better, more varied, and with more human interest. ‘Audiences’ begin to develop relationships with the people-formerly-known-as-the-people-who-used-to-tell-the audiences-stuff. The audience is not just being talked at anymore.

The reach of social media is impressive. Consider the people following you on the twitter, consider a ‘re-tweet’, then consider the potential reach of breaking news/opinion tweets- hundreds of thousands of people.

Breaking news, as demonstrated by Trafigura, the Hudson plane crash, the Mumbai attacks, and many more, is often seen first on twitter, as it is real people around the world relaying real news. Now, as mentioned, it is fun to pan this and pooh-pooh that, and generally moan about nothing being as good as it could be, but really, this social media is something to take heed of.

From a consumer point of view, aggregators, twitter trends, addict-o-matic, and RSS feeds, make the entire world much easier to consume. With the click of a button or a single visit to your RSS, you could have scoured the world’s blogs, checked who has twittered/tweeted breaking news, seen who has uploaded amusing videos of mammals on youtube, and much much more. Remarkable stuff.

To conclude, whether a profressional, be it journalist, lawyer, or dentist, well, maybe not dentist, but a consumer, or an amateur, or a layabout, or unemployed, self-employed, if you’re tall, short, ginger, Italian, or otherwise, I recommend you get involved with social media and make the world your oyster, and while you’re at it… www.twitter.com/horatiomo



  1. Err… What’s with the picture of Warhol and Dylan as your ‘title picture’?? Me thinks you had a particularly cool girlfriend…

  2. Nah, I’ve always been into Warhol and Dylan. Oh, and Edie Sedgwick, especially her. I love her; have done for years. Velvet Goldmine, eh? What a film.

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