Monday, August 11, 2008

is the audience in charge? they say 'yes'

In the old days, the cynical said, "Freedom of the press belongs to the guy who owns one." Today, everyone does, or can. One of my earliest clients who wanted to try business blogging did so to give his organization a platform from which to respond to media coverage--in effect, an op-ed page that he and he alone controlled. And in today's New York Times, David Carr riffs on this now-well-established trend, noting that anyone with a cellphone, mouse or remote has their own publishing tool. The article says, that, on occasion: "...the consumer algorithm doesn’t just drive choice of time or platforms, it drives the news process itself." Strong stuff, but true. This piece also looks at how traditional media--television networks and newspapers--are scrambling to tamp down news broken in "nontraditional" ways online, yet benefiting from the extra buzz.

I'll be talking at the IABC Washington chapter's meeting this Thursday on a similar topic: Have audiences gotten ahead of communicators in new and social media--and what are the enduring trends to adopt? You can count on lots of audience participation, as I now like my speeches to mimic "new" media by letting participants drive the conversation. Please join us for what promises to be a lively discussion!

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