Media Hookup

Social Media for Sociable Media Folks

I was on Friendster trolling for girls before all y’all

I’m getting a little tired of all the chatter surrounding social media.

That’s not the sort of thing people in the news industry are supposed to say — since we’re all clumsily wandering about, hoping to stumble into the promised land of milk, honey and relevance social media (excuse me, #socialmedia) is supposed to offer.

But I don’t have a problem with social media itself (though the term is beginning to wear on me). To paraphrase my mother: I’m on The Twitter and The Facebook, as both Louis C. Hochman and as Media Hookup (here and here) . I’m a big part of my employer’s effort to embrace the wacky world of the social. And, oh yeah, I started a social media network.

It’s been obvious to me for a long time — this is what the Internet is for. And there’s nothing revolutionary about the idea that if we in the news business aren’t engaging our audience on its own terms, we aren’t engaging our audience at all.

It’s the god-awful, incessant, overwhelming, oversaturated, redundant and insipid chatter. Everyone is a social media expert these days. Everyone. Hell, I’m a social media expert. I was on Friendster trolling for girls before all y’all.

Look, if you’re Jeff Jarvis or Peter Shankman, you’ve got some cred. But if all you’ve got to offer is an unfiltered ray of social sunshine, you’re boring me. If you’re pretending an unquestioning embrace of everything with a login and a public broadcast function is going to save journalism, you’re boring me. If you’re ignoring the potential pitfalls of going uber-social — privacy loss, vendor lock-in, unconsidered utterance and accidental exposure — you’re boring me. If you’ve got nothing new to offer, nothing clever and insightful that boosts the signal-to-noise ratio, you’re boring me.

In other words, if you’re all retweet and no tweet, you’re boring me.

And if you’re one of those folks who has forgotten that content matters — that delivery and interaction are only useful if there’s actually something worth discussing — you’re not just boring me. You’re annoying me. Sorry, Marshall, the medium isn’t always the message. Sometimes, the message is the message.

But I do sort of like the discussion the young’un rookies at "News: From the Field" are trying to lead with their new blog. They’re talking about what it’s like to do community journalism in a company that’s recently taken a cannonball dive into a whole frikin’ pool of the social media Kool-Aid. And they’re talking about what it’s like to do so with little experience (and, as a former JRCer, I can assume few resources), but lots of drive.

They’re not offering any terribly groundbreaking insights into the future of media — but they’re not trying to. They’re muddling through with the rest of us, armed with a little insight and a lot of desire to learn more. It’s refreshing to hear from people who don’t think that just because they know some things they know everything. It’s refreshing to hear from people who don't think becoming mayor of Burger King on Foursquare puts you at the forefront of media's evolution — but who still might give Foursquare a shot, if it seems interesting and useful enough.

I’d bet that as their blog continues, their insights will become more sophisticated and their experiments in reader interaction will become more interesting. I’m looking forward to it.

Views: 52

Tags: experts, facebook, foursquare, media, socialmedia, twitter


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Comment by Melissa Hayes on April 13, 2010 at 5:32pm
I keep getting requests from "social media experts" on Linked-In ... I mean really, enough already!
Comment by Christina Paciolla on April 13, 2010 at 3:34pm
i got you beat! i was on centerfuse trollin' for scene boys wayy before friendster!

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