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Saturday, February 17, 2007

"Old" vs "New" media

Scoble has a list of points of why New media is better than Old, and I couldn't disagree more.

1. The media above can’t be changed. A newspaper can’t magically change its stories, even if society decides something in them is incorrect. My blog can be updated for all readers nearly instantly if someone demonstrates that I was wrong on a post.

TV and radio can change their stories in the next bulletein. With newspapers I have to wait a day at most, sometimes less (papers have multiple editions). That's quick enough for me.

2. You can interact with my blog. You can leave a comment. Call me an arsehole. Etc. Etc. With the above you can’t interact at all.

I can write letters to newspapers and call in to radio shows.

3. You can get some sense of the popularity of my stuff in real time. How many comments does each post get? How many links does each post get? I can see in Wordpress how much traffic each item gets. You can visit Digg to see voting on my blog’s items. Or, TechMeme to see which blog items got most links in the past few hours.

I don't care what's popular. I'm only interested in, er, what I'm interested in!

4. With the “new media” you can look at my archives and see all posts. Try doing that with a newspaper. Yeah, you can, if you pay the San Jose Mercury News a fee. But it’s not as easy as it is here.

Most British papers have complete archives. BBC News does too.

5. Here on my blog I can mix media. A post could contain text, audio, video, or photos. Not so on newspaper or magazines.

Mixing media is good, I'll give Robert that one.

6. Here on my blog I don’t need to convince a committee to publish. Not true with other media forms. Imagine you walked into CNN and said “hey, I have some cool video, can you publish it?”

The committee is there to maintain the desired type and quality of output - no bad thing.

7. The new media is infinite. The media above all has limitations in terms of either length (a TV station only has 24 hours in a day — over on YouTube, I guarantee they publish a lot more than 24 hours of video in a day) or in quantity (try to convince USA Today to publish a 40,000 word article, or, 500 articles on the same topic).

If I want a 40,000 word article I'll buy a book. It will be better researched and written that anything online, because people will have been paid to make sure that is so. Youtube will never compete with broadcast TV.

8. The new media is syndicatable and linkable and easily reused. I can link to your media here, for instance, a few seconds after you publish it. Try doing THAT with any of the above media. Not to mention, my words here kick into an RSS feed which you can then republish using something like Google Reader, if you’d like, or you can copy a sentence out of my post, paste it into your own blog, and say something about what I just said.

I don't have a huge desire to reuse media, but I can link to pretty much any newspaper article, radio show or piece of video via their websites.

9. The new media can be mashed up with data from other services. Check out that Amazon advertisement over to the right. Did you realize that isn’t on my, or Wordpress.com’s, servers? It actually gets served up from some organization I don’t control. Amazon could, if it wanted to, replace the image there with a different book. Or, something else. Many people are putting widgets on their blogs that display various things from places they don’t control.

Not of interest.

At the end of the day I'll always prefer professional quality "old media". And I'd suggest that Podtech is "old media" too. It could easily be a TV show, it's just being delivered via the net instead of the airwaves. Although if it were a TV show, it would have to be edited down to fit a set time slot - and we'd benefit as it would cut out the boring bits!

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