Steven Lewis of Zest Digital masquerading as a Lollipop Lady? NO! Telling Aussie media to “Just stop it already”.

My heart is breaking… 😛 I, like most bloggers, have a love/hate relationship with the Australian traditional media.

We LOVE them: listen to everything they say, hang on every word, pore over every article looking for meaning and direction and real communication. We tell them time and again how to communicate back to us, how to market to us and we are overjoyed if they pay us any attention at all (particularly if they quote the blogger on TV or in newspapers).

But.

They HATE us. With a passion. Every article about blogs, wikis, Facebook, MySpace and social networks is one about stalkers, paedophiles, time-wasters at work, mis-information, and- God help us – poor grammar/spellingz? Am I missing any other reasons to hate collaborative content? And it’s working – either Web 2.0 technology is belittled as in “ha ha you blog? That’s so funny” or we get Orwellian tones of doom “go on Facebook and you will lose your job, be stalked and be addicted, all by lunch time”.

The problem with such a one-sided relationship is that there is no incentive to play nicely. We know each other’s psychological buttons and we push ’em, hard. I’ve noticed that someone will say “hey! did you read that article on *insert social network* by *insert name of spiteful journalist of some loser newspaper*” and I will just roll my eyes and say “nah, now what have they said?” Problem: When media treat us like porn-swilling, child-molesting, time-wasting attention whores, that is us they are talking to AND about: their potential audience, readership, subscribers. Note to self: don’t insult my readers (or not too often – just enough for linkbaiting/talkback)

Here’s Steven Lewis’ piece

Facebook set to destroy Australian economy by tomorrow

The Sydney Morning Herald has this week’s first ridiculous story about social media in Australia, brilliantly bringing into play my favourite media ploy: the nonsense statistic. Hearty congrats to Andrew West, Industrial Relations Reporter, for crafting this piece in today’s paper with a straight face.

The next time you see an employee hunched intently over the computer, don’t imagine he or she is slaving over the office accounts or a report for the next shareholders meeting.

Employees are more likely to be whiling away the hours on the social networking site Facebook, a report says.

Yes, cast your eyes around the office today. See all those people at their computers? It’s “more likely” they’re checking Facebook than working.

The actual Sydney Morning Herald article. Vote for Steven’s piece on Bloggerati Australia.
SurfControl – in the business of making money out of fear – have a page here. I couldn’t find a SurfControl blog. Heh.

Do you know of any articles by traditional media that are positive. I don’t mean the odd bit of freelance work by one of us, but a real genuine mainstream honest-to-goodness positive piece? About mining the ‘collateral’ (relationships) of your business social network? About connecting terminally ill, remote area workers, disabled people to social networks? About children learning to type so they can participate better?

I liken us as Brand Teenagers. What does this mean? Well, until now, we have been children, accepting whatever comes off the evening News, during the ad breaks or on the front page of the paper. There there, good children, take your daily diet of News and then run off and play.

Now we are smart-mouthing back. I ‘m betting most of the user generated election videos that come out of Australia will be prank-ish. Like those really funny Red Symons ones on YouTube. Kevin Rudd at a strip club springs to mind. We take an issue, a brand, a company and say (like all teenagers do) “what does this mean to me? In my revolutionary state? how can I upset the status quo?”. So no, I don’t entirely blame traditional media for hating us.

CALL TO ACTION!!!111!!!
But this is what I do want you to do. The next time someone asks you why Australians don’t blog that much, hardly ever wiki, and why isn’t there Web 2.0 investment in Australia, tell them all your normal answers but tag on “… and because traditional media has a active campaign of disinformation to ridicule and raise fear on social networking tools”. It’s time we really started fighting back -we just ain’t gonna take it any more!

*Wow, like, totally cosmic consciousness, dude. Cat just SMS’d me while I’m writing this blog piece – Kerri-Anne Kennerly is talking to Ian Wallace, Psychologist about ‘internet safety online’ *rolls eyes* he just said that Facebook is revealing information you don’t want revealed! Which is amusing considering how many discussions we’ve had about Facebook locking down content and access…