Why traditional media editors will turn to bloggers for articles in the future. Social media = content PLUS audience.
If you are managing a newspaper or TV station or radio, will you contract out work to a freelance journalist… or will you ask a known expert that blogs to write the article? Someone who is held in high regard in that industry or specialist topic, who has an audience of other people interested in that topic and who has now had 3 or 4 years of writing/blogging and retaining interest of the online community?
In a serious bout of new speak, Mashable’s founder (and good guy) Pete Cashmore said in a post that “We’re in the middle of an exciting transition as social media and the mainstream begin to overlap in all sorts of interesting ways: this underlines our belief that social media
isn’t some marketing fad, but rather a fundamental change to the way we consume and interact with content. We’ve been covering this transition for four years, from the rise of social networking to the birth of the “social media” movement as people began to use these tools of personal connection to pass content around the web.”
If I didn’t make it clear already, as much as I love Pete, that quote is pure waffle.
The deal with CNN positions Mashable to pull massively clear of their main rival TechCrunch on a page view basis, having overtaken the old Michael Arrington guard in April this year. (From Inquisitr which will probably do a similar deal soon).
A bigger example than what I was thinking of, but it works just the same. If you are a freelance journalist investigating social media, particularly one with a specialist ken, get blogging. Pronto. At the moment, CNN are linking to Mashable. But soon they will pick up the popular content – similar to Australian newspapers that have business news “by Washington Post” or something. Syndicate, syndicate – the more content is read, the more it will be read. There are NO diminishing returns, or flagging interest, no matter what traditional media people say. You can show something for free and still sell it when it become popular. I know it seems odd, but we buy what we value- hence people buying a DVD then buying it again later when the Director Edition comes out. Get your stuff onto as many channels as possible, as spreadable as possible and that will conversely build you an concentrated audience. But I digress… Newspapers aggregating content from popular blogs is a no brainer. And it beats them skimming the cream off now, by paraphrasing what we are blogging.
Incidentally, I’m available for hire to write a column on social networks and online communities. You just have to edit out a few *giggles* and *heh*s along the way. I’m cheap too. Hmm what’s that? You want me to write an article based on this but longer? Oh ok. And … I can blog about it but I can’t repeat the full article? >:( oh. ok. I guess so. How much??? – You’ll bring traffic to my site… are you kidding? Oh , ok, Mr Boss Man. One blog post, errr article comin’ right up!