Old Media’s Rules
      in a
New Media World
“Old” media just sounds mean
• What else can we call it?
  – Traditional? Then we’d be passing out pamphlets run
    off a...
How passive media works:
                Something Happens



           Media/Source Tells the Story



        Someone C...
…you know, in theory
Old Media’s Rules
      in a
New Media World
Ok, maybe not “new” media, either
• It’s not new anymore, and it’s not defined by
  the technology. It needs a different d...
What’s really the
  difference
between this…
…and this
Is non-linear media passive?
Fundamentally, it is still the old style – audio, video,
print – just online and you pick the...
The flow of information hasn’t changed…

             Something Happens



         Media/Source Tells the Story



     S...
…but, in active media, the audience is everything

             Something happens


          The audience discusses it


...
And it’s happening across different “mediums”
The conversation can start anywhere…
…and continue somewhere else as something new
Social “Media”
• Social isn’t the medium...it’s the action.




               If the audience doesn’t participate…it does...
Here’s the difference…


       Passive                          Source/Many




       Source           Source/Many      ...
Passive Media’s Rules
        in an
 New Media World
They’re trying…it’s adorable:




Source: The Bivings Report , “The Use of the Internet by America’s Largest Newspapers (2...
What’s happening?




“The newspaper guild (again, reporters, editors, publishers) can't compete by
adding a few blogs her...
What guides passive media theory?
• Media controls the information (Agenda
  Setting)
  – …but not necessarily how we reac...
…throw it out the window




  Source: Flickr user phrenologist
Remember, This is Passive Media:

                        Source

  Many                    Many                    Many
E...
What about here?
                      Source/Many
                      Source/Many

To be a source, you
 have to be one ...
Why does this work?




Let’s play a quick
  game…




                     Source: Flickr user MangoPOPTART
The Birthday Paradox
• The probability of two people out of 57 having
  the same birthday is over 99 percent.
  – You prob...
Media For Masses vs. Media For You
• Traditional media has to appeal to a broad
  audience.
  – One of the biggest content...
…but you can take that chance.
                          Source/Many



  This is you. You have
                          ...
Actually, it looks more like this:
                                                                                       ...
Active media is a choice
• It’s a declaration of the media you want – you
  have made the choice of the agenda of the
  co...
Power Law Distribution




             Source: Future Perfect Publishing
“The Long Tail” in media

                         This
                         happens
          More
                  ...
Active media isn’t told from the
     perspective of the hierarchy


YOU tell it from
YOUR perspective to
the people YOU
w...
Bottom line:
Things have changed

            • A century’s worth of traditional
              media theory has been based...
…we are not driving a car, with gas, brakes,
reverse and a lot of choice as to route. We
are steering a kayak, pushed rapi...
(cc) Dave Levy 2009
                                                       david.levy@edelman.com
                        ...
Old Media's Rules in a New Media World
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Old Media's Rules in a New Media World

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A collection of thoughts on where social media fits in the lineage of mass media history. As presented to Prof. Ken Lachlan's Survey of Mass Communication class at Boston College on April 30, 2009,

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Old Media's Rules in a New Media World

  1. 1. Old Media’s Rules in a New Media World
  2. 2. “Old” media just sounds mean • What else can we call it? – Traditional? Then we’d be passing out pamphlets run off a Guttenberg or scribed by Monks. – Dead Tree? But television media is a lot more like newspapers than “new” media. • How about… – Passive Media • Generally, you are not involved as the media consumer. You get the information as it is given to you and don’t have much say. You consume and don't have the opportunity to engage, discuss, share.
  3. 3. How passive media works: Something Happens Media/Source Tells the Story Someone Consuming Media Finds Out But if we take the audience out…the media still exists
  4. 4. …you know, in theory
  5. 5. Old Media’s Rules in a New Media World
  6. 6. Ok, maybe not “new” media, either • It’s not new anymore, and it’s not defined by the technology. It needs a different distinction that actually explains what is going on. • “New” media is online, but let’s break it into two types: – Non-linear – Social
  7. 7. What’s really the difference between this…
  8. 8. …and this
  9. 9. Is non-linear media passive? Fundamentally, it is still the old style – audio, video, print – just online and you pick the order you see it… …basically a newspaper without Sudoku.
  10. 10. The flow of information hasn’t changed… Something Happens Media/Source Tells the Story Someone Consuming Media Finds Out …just the technology
  11. 11. …but, in active media, the audience is everything Something happens The audience discusses it The conversation is the story
  12. 12. And it’s happening across different “mediums”
  13. 13. The conversation can start anywhere…
  14. 14. …and continue somewhere else as something new
  15. 15. Social “Media” • Social isn’t the medium...it’s the action. If the audience doesn’t participate…it doesn’t exist
  16. 16. Here’s the difference… Passive Source/Many Source Source/Many Source/Many ACTIVE Many Many Many Source/Many Source/Many
  17. 17. Passive Media’s Rules in an New Media World
  18. 18. They’re trying…it’s adorable: Source: The Bivings Report , “The Use of the Internet by America’s Largest Newspapers (2008 Edition)” Dec 18 2008 http://www.bivingsreport.com/2008/the-use-of-the-internet-by-americas-largest-newspapers-2008-edition/
  19. 19. What’s happening? “The newspaper guild (again, reporters, editors, publishers) can't compete by adding a few blogs here, blogging up coverage over there, and setting up ‘comment’ sections. If newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters don't produce spectacular news coverage no blogger can match, they have no right to survive.” -Jack Shafer, Slate, Jan 28 2006
  20. 20. What guides passive media theory? • Media controls the information (Agenda Setting) – …but not necessarily how we react (Magic Bullet) • Media tends to be told from the perspective of the majority (Hegemony Theory)
  21. 21. …throw it out the window Source: Flickr user phrenologist
  22. 22. Remember, This is Passive Media: Source Many Many Many Everyone gets the same information because the source is so huge. It’s the limitations of passive media that create agenda setting.
  23. 23. What about here? Source/Many Source/Many To be a source, you have to be one of Source/Many the many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many
  24. 24. Why does this work? Let’s play a quick game… Source: Flickr user MangoPOPTART
  25. 25. The Birthday Paradox • The probability of two people out of 57 having the same birthday is over 99 percent. – You probably thought about this problem from an individual standpoint. • The probability of you having the same birthday as one of those other 56 people is 15 percent. • What does this have to do with participatory media? Everything. – This same limitation affects passive media
  26. 26. Media For Masses vs. Media For You • Traditional media has to appeal to a broad audience. – One of the biggest content limitations is that it can’t be too specific (yes, even cable). • Your birthday is an individual trait that is one out of 365 possibilities. With 364 ways to be wrong, traditional media can’t take a chance to be so customized.
  27. 27. …but you can take that chance. Source/Many This is you. You have Source/Many chosen to be a part of this conversation. Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many
  28. 28. Actually, it looks more like this: Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many You. You Source/Many You. You. Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many Source/Many
  29. 29. Active media is a choice • It’s a declaration of the media you want – you have made the choice of the agenda of the conversation. – It’s set by you when you pick where and to whom you are going to talk. The good news is that there are many places to join your conversation.
  30. 30. Power Law Distribution Source: Future Perfect Publishing
  31. 31. “The Long Tail” in media This happens More here: importantly, it can’t happen here: Traditional/Passive Social/Active Original Picture by Hay Kranen / PD
  32. 32. Active media isn’t told from the perspective of the hierarchy YOU tell it from YOUR perspective to the people YOU want to talk. Source: Flickr user blue_ocean_powder
  33. 33. Bottom line: Things have changed • A century’s worth of traditional media theory has been based on the idea that we act as an audience first. • You don’t just consume media anymore – you are part of it.
  34. 34. …we are not driving a car, with gas, brakes, reverse and a lot of choice as to route. We are steering a kayak, pushed rapidly and monotonically down a route determined by the environment. We have a (very small) degree of control over our course in this particular stretch of river, and that control does not extend to being able to reverse, stop, or even significantly alter the direction we're moving in. -C. Shirky, Many to Many, Jan 22 2005 Photo: Flickr user visbeek
  35. 35. (cc) Dave Levy 2009 david.levy@edelman.com Twitter: @levydr Dave Levy is an Account Executive on Edelman’s Digital Public Affairs team in Washington, DC. Dave came to Edelman in 2007 after he received a master’s degree in public relations at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He has a deep background in digital media research and assisted, designed and wrote studies on the effects of interactive media as an undergraduate at Boston College. Dave has also written extensively on how mobile communication can be used as a vehicle for grassroots and public affairs advocacy, as well as the impact of real-time mobile communication on mainstream media during major events or disasters. A self-proclaimed geek, he blogs often about the social aspects of social media at Most Likely To Die Alone.

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