Spider-Man and Social Media, and Other Monday Reads
My list of interesting Monday reads begins with an article I clicked on only because I found the headline amusing: “Everything I Needed to Know About Social Media I Learned From Spider-Man.” But lurking behind that teaser is a very smart article looking at how Stan Lee built Marvel Comics into a powerhouse by interacting with his readers in a way any blogger or forum regular will recognize. Lee was protoblogging in print a good three decades before the digital boom. All the hallmarks of blogging and community are there — the direct, colloquial, personal writing style; encouraging readers to engage each other as well as the person providing the forum; acknowledging smart comments and building on them; and rewarding frequent writers with ranks. A very smart take by Sven Larsen, of Zemoga.com.
Judy Sims of SimsBlog (which has one of the more awesome taglines I’ve seen on a blog) passes along six hunches about the future of journalism. I agree with them all, particularly her hunch about journalists becoming their own brands (the subject of my very first post here), but what really jumped out at me was something I hadn’t encountered before: Reuters CEO Tom Glocer’s dividing of new-media companies into three categories. To Glocer, those categories are seeders of clouds (generate high-value content for links/comments), providers of tools (along the lines of the Guardian’s work) and editors and filterers. That’s an interesting way to think about the challenges facing newspapers as they transform themselves. Should they make sure they have editors and products that cover all three of those missions? Or are they better off redefining themselves as one of those things? And how do you decide which path is the right one?
Then there are two stories I read, found fascinating and need to think about some more.
The New York Times’s Bill Carter writes that everything you probably think about DVRs and their effect on how many ads consumers watch is wrong. It turns out that many more people than networks expected watch the ads rather than fast-forwarding through them — according to Nielsen, 46% of viewers 18 to 49 years old do so. Carter explores what this means for free TV’s business model, and what might be behind such counterintuitive behavior.
Finally, Robert Scoble examines why chat rooms and forums get less interesting over time, while blogs get more interesting. Required reading for anyone thinking about Facebook, Twitter and any other form of community — which today means all of us.
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