The above graphic, from Rob Cottingham’s incredibly witty and apt blog, Noise to Signal, underlines the importance of politicians’ awareness and use of social media as part of their personal branding.
Similarly, Ed Moltzen’s post, “Give Me Twittering, Or Give Me Death”, raised the interesting point of whether Twitter and other forms of social media will create a conflict between confidentiality and free speech. When I followed up with Ed on Twitter, he noted, and I agree, that “[politicians] who don’t ‘get’ Web 2.0 will be ex-pols sooner than later.”
Ed got me thinking about whether this will also apply to other areas, such as business, education and news. Since the last one irritates me the most, let’s talk about that.
I don’t like to read the newspaper or even watch the news, unless it begins with that catchy Matt Lauer song, when he travels around the world and you have to guess what country he’s in. I like that because it reminds me of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, and I can pretend cops are going to show up any minute and throw him in the clink. (Sorry, Matt, it’s just the way my mind works.)
I was brought up in a household that always had 2 or 3 papers delivered daily, and my parents would listen to the nightly news as well. My father-in-law is an extremely intelligent man, and he stays current by reading the Times each morning. I like to be informed, and I appreciate the research and hard work at papers or news stations. My argument is with the sensationalized style of news that seems to relish tragedy.
For example, here are some of the top news stories today:
- Gangs invade Calfornia’s island paradise
- 9 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attack in Afghanistan
- Police launch massive search for missing N.C. mother who disappeared while jogging
There was also a chance to watch a “Bus Brawl” on tape on ABC News, which I declined to view.
Michael Moore and others have gone in-depth on skewed news and fear-mongering, better than ever I could. Suffice it to say that this is why I like social media so much. It’s current, it’s made up of honest opinions for the most part, and while it touches on the darker side of life, it doesn’t rely on disasters to be interesting.
Great examples are Tech Crunch, which constantly reviews new Internet products and companies, Twitter’s MarsPhoenix which reports on NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander, and Digg, Truemors and Sphinn, which have a “for the people by the people” approach, with rating systems that allow the masses to select which news stories should be read.
So, here is my question. As more and more people want valuable, accurate information, do you think that the news will have to change how it presents itself?