I’ve just been listening to the latest GilmorGang podcast and it just rammed home to me how much mainstream media bashing takes place, more often than not from a position of ignorance and naivety.
Mike Arrington could barely contain himself in declaring that MSM was getting it’s arse kicked, claiming that all the scoops were being broken by bloggers and that big media is basically a dinosaur facing extinction.
Now, I agree with a lot of the criticisms of MSM. For the most part they still don’t get what’s happening, but it’s the height of hypocrisy for many “new media” folk to think they understand everything about “real media”. Let’s be real. Most of the latest breed of “new media” people aren’t actually media people, they’re technologists. They haven’t been out in the field competing for scoops or writing under the pressure of having zillions of eyeballs analyse your every word. They haven’t edited a magazine, understood the importance of building voice, personality, authority and community. They haven’t been a publisher so they don’t understand that quite often you have to kill great content that readers love, because you can’t make a buck from it.
Let’s be very clear that your memeorandum’s, digg.com’s, reddit’s, etc are piss ants to mainstream media executives today. They’re numbers are still relatively insignificant and they’re certainly not stealing ad dollars. Despite what Mike Arrington said, outside of this incestruous little Web 2.0 community that’s so fond of feeling each other up, big media still dominates the agenda for bloggers to feed off. And any time they want, big media is thinking they can step in, make an acquisition, and catch up in a single, swoop without having to have poured big dollars into trials and prototypes like they did during the first dot com boom.
So show a bit of respect. The best thing any of these new breed of aggregators could do is partner up with a really, really smart “old media person”, who understands a whole bunch of stuff that you don’t have a clue about.
Because the reality is that we’re going to arrive at a point that it is part-man, part-machine. Part old media, part new media. New media models still have a long way to go, the game has yet to begin so before any one gloats about eating anybody else’s lunch, you might want to wait until you see what’s being served up for dinner.
(BTW, I continue to admire Gabe Rivera – who was the special guest on that podcast – for his modesty and acumen. He actually gets that there’s a long road ahead, that Big Media is part of the story and at least from the outside, seemingly refuses to let, himself of memeorandum get too big for its britches).