MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Social vs. Traditional

On May 26, Social Media Group (SMG) columnist Doug Walker posted a blog entry entitled: “How much does social media rely on traditional media?” The entry discusses the decline of traditional media tools as social media tools become increasingly popular. Traditional formats like newspapers are losing precious advertising dollars to free online news sources–which, of course, are more attractive to consumers as they are free.

The problem is many online sources have an original source in some traditional media source. News blogs, for example, tend to borrow from newspapers, summarizing and commenting on stories which have already been published elsewhere. As such, many blogs have been inadvertently siphoning advertising dollars from the newspapers whose stories they rely on.

Traditional media outlets are now rallying for something to be done to even the playing field. TV and news tax models have been suggested along with pay walls for online news.

My concern here is that raising the pay walls on social media will suffocate the dialogue that it generates in the first place, thus defeating the purpose of the medium.

I’m also concerned that it will be difficult–if not impossible to slap a price tag on something that has been free to consumers for so many years. Furthermore, how could traditional media news outlets determine and monitor each of the millions of bloggers who benefit from sourcing stories from traditional outlets? And when I say benefit, I’m not necessarily referring to financial gains. Most of the bloggers using the stories aren’t at all motivated by money, but rather a universal need (and right) to feel connected, and to comment on the world in which we live. If we begin to police that right we will be moving backward instead of forward when it comes to open communications.

MoneyIt seems to me that traditional outlets would also experience some benefit from bloggers referencing and linking to their stories. This is a free form of promotion for them. Something tells me, however, that promotion and increased connectivity are not $olely what motivate traditional media outlet$ . . .


June 8, 2009 - Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , , , , , , , ,

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