The essence of social media in under 5 minutes

Yeah, I said I was taking a week off, but…

This post from Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine and author of The Long Tail, is something you shouldn’t wait on.

Chris posts a short video that captures the story of Web 2.0 in less than 4 tail.jpgminutes. The video didn’t show up on my NetNewsWire screen, so you may have to link directly to the blog post. Take the time.

And if you haven’t read The Long Tail, do it now.

Update: In my haste to get out the door this morning I failed to credit the dude responsible for this video, Professor Michael Wesch of Kansas State University. He’s part of the digital ethnography group at KSU, which should not be confused with the REAL KSU.


3 Responses to The essence of social media in under 5 minutes

  1. You are so addicted, it’s not even funny. And which Mac are we running NetNewsWire on these days, good professor?

    (And, if anyone’s interested, you can get through LT in roughly six hours. Fascinating stuff.)

  2. Andy Curran says:

    In Web 2.0, there will be what I call the “cream” effect. Certain blogs and podcasts will rise to the top and become a real force in this new age. Some already are, but more will follow. This is no different than what happens in mainstream media. Several factors will determine who the leaders will be: credibility/expertise of the blogger, quality and timeliness of content, audience interest in the subject matter, how well the blog/podcast is promoted and distributed, and how persistent the blogger is. Blog relevance might not happen overnight because there are a lot of voices screaming. It is a noise that reminds me of listening to AM radio on a clear night. You could pick up hundreds of stations from distant cities on every frequency from 540 to 1700. On some frequencies, two or three stations overlap. My goodness, I wonder how many new Anna Nicole Smith blogs have popped up since she died a few hours ago?

    Mainstream media will still be the major source of news. The unemployed guy blogging from his mother’s basement won’t be able to cover Iraq like CNN. But bloggers who closely follow developments in their fields will continue to follow up on news items in their blogs and podcasts by posting their opinions and sharing links to different sites. I believe that people will become more aware of the world around us as their interest is sparked by bloggers.

    Mainstream media already sees the value of blogging. Just about every news outlet worth its salt has blogs. There is also the potential of A-List bloggers getting hired or bought out by MSM outlets ($$$$$). Matt Drudge and the Wonkette come to mind.

    To me, the beauty of the web is the ability to get news in great detail. Time and space are limited in the broadcast and print media. Web pages allow these outlets to expand their content. In their Friday print edition, USA Today will not have any details about Thursday night’s Southeastern Louisiana vs. Texas-San Antonio game other than a one-line score on the agate type page. Not so on their web site:

    Blogs and podcasts add to this element of detail. They also provide fresh perspectives.

    With that said, I have thought a lot about this and have been studying different issues related to blogging. I believe that I might be able to contribute some positive things to this arena and add yet another two cents to the overflowing tip jar. I plan to launch this sucker on Thursday, March 29 at 7:00 am on wordpress. I’m still fine-tuning the content details, but I’ll use some old media techniques to pull this off. Hey, I’m a retired radio guy…what can I say?

    I will have to thank (or strangle) Professor William for piquing my interest in the blogosphere. Maybe you could link to me and I’ll link to you when everything is set up.

    I will be in touch. Now get back to your research paper!

    PS: I always thought the real KSU is Kennesaw State in Georgia!

  3. Bill Sledzik says:

    Cool. But if you’re gonna be one of those bloggers who posts between midnight and 4 a.m., don’t look for immediate responses from this one. Actually, your background and experience, both with radio and with video, will serve you well. We’re seeing more and more video bloggers. You can post to your own site, but you can also upload to YouTube. Double dipping! Of course, you’ll run out of space on WordPress real fast if you post video files, so I’d recommend just writing about the video, inserting a still image, then linking to YouTube or one of the other free sites.

    The shakeout you refer to — your “cream” effect — is happening and must continue. Otherwise the blogosphere becomes a giant hole of noise and confusion. The “conversation” the blog pioneers could become anarchy. When that happens, many will tune out. But as the search engines and filters improve, I really think it’ll be fairly easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. I mean, just try googling “toughsledding” and you find one really smart blogger dominates the page! Power to the algorithms, man!

    Speaking of reserch, I haven’t yet had a chance to review what Professor Wesch is doing out in Kansas, but with over half a million views on YouTube, it’s a safe bet he’s the most famous “digital ethnographer” in history. Impressive case in the viral nature of Web 2.0. The tools are there, and anyone with a little vision can do this.

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