Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Media and Traditional Media

I was reading an article in the New York Times about how fashion designers are embracing new media. You might be asking yourself if I have suddenly become a fashion devotee, but a quick look at my latest photos would dispel that thought quickly. No, I found the link on twitter and thought it looked like an interesting story about social media. And it is.

The gist of the story is that designers understand the benefits of giving new media, like bloggers, prime press locations at shows, and that traditional media sometimes doesn't like that. They mention traditional media is trying to work within the structure of new media and that they sometimes fail to understand the culture and have a "generational disconnect."

They offer the following as an example: "(From “Dating Tips: Why It’s Important to Get That Number.”)" When I read that I had to think for a moment about what they were talking about. Number? Of course they mean phone number, but it took me some time to make that connection. The phone is not how I would necessarily choose to connect with someone. In fact, my phone is used far more for facebook, twitter, texting and emailing more than talking. Of course, if I wanted to text I would need the number, but they'd give me that number through some other method.

It wasn't a conscious decision for me to become a "new media" person instead of a "traditional media" one, it just happened. The technology went one way and I went with it. I wasn't driving it there, I was just riding along.

But as I'm always telling people when I teach social media - technology doesn't go backwards. Once there's a cool thing we can do, we're going to do it. The trick is to find a way to make it better so I want to pay for it (iTunes), or capitalize on the mere fact that thousands of people want to do it (Facebook/Twitter). The world certainly looks different these days. No question about that.

There are so many ways traditional and new media could benefit from each other's approaches, but there would have to actually be communication for that. And, that's difficult if one is talking on the phone and one is texting.

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