Old Media. New Tricks.

Archive for the ‘television’ Category

Traditional media outlets on the web are notorious for not providing link love. They simply post the content from print to the web with no annotation, link or way for readers to learn more or examine the sources. Even articles they write about technology or websites are devoid of links. Sure, they’ll put the address in the article, but the link won’t be active.

They build a fortress around their content. The only links allowed keep visitors within the garden through the nav bar, or take them off to buy soap and shampoo through sponsors. This is no way to build loyalty, trust or respect from your audience.

For more on this concept, check out the post Getting Credit for Word of Mouth.

catch the buzz … pass it on.

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Old media doesn’t get proper credit when word of mouth spreads the stories they break.

People say “I heard it on the news,” or “I read it in the paper,” or “I saw it on tv.” They credit the medium, but they don’t credit the actual source.

However, when a message is spread in new media, the source is an integral part of the sharing.

We don’t email someone to say we read about something. We send them the link.

When we blog, we don’t just randomly quote a news story, we link back to the original story.

The credit is given. The link is mentioned.

In new media, we don’t say “I heard it on the radio,” we say “I heard Buzz Bishop do an awesome interview with Robbie Williams and here’s the link.”

Many old media outlets don’t provide active links within their stories, even when writing about websites. If they would activate the links, bloggers would know when they’re mentioned and help publicize the story.

Many articles don’t have sharing functions attached to the stories allowing readers and listeners a chance to instantly add the story to their Stumblog, Facebook page, or Delicious bookmarks.

By not giving the audience the chance to share your content, you are creating a one dimensional online presence. One that is basically worthless.

By giving the audience the opportunity to share the message, you not only give the audience the chance to spread the message beyond your original reach, but you get credit for it.

Word of mouth is the most valuable advertising you can get, but is your brand the message, or is the medium getting all the credit?

catch the buzz … pass it on.

George Stroumboulopolous‘ show, The Hour, does a great job at taking news stories and not dumbing them down.

It does that by first explaining the story, giving some background and context before going deeper.  You know, getting us all on the same page.

I love this show. It explains all the details of those overly complex international issues in a way that’s easy to follow. Plus it also carries alot of stories that the mainstream won’t. [stumble upon]

Tonight, as I flipped on my local news, the two lead stories were about animals.  A man with a pack of off leash pitbulls, and a new beluga calf at the aquarium.

There is no explanation needed for these stories.  They’re easy to understand, readily consumable and don’t require a lot of thinking.  You have an instant emotional reaction to the story.  There’s nothing to really understand here, we love animals, we’re afraid of mean dogs.  Easy.

Earlier this week Russia invaded Georgia.  I dont know much about the story, yet the news will toss 30 second highlight reels of tanks and bombs towards the end of the news with no explanation, context or basis for understanding.

It became even curiouser when Russia faced off against Georgia on the beach volleyball court at the Beijing Olympics today.

I’m sure we’ll see lots of the bikini coverage before we have any real explanation of why Russia did what it did, why it’s important and what the implications are.

I’m not asking for round tables with talking heads and experts and opinions and talking points, I’d like a 30s breakdown of the facts, sort of what you see on wikipedia.  Why not call it wikimedia?

The Ossetians are a distinct Iranian ethnic group whose origin lies along the Don River. They came to the Caucasus after they were driven out of their homeland by Mongol invasions in the 13th century. Some of them settled in the territory now known as North Ossetia (currently part of Russia), and South Ossetia (currently part of Georgia). [wikipedia]

Sure, wikipedia is not the best source of information, but it can draw a nice thumbnail sketch when you need one.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the local news tried to do that every now and again?

The news, as it is presented right now, is dumbed down, but it can smarten up.  Editors and producers just have to take a second to do some research, explain the facts and set the table.

catch the buzz… pass it on.