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The internet now drives opinion not the print media October 18, 2009

Posted by kewroad in 2009 predictions, information technology, internet, Journalism, new media, pr, print media, social networks, Twitter, Uncategorized.
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The furore since Thursday evening over the Daily Mail’s Jan Moir’s take on the death of Stephen Gateley serves to demonstrate that communications and opinion is no longer in the hands of journalists alone.  Twitter not only ‘breaks news’ – it also provides the facilitate to quickly garner masses of public opinion around news.   In the old days, a journalist would express a view and all that might happen is a letter from Mr Angry from Bournementh in the letters page the following week.   Many of might have wanted to comment but didn’t have the inclination to write a letter.  Not only does the popularity of Facebook and Twitter  now enable people to comment instantly but these social media tools also enable us to come together collectively, quickly and forcefully to drive comment and lead opinion.

Is this new wave of influential public opinion revolutionary? Well almost.  When before could a swell of opinion be expressed so quickly and powerfully? Long-term, this must have a positive effect on the old powers of the handful of media moguls who have long domintated the printing presses. Surely, long-term, it will be public opinion that drives the news agenda.  This new power of the people can’t be underestimated. Such was the rumpus caused by the Daily Mail article that the  newspaper lost significant advertising revenue. The mail had to remove adverts from big brands like Marks and Spencer, Nestle, Visit England, Kodak and the National Express. 

As the Observer recently reported, the print media is changing beyond all recognition and will never be the same again. We are currently living in a period of incredible change in communications and social media. No one really knows what the outcome will be, all that is for sure is that it won’t be the same as before. 

Sue Grant


Sponsoring Social Media: A Solution or Problem? March 20, 2009

Posted by billyburnettgbc in Uncategorized.
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One of the most enjoyable and influential blogs in the UK, Mobile Industry Review, announced last week it was to become a research service following consistent failed efforts to monetise its 300,000+ users. Upon the formal announcement, regular visitors provided comments ranging from support to sadness to annoyance that the site was closing its doors (unless you are willing to depart with 12k for a corporate subscription).

From a personal viewpoint I have lost one of the few sites I visit on a daily basis, but this move raises the question that if sites like MIR can’t create a blog business model that works, what hope is there? The readership, content and community aspects of the site made it an extremely attractive target for both PR and marketing professionals, so are marketers simply still hesitant to invest in new media?

There are numerous blogs that talk about the ethical obligation that is at the core of the blogosphere and that sell outs betray this ethos, however even online entities need to pay the bills. In its final months, MIR visited Rome, Barcelona and Paris, and delivered hours of HD quality video to its audience all of which were paid for by Ewan himself. So what options are available to today’s bloggers and who is implementing these tactics successfully?

Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research has a great blog resource which tracks some of the ways that bloggers are funding their sites and also provides examples of successful implementations of these “services”, such as TechCrunch, Gizmodo and Adrants.

Demonstrated by the success of the above blogs and also the brands that are investing in them, such as Disney, Microsoft and Panasonic, the sponsored social media conversation can provide a legitimate revenue resource to the blogger community. The challenge faced by these bloggers however is ensuring that these remain open and honest relationships, whilst also meeting the demands of the sponsor.

Can blogs ever be 100 per cent independent when covering a sponsor? Also, how do influencers ensure they do not lose that trust that their social relevance has been built upon? I think the jury is still out on this.