What does the Internet mean for you?
Why should we treat Social Media as New Media? We are increasingly consuming the stories we care about through social media. The term social media may be misleading because it suggests that we go on it when we take time away from real work. When social media platforms start being used by people, it may seem to be the case, but as time goes on, it becomes a place where the news is breaking, and commercial transactions are taking place. We have seen how the American president Donald Trump uses Twitter to make essential announcements about his work as leader of the Free World. President Trump has been on the warpath with traditional media organisations accusing them of being sources of fake news. It seems that he relies more on his Twitter handle than the conventional press. The media is our source of news and entertainment. Social Media seems to be increasingly assuming that role.
Smoke and drums
We have always used various methods of communication as a human species. We used the smoke and drums for their visual and auditory impact. As cavemen, we painted our caves to communicate visually. We have since replaced the smoke and drums with television and radio.
The printing press changed the face of communication. Information was available to more people but controlled by a few individuals who became very powerful. They decided which stories were consumed. They became dominant media houses. They controlled production and distribution. They could make or ruin the reputation of individuals and companies.
The invention of the radio gave birth to media companies which controlled the production and distribution of news and entertainment. Eventually, individuals or organisations produced content, but it was up to the radio companies whether or not that the material was distributed. Media companies became very powerful, and politicians warmed up to them for more coverage and propaganda. He who controlled the media had leverage.
The television combined video and audio. Initially, the TV controlled the production and distribution of content. Those who owned television companies became powerful companies controlled by influential individuals.
The Internet of static web pages
Then Physics said, let there be the Internet, and it changed everything! In its initial stages, the production and distribution of information were still controlled or accessible to those who understood how the Internet Protocol worked, how to input commands using a programming language. The user interface has been gradually improving, allowing those who are not tech savvy to participate through the production and distribution of content.
The social Internet
The Internet has become social. Individuals can easily blog, podcast, and video blog as producers and broadcasters. We have obliterated the monopoly on creating and transmitting information. We are in the early stages of getting a piece of the digital real estate. Those who can manage the attention on the social Internet are winning.
The Media Internet
All Social Media platforms eventually become media platforms. The difference is that the media platforms allow contributors to run business models which enable them to sell products and services. They also become trusted sources of news and entertainment. I have been asked by some of my friends when I would next go on Facebook live. There’s an expectation now that I will provide some form of entertainment or information.
Every individual with a Social Media presence should consider behaving like a media company. You should gradually improve on both the quantity and quality of your content production and distribution.
The future will be controlled by those who can provide the value that will grow their brand and influence. With value, brand, and influence, you can sell products and services.
All pictures are from Pixabay.