New Media Gets the Buzz, Old Media Still Pays the Bills
I’m not a luddite. Really, I’m not. I get the whole social media frenzy. We in broadcasting must engage with the tens of millions of people who tweet and post to facebook. Social Media is a legitimate force, it’s just not taken over the world – yet. Saturday was a great example of how the worlds are converging, but “old media” is still the primary force.
WOSU hosted a PubMedia Camp Saturday – a day devoted to exploring how facebook, twitter and other social media channels can build community and encourage engagement. It was a terrific event. Lots of brilliant creative thinkers came together to share ideas and force each other to communicate in new ways. We saw how tools like facebook and twitter have exploded and are now the media gateways of choice for millions of people around the world.
But there was an undercurrent of irony throughout the day.
As big as social media is, old media pays most of the bills. During an excellent opening session it was 40 minutes before the topic of a social media business model surfaced in the discussion. A participant pointed out that one social media guru who has found a way to make money on the web has a book on the New York Times Bestseller’s List and gives motivational speeches around the country. So this new media guru’s measure of success is the printed word and the spoken word – the two oldest forms of media we have.
One of the most popular sessions attended by the new media fans was how to pitch and produce a radio and TV program for WOSU. It seems our “old” media still has some cache.
The last bit of irony came after the camp, late in the evening- 11:35 to be exact. Betty White hosted Saturday Night Live. Her appearance came because more than a half million facebook users successfully demanded it. No doubt the campaign was an overwhelming social media success and showed how powerful facebook is. But think about it for a moment: The facebook movement began when Betty White reappeared on a television commercial during the Super Bowl. And what was the end result of this “new media“ crusade? Betty White performing on live, over-the-air network broadcast television – something she first did in 1952 on the sit-com Life with Elizabeth.