Watching Social Media for the Crashes?


I caught the recent story in the New York Times about Twitter feed, The Media is Dying. This is a feed that is dedicated to charting the employment status of PR industry professionals. According to the story the site was started to monitor “hirings and firings”. Be honest, like watching racing for the crashes, it’s about the firings…and there are plenty of them right now.

I can’t help but think this sort of use of social media is a bad idea. You might say “Phil, lighten up.”, noting that it’s no worse than the many gallows sites out there right now. Sites like stiffs.com, youbettheirlife.com and a host of others. And believe me, as the creator of ComicTwit, I have shared more than a few bits if humor that qualify in this camp.

This is different. To me it’s a bit more disconcerting. Aside from our morbid habit of seeking a bit of entertainment out of the suffering of others, no matter how unemployed, old, or dead, this one highlights and consciously or unconsciously, celebrates the struggle of an entire industry.

The media landscape is certainly changing, but I question if it is wise to act as vultures circling the victims of that change? As a radio broadcaster (The talk or radio dying began over half a century ago.) I can tell you that has a lasting impact on the medium and its players.

As one who is grateful to be part of Social Media, an incredibly young industry, I don’t want to be seen as dancing on any industry’s grave. I’d rather look for the opportunity to show what this new media can do to help traditional media and the people that are dealing with its rapidly changing landscape every day.

Comments

  1. Hi Phil. Seems to me this sort of thing could potentially result in an awful lot of lawsuits. We are what we publish and the internet is no exception. I think we need to educate people to think about their future before putting anything online. Thanks for the post. Something good to think about.

  2. My concern is the number of people who are rubbing their hands with glee about the prospect of the media dying. It’s as if they want to be uninformed and, I’m sorry, “new media” has not shown itself to be fundamentally geared toward informing on a consistent basis. The world isn’t going to be informed consistently well by people who are doing it when the boss isn’t looking in their cubicle at the software development firm.

    Maybe serious journalism looks that easy, but it’s not.

  3. Funny how some things never change when moving media formats.

    When I worked in “traditional” media exclusively, the reality was that people tuned into the bad news. It’s all numbers driven, so since the bad news brings the people, and the people bring the advertisers, that’s what ran.

    These sites are simply using an age-old tactic.

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