The medium is the message. And while some of those media messages may stick, most lack substance. Look closely.
“Real journalism matters.” Pics via Columbia Journalism Review.
Movies, books, magazines, music, and podcasts. There's too much content and too little time.
We can try to keep up and multitask or listen to podcasts 2x their speed. But it's a zero-sum game. The internet never ends. There will always be another Netflix show to catch up on.
Yet we mustn't fret. We only have so many hours in the day.
Attention competes with sleep.
We spend 18 hours of our day staring at the rectangular glow. How much of that time is consciously doing versus seeking distractive entertainment?
As tech journalist Jonathan Margolis points out, we're consuming ever more media but not necessarily getting more intelligent. Yet, the sales of physical books are up! Go figure.
“A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny.”
“We are all on that train, the one that left print behind, the one where we are constantly in real time, where we know a little about everything and nothing about anything, really. And there is no quiet car.”
The train is a metaphor for life. It never stops moving. It's all about the now space and time, just like the Internet.
If you get off the train, you'll simply be left behind. Even if you hop back on, you will have skipped too many cars to catch up. But you may have given yourself a new life.
The actual headline reads “Please allow me to rant for a moment about the state of the media” not Facebook, but that's the way Tumblr imports the link which adds to the further hilarity and paradox of Mike Hudack's (Direct of FB Product) post about the media producing a bunch of Buzzfeed link-bait articles which of course, Facebook heavily promotes.
Journalist Alexis Madrigal wisely rebuts him in the comments:
My perception is that Facebook is the major factor in almost every trend you identified. I'm not saying this as a hater, but if you asked most people in media why we do these stories, they'd say, “They work on Facebook.” And your own CEO has even provided an explanation for the phenomenon with his famed quote, “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” This is not to say we (the (digital) media) don't have our own pathologies, but Google and Facebook's social and algorithmic influence dominate the ecology of our world.
And we (speaking for ALL THE MEDIA) would love to talk with Facebook about how we can do more substantive stuff and be rewarded. We really would. It's all we ever talk about when we get together for beers and to complain about our industry and careers.
Twitter’s Creative Director Doug Bowman sums up his love for the platform before exiting:
I love how people can gain a new voice with Twitter. It has given me a louder and farther-reaching voice than I ever thought possible. And while I can only physically be in one place at one time, I love how Twitter distributes my awareness of what’s going on nearby or far away. At any moment, I can instantly know what’s going on in the next room, in the next town, or in a country halfway around the world.
Twitter is the microphone for the global machine.
In order of customer acquisition importance:
In order of customer retention, it's probably the reverse.
The good news about information overload is that people are reading more. The bad news about information overload is that most of it is irrelevant, a waste of time.
We need more information DJs like Dave Pell. He visits 60 websites a day and distributes the top 10 stories to his email list. He writes a brief sentence next to each story to give it context.
Information digest is normally what magazines do. They curate the news and spit out their perspective on global events. Some do it better the others. Sales for The Economist magazine are already up this year. Most publications are still trying to figure it out.
Readers want quality depth analysis. They’ll pay for someone else to whip through the noise on Twitter, RSS, and Facebook and pluck the best stories to read.
If Bloomberg is serious about cutting large sodas from the New Yorker diet, he may want to consider passing a law on reader diet as well.
The Internet killed information scarcity and with it, reader attention. But less is more. The new reader focus should be on quality and brevity.