Rule One of New Media: It’s All About the Conversation

Mark Sigal has written an interesting post about the shift from traditional media in which the main rule was that Content is King to the new media arena in which the Conversation is King.

New media is exemplified by the almost random, helter-skelter manner that conversations about a song, a news story or a video clip can spark up and then spread virally across many groups of “friends” who share similar interests.

It is designed for a generation of multi-taskers that excels at consuming information in “sound bites.” It is about the conversation, the narratives that can shape and direct conversations and the electricity that we feel when connecting with the human sources of content.

Unlike “old media,” where content was the star, in new media, it is about the users and giving them control of what they digest, how they digest it and with whom.

Mark, who is CEO of vSocial and a hyper entrepreneur, suggests a new value chain is emerging…what he calls Channel Me:

First off, it will be user-centric. By that, I mean users will have the tools that they need for easy capturing, organizing, customizing and sharing of content of interest.

These tools will have built in recognition systems (like deep profiles) to systematically connect like minds together, and filters that provide transparency that highlights what’s new, popular, recently viewed, talked about or related content.

More often than not, such content will be ad supported, but the interesting question that comes to the fore is who pays whom? In some cases it will be a third party advertiser looking to affiliate with contextually targeted content. In others, however, the content owner may actually reward the most virally connected users for spreading the word.

I’ll let you read the rest of the post on Mark’s blog, but before I go here is a final nugget…

The evolution of the Web from text, pictures and links to video-powered social nets is as profound as the evolution of broadcast media from radio to television, and it is destined to be no less exciting.


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