Old & New Media Can Get Along

18 07 2010

For my final post concerning the impact of social media on traditional media, I want to sum up this topic as a whole and point out the broader impact instead of focusing on specific examples. Let’s start off by recapping 11 lessons that we have learned.

  1. Social media has contributed to the decline of old media.
  2. Social media offers valuable 2-way dialogue.
  3. Social media is weaving its way into television.
  4. Social media can have a sense of humor.
  5. Social media is going audio. (Keep your eye on Audioboo)
  6. Social media has helped magazines stay alive by boosting the quality and quantity of their content.
  7. Social media policies can be controversial.
  8. Social media is a valuable tool for horizontally integrated companies (like ESPN).
  9. Social media has and is making a tremendous impact on journalism.
  10. Social media has helped some newspapers keep readers engaged.
  11. Social media has helped old media engage in online conversations.

Now I know these are not the only things we have learned but they are some of the fundamental lessons. So now what can we conclude about the impact of social media on traditional media?

Like we have already discussed, although social media has contributed to the decline of old media, social media can be used as a very valuable tool for old media to remain competitive. The 2-way dialogue that social media creates has changed the way people communicate across the globe. Whether B2B, P2P, or P2B, I think it is safe to say that social media has made communication much more efficient. For traditional media, this has vital effects because they must keep up with the pace of modern communications. Obviously social media is the resource to accomplish this but old media must strategically use this resource just as any other business must. I encourage traditional media companies in need for such strategies to check out Erica Swallow’s 6 Crucial Social Media Tips for Traditional Media.

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I believe overtime the two will learn how to get along and reach a balance. Newspapers will probably continue to struggle but I hope at some point they reach a threshold where they seize declining because they are so critical to the value of journalism. Just like in the CNN blog post, if social media and traditional media can work to create a mutual relationship it could be very valuable. Autonomous and objective news should be our number one priority as social media progresses and we build this relationship between old media and new media.


WSJ Still Thrives in Tough Times

18 07 2010

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As we have already discovered, traditional media are searching for new techniques to engage their audiences to offset low readership and circulation (newspapers and magazines). Most of these media end up finding social media to be the answer, and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is no different. Except the WSJ requires readers to subscribe for a monthly fee (unless they want to pay the yearly subscription in whole) to access all of their content, so how is the WSJ using social media to engage their audience?

Well for one, the WSJ has a blogs page that is free for anyone to read and share via Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and nearly any other social media channel. They also have a very comprehensive Facebook page that incorporates their blogs, streams their Twitter feed, and offers other news stories for free. Their Journal Community allows readers to connect with other people and discuss topics. Honestly, I had trouble finding content that I actually had to pay for! So what exactly are subscribers paying for? Well they receive updated news alerts, access to their online markets data center, printed journals 6 days a week, and an iPhone or Blackberry app if they subscribe to both online and print journals. But do you think the WSJ offers enough perks to convince people to subscribe?

With 414,00 paid subscribers for online content and an over all circulation of 2.1 million, the WSJ leads the pack as the most widely circulated newspaper. The WSJ has actually felt a slight increase in circulation while other newspapers struggle with declining circulation numbers. Some have said that the WSJ demonstrates the proper way to use a pay wall and still find readers willing to pay for newspaper content. Although some bloggers have condoned the WSJ for their social media policy, it appears as though the newspaper has embraced social media strategically and appropriately.

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Even though you can access most of the WSJ’s content for free and share via your social media of choice, I still believe the newspapers quality reputation gives readers a valid reason to subscribe. In fact, all this talk about the WSJ really makes me wish I still had a subscription! What do you think?