The Future of Social Media in Journalism is Simple
Okay, I’ve got a premise for a you: I think the future of social media in journalism is simple. Not “simple” like, “Hold up, y’all, I got it all figured out.” Simple like, let’s stop trying to confuse our users.
A lot of folks have been linking to this Mashable opus “The Future of Social Media in Journalism.” It’s about as lengthy as its ONA Panel title would suggest – but kudos to them, it’s comprehensive and up-to-date. If you’re interested in the intersection of social media and journalism, it’s definitely worth a read.
Now, I whole-heartedly agree with the premise that social media is going to turn into just “media” and that newsrooms have an awful lot of adaptation to look forward to. I had one big thought inspired by this, though: I think the future of social media in journalism is simple.
Among the article’s examples I was caught by Intersect. Their two-minute explanation video left me baffled in a way that clicking around in their site only compounded tenfold.
Now, I don’t mean to pick on these guys (though maybe I’m a little miffed that they’re using that tagline despite it being on a few legal pad drafts of my own projects) I’m sure this is a smart and important effort. But my point is this – why are we still giving users more complicated things to interact with? Shouldn’t we focus on building tools and systems that either a) make interaction as simple as possible in the places your users already are or b) use the user-generated content that’s already being made out there and build new products just for journalists.
Two good examples of this:
A) CNN built IReport right into their Iphone app. Perfect integration.
B) Storify. It’s a tool built for journalists to pull from across social media where people already are.
(There are some good examples of this in the article, too. TBD’s coverage of the Discovery HQ shooting is probably the best.)
Keep it simple folks. And classy. Always keep it classy.
RE: Social Media becoming just Media, Gary Shteyngart’s new book ‘Super Sad True Love Story’ presents a near future where this has happened. It’s pretty interesting, well fleshed out thinking on his part. A very relevant dystopia – prepare for your conversations to be Nielsen rated. I’ll hand it off to you this week.