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Write a book!

As the second highest authority - the pope - is now fiddling with social media and feels competent to give advice (see "you don't have to be brain-dead to give advice" and the comment "but it helps"),
it might be good to step back, look at all the soc-med-mess, take a deep breath and ask yourself:
is this what I wanted to get involved in, am I gaining something? Anything? Am I wasting my time?
There are studies in abundance showing how much intellectual potential is blocked by wading through the net in search of information, people and networks.
Since most of the air-brained blog-posts out there were written with the hope to get attention, build a following, and to get heard: written to build a reputation, it looks a lot like a big room full of kids yelling, jumping, kicking and scratching to get noticed. But while they all scream their lungs out - this information-inferno is just numbing.

This is where intelligent filtering sets in.

We look for content. Original, 'manufactured' content. Something that is an intellectual, artistic, emotional output of a real author. Social Media still have that scent of snake-oil around them, because they were highjacked early on by sales- and marketing-people. In the beginning there was all this trading of followers, the SEO of blogs, manipulation, trickery, pure magic and, yes, snake-oil, to get as huge a footprint as possible on the net.
The discussion about the future of classical publications, printmedia, cinema etc. helped rethinking content again. The difference between journalism and googling becomes obvious.
I was thrilled to read the testimonial for rock-solid content by one of the seniors in the pond of social-media-sharks, James Altucher, who manages to attract and entertain a huge crowd by delivering unique content and skillful marketing. His latest entry summarizes pretty well what counts in the struggle for net-reputation: if you want to get noticed and *stay* noticed, produce real value.
Write a book! (damn! - as James would add)


Sandor Ragaly said…
Indeed the debates on the future of "classical" media - strongly fueled by the resp. economic crisis - were/are at least the point of departure for media enterprises' actions changing the whole internet content quality for better. The professional output of classical media with its value for bigger audiences - trying to be relevant, interesting, new, etc. (s. news value etc.) can often be seen a contrast to e.g. blogs primarily made to by technical means get attention (let's say "impression blogs"). At the same time, there are also many blogs aiming at just "expressing" one's interests or joy, being private in nature (though online), and being less professional. And there are weblogs trying to foster political, social or artistic ideas and give input to ongoing debates, trying to reach people to: express, impress, persuade, discuss issues, start a relevant dialogue of relevance - this of course requires the most solid content (not trying to offer complete types). And they are nearest to classical news or special interest media, or to essays, science papers, books - relating to content, method, objectives, passion, or effort.

What's going on, part of the net revolution, is that traditional media's professional (self-)concept, news values/norms, and journalistic methods are more and more confronting the blog scene they have powerfully entered because of their will to survive: first with simple online-presence, then with own blogs, communities, institutionalised user-written articles, fora, social network output vignettes, and with many specific profiles of journalists, see the editors-in-chief to be found and interacted with on the relatively prof-oriented Google Plus. The comparison made possible now for users of all kind means: The norms, aims, methods and the user value of prof media are *attacking* weak points of the blog scene where those can be found.

So by this, it is right that "the difference between journalism and googling becomes obvious" - but further on, this difference will - contrarily - be overwhelmed to a certain degree: in a kind of co-orientation taking already place. See the classical media development since the introduction of private tv broadcasting companies ("Duales Rundfunksystem") - where, after major content/formal differences between private and public broadcasters in the sensational beginning in 1984, the so-called Konvergenzthese (convergency thesis) showed to be valid in the following years. Convergency in content and presentation - observing each other, learning, mutual adaptation in certain respects - indeed strongly took place - while at the same time, still strong (and subtle) differences remained or developed.

However, general professionalisation and rising user value takes place and will get stronger as a simultaneous trend! For the prof media are powerfully influential (e.g. already predominantly setting the issues/the agenda for Twitter tweets, as an empirical study found), and moreover, general professionalisation processes take place not only in the media, but also in the sister field of public relations. So, ameliorated content quality and a better finding them can be expected in the net.
At the same time, blogs might explore their more specific field, their ecologic niche to co-exist further on; less in the field e.g. of news, if they lack e.g. the resources, but in other, "their" areas of communication and community. But: If interested in any contact or publicity, they have to invest more precision and effort in finding and defining their specific target group - and their overall-concept based upon this audience. Today's often "experimental" stage will partially convert into a more professional era ("professional" in a quality, not necessarily in a business sense).
Thank you now I get James Altucher's post delivered to my e-mail.

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