Thursday, 23 August 2007

Time To Bash New Media, Again

Is it just me or has there been more than the usual amount of new social media bashing going on in old media lately?

Earlier this week Steven Lewis and Laurel Papworth wrote posts about the ridiculous SMH article, Facebook labelled a $5b waste of time. Steven asserted that this article brought into play his "favourite media ploy: the nonsense statistic"

Laurel maintained that "They HATE us. With a passion. Every article about blogs, wikis, Facebook, MySpace and social networks is one about stalkers, paedophiles, time-wasters at work, mis-information, and- God help us - poor grammar/spellingz?"

In addition, there has been more than the usual amount of Second Life bashing going on lately. This post outlines the string of articles that have appeared recently in publications such as Forbes, the LA Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The question is: why is this happening now? Could it be that old media is beginning to feel more than a little threatened by new social media, and that people feel compelled to criticise what they can't understand?

Could it also be that most brands entering SL (or rather those advising brands) are approaching the Second Life community in an inappropriate way. Surely it's a bit early to be declaring the brand experiments in virtual worlds to be a bust. I'm sure the brands that have experimented with social media have learned a lot from the experiences they have already had - others are being left behind by not participating.

Haven't we seen this kind of thing before? I seem to remember that the first time around there were some ups and downs, but in time things began to work out pretty well for a lot of people (and brands) who began working with (what was then) new media and stuck with it.

1 comment:

Gavin Heaton said...

I think you are right ... there is definitely a scent of fear in the air. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but there have been a raft of articles locally and internationally that deliberately seek to undermine the value of social networks. Just take a look at this article from SMH. While the article comes to a balanced view, the headline is highly sensational.
I thought the music industry were operating with their heads in the sand ... now it seems that mainstream media are the ones who, while happy to exploit the trends exemplified by social networks, are actively seeking to downplay their importance. Interesting times.