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I am New Media and so are You!

journalist-webWeb journalism looks nothing like the picture of the “press” I’m using for this post.  With smart phones, we have created an army of new media journalists who can turn any event, or non-event, into a news story.

Be the media is a philosophy I’ve tried to employ with this blog and it’s working out quite well.  I’m going to keep doing it.  So is everybody else.

As social media becomes more widely adopted, more people are going to be sharing online their life experiences.  Paul Carr at TechLife wrote an article the other day that’s worth reading.

And yet despite the obvious differences between the two groups -the kids down there and the grown ups up here – there is one thing we have in common. Almost everyone – young or old – has a phone in their hand.

As befits their demographic, the kids are using their Nokias as cameras – pointing them at the stage in anticipation of their heroes’ arrival. And as befits our demographic, we grown ups are using our iPhones to tweet that same anticipation, but only – of course – after we’d checked in to the venue on Foursquare. “Wow. The real-time web is awesome”, I remarked, to no one in particular.

His conclusion is the real-time web is driven by self-interested narcissists.

And what’s the point of checking in on Foursquare at a ticketed event that no one else can get into. You might as well tweet “I’m a dick” and be done with it.

And yet this real-time mentality – pictures/tweets or it didn’t happen – continues to seep into every aspect of our lives, both personally and professionally.

Are you a “dick” for publishing?  Or are you a “dick” for publishing about yourself?  Sometimes people get so excited about things that happen to them, they can’t help but share.  Today we have a million ways to share; Posterous, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, text, video, podcasts, email, letters, cards, and phone calls.

The difference between being the media and being a self-interested narcissist is who you talk about.

Last week I attended the Stompernet meetup group on the recommendation of a new friend.  I took my camera.  Why out of 23 web marketing pros I was the only one taking pictures, I don’t know?  I told the group organizer I would give her the photos which I did by posting to their meetup group online.  Then I made this blog post about the amazing experience.

Do you know what she did?  She told her contacts at corporate and they emailed other meetup groups around the country.  I saw some traffic from tweets and my Twitter followers doubled.

If she hadn’t?  That’s ok too because I had a great article for you, the faithful reader.

That’s how I approach being the media.  I talk about other people, places and businesses.  That’s how I add value to an SEO client.  That’s how I add value to people I know.  That’s how I create interesting content for readers.

Do I know that reciprocation will happen?  Yes.  That’s the nature of humanity.  We are for the most part very selfish beings.  We are self-interested.  We couldn’t survive, thrive, create and be on top of the food chain if we weren’t.

So next time you’re at an exclusive event or simply enjoying your day, do tell your friends about it.  Your local news sure won’t.  Be the media!

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