A worthwhile read from Brian Solis, a fellow soaked in social networking who comments on the future of journalism. Without a doubt he is right about how a consumer connects to relevant journalists and the coterie they build via various social networks. He accurately describes the Darwinian demise of traditional journalism as well along its devolutionary timeline.
As a relative old-timer, I am not ignorant of the online world, I believe his thesis has some merit. What's missing from his treatise is the notion of high standards. His argument is that quality journalism will be recognized by the number of followers the individual cultivates and accumulates in the social graph. I don't wholly buy that because self-promotion, which he recommends and is quite good at himself, is wholly different than solid journalism, e.g., investigative reporting over a long period of time.
He skips over the discussion of monetizing this upheaval, leaving it to the media moguls and publishers to figure out how to tap the 'groundswell. But he basically says that publishers need to embrace their best journalists rather than the other way around.
What eludes publishers is the very thing that can save them, the new model for not only surviving the evolution, but also thriving in the future ecosystem of publishing and connecting content with audiences—where they congregate online. The new media economy will embrace a shift in content creation and revenue generation from a top-down model to a bottom-up groundswell.
The socialization of the web is powered by not only the ability for citizens to publish and share content, but also the wherewithal and associated rewards for connecting with the real people and the personalities with whom we follow. This is paramount as publishers and journalists can learn from the ongoing documentation in the art and science of online community building.
Many more thoughts, but little time.