15 megs of fame
On the plane journey to Honolulu
via a delay at Los Angeles airport I picked up this week’s Economist
, enticed by their ‘Survey of new media'
The major difference between today’s new media revolution whether it’s Blogs
, Instant Messaging
or Live Journals
says the survey is that it’s participatory and not authoritarian. The new media generation basically wants the ability to discuss the issues and not be told them.
The word “weblog”
was invented in 1997 and this became shortened to “blog”
two years later. The longest running blog of all is said to have started in 1997. When I wrote my first post on What was the score?
in June 2004 I was one of 5 million bloggers. There are now 27 million and Technorati
tracks an amazing 50,000 new posts every hour.
The result of all of this plus 24-hour television is that newspapers sales are in steep decline. Rather belatedly most newspaper titles are espousing the online media, after shunning it for a long while although the exceptions to this are The Guardian
and The Times
, which have long been regular staples for the news and article internet browser.
I don’t buy a newspaper anymore and in fact only read one is coffee shops. I seek all of my news and observations from the modern media, whether news sites, portals or blogs, wrapped up with a dose of late night television news.
However it is not that I have given up on newspapers, it is just a consequence of me living here and frankly being bored by the insular rantings of the US mass media and no longer having a commute. When in the UK I like nothing more than a lazy Sunday reading the Sunday Times
for the generally thought provoking articles and specific supplements and the News of the World
to see which latest footballer has just spunked half a million quid on a turn of a card.
I am a news junkie and I crave up to date news and sport at my fingertips. I really don’t understand anymore why someone would want to read a football report from a Saturday afternoon in Monday’s newspaper or what the ‘latest’ share prices were at 4pm yesterday or for that matter the weather two days ago in another continent. That is not news, nevertheless from the very early days of being a paperboy I do like nothing more than pouring over newspaper print.
One author has said that “the last reader will recycle the last newspaper in April 2040,”
but The Economist
survey points to the fact that the newspaper industry is in a perfect storm, despite falling circulations. Cost cutting has resulted in above average profit margins and newspapers are cutting their cloth and print accordingly. Recently famed media mogul Rupert Murdoch said that newspaper websites have to become “a place for conversation,”
this after he bought MySpace
, an 'online blogging and social-networking site.'
Online news sites such as Guardian Unlimited
and Times Online
have long been regular staples for internet news and article junkies like myself. In fact they feature pretty high in the list of most linked sites from blogs – 22 million blog’s link to Guardian Unlimited
and 18 million to Times Online
. The most linked websites are the New York Times
(56 million) and CNN
(52 million). My preferred “go to”
site, the BBC
, has 25 million links according to Technorati
points out that that most bloggers want to co-exist with the old media and this can only improve journalism as it becomes a collaborative process. The London bombings
last summer were used as an example when “citizen journalism” produced such harrowing images taken at the scene, which were soon being uploaded to professional news media within minutes.
A new joke in blogosphere goes that Andy Warhol’s proverbial “15 minutes of fame”
has now become “15 megs” (megabytes) of fame. My brother is a designer and has always said “that everyone thinks they can design, but not very many of them can.”
If you’ve ever clicked onto the “next blog”
button you will realize that this is also true when it comes to writing, but as The Economist
says it is the taking part that matters!
Read some of The Economist's
'New media survey' here