Listen to this: "Once abundant privacy is now scarce. Once-scarce publicness is abundant."
No wonder traditional media is experiencing a little trouble. Everyone can participate in the public relations, news-gathering and publishing processes now. I like to call it TNN, the Twitter News Network.
Anyone with a Blackberry or iPhone can take a picture, add it to a tweet with a hashtag and send it to a high-traffic site to beat the media at its own game.
Just the other day, social media and business futurist Owen Greaves of Abbotsford showed me his Fraser Valley Daily www.Paper.li newspaper created from the tweets of some 300 people on a local Twitter list.
Photos, blogs, websites and other information was automatically aggregated by a computer to create a current snapshot of what was going on in the Valley. Its accuracy and range of coverage is amazing. And it includes content the mainstream media does not seem to have space or an appetite for anymore.
Last weekend I was among the 13 speakers at Fresh! Fraser Valley, the brainchild of two very active and interactive social media gals who showcased some 50 local businesses at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre.
I talked about my transition from traditional media to new media and pulled out some old gems like my Model 100 Radio Shack computer (the precursor to the laptop) and its acoustic cups (to attach to the telephone to communicate with newspaper office computer mainframes).
You should have seen the smiles when I pulled out a contact sheet and a page of photo negatives that have gone the way of the dinosaur with the proliferation of digital photography
I told the audience that journalism is not dead. No way.It will just find a new platform. How that service will pay for itself is another discussion.
When I read the prose of experts who say content is not a product, I believe it. Advertisers have always been the ones footing most of the bill, because they want to be in the warm environment of where the eyeballs are.
And when I see a quote like this one: "The business of media is about connecting people. It's about building relationships," I can see right away where the profit-driven media is falling down.
Content is a tool to build relationships, not to be hidden behind a wall.
Paywalls only diminish the value of news, since journalism is supposed to be delivered in a timely manner to the "widest" audience.
By reducing newsrooms to only a handful of people, time for meaningful networking with the community dies, and the poor souls left behind in many cases have no idea who they are writing about or even know what their titles or links to others are. That's sad.
I also relayed the fact that blogs gave people the power of the media.
On the big screen at the Ramada, I showed a surfer and a huge wave. I pointed to the surfer and indicated that it was traditional media. The wave is social media. Whether the surfer sinks or swims, depends on his skill. A true test of the media's social media abilities is to ask it a question online and see if you get an answer.
Tweeting, for example, is about building relationships, not constant broadcasting. So if no one seems to be home, you know what's going on.
One other thing . . . long-time friend and photojournalist John Morrow showed up at the Fresh! Fraser Valley speaker series to take photographs. It doesn't mean any of the images he snapped will be published since traditional media space is the final and scarcest frontier, but I was thankful for his presence.
Morrow is a media ambassador who connects with people. He knows communications, like any important business, is based on sound and trusting networks and relationships. Even though he is not involved in social media yet, he gets my prize for knowing that people matter.
Do you know anyone like John Morrow in your media organization? They will save your bacon.