Some pundits, such as Steve Rubel
, have stated that the term "social media" is moot. The contention is that many blogs have since grown to have similar or greater reach than many "traditional" media channels.
I, however, think that the distinction between Social and Industrial/Traditional Media is valid. Here are five points that highlight the differences between them (from Wikipedia
- both industrial and social media technologies provide scale and enable anyone to reach a global audience.
- the means of production for industrial media are typically owned privately or by government; social media tools are generally available to anyone at little or no cost.
— industrial media production typically requires specialized skills and training. Most social media does not, or in some cases reinvents skills, so anyone can operate the means of production.
— the time lag between communications produced by industrial media can be long (days, weeks, or even months) compared to social media (which can be capable of virtually instantaneous responses; only the participants determine any delay in response). As industrial media is currently adopting social media tools, this feature may well not be distinctive anymore in some time.
- Industrial media is held to account to society for the content quality and consequences of their activities, in terms of the values of public interest, social responsibility and editorial independence. Social media is so far not as accountable for their publishing activities.
I'm sure there are many more distinctions and similarities we could draw. Any others you'd like to add?