Sunday, June 3, 2012

Social Media Singularity - Resistance is Futile

Somethings happened last week.  Something big.  Did you catch it?  Did you notice it?  I have spent the last year writing here about social media and how it is transforming the business landscape.  I have used analogy of Midnight to Dawn over and over (I am getting sick of it too) to capture how things are moving toward the social media sun in the sky at NOON.  (see last post that mentions this analogy here)

Well, I would say we saw a shift in the time from 9:00AM to 9:15AM this past week when the New Orleans Times Picayune a venerable newspaper and stalwart of a tight knit community that is New Orleans announce that it is moving to a 3 day a week print schedule (SEE LINK HERE).

It seems mundane to bring it up.  We are seeing music stores collapse because of the Cloud (thanks to both Pandora and definitely Spotify).  We are seeing bookstores vaporize because of Kindles and Nooks.

So why do I say this is a movement from 9:00AM to 9:15?

Because it is about news...the place where most social media information can start.  Yes it starts on twitter.  And yes it can start on your facebook page, but the mainstream news can often be the public focal point of the a story that carries enough importance to be discussed.

Of course, because of the concept of C2B (consumer to business ===>>  see white paper here), there is no question that many stories and quakes across the world do start both organically and socially on the web outside of the news.  But to me the announcement this week is really an important moment.

It is important because it is the first admission by a major news publication that over time it can't and won't compete with virtual news.  I would hope to believe that greenpeace is smiling somewhere as are the many trees that will be spared from the choice of stopping print.  This announcement really says to the people of this great land that if you don't want to be left behind it is time to get digital to stay focused.  The news will never be the same not because you can't read everything you want from the Times Picayune, but because if you don't have a means of being connected digitally, you cannot even get the news.

But even with all this...there is still something even more important to consider.  The reason the clock moves forward is because for a major news publication to change the cadence of its printing schedule, tells anyone who is anyone that social media data IS valid now.  This to me is the inflection point we have been waiting for.  If all newspapers (the "accepted" vehicle to get your news) go online, then the eyeballs that read them are officially the silent part of the social media data creation.  And if everyone has to read their paper digitally, then we are all officially accepting this mode of data sharing.  Why?  Because at the bottom of each article on line is what...a place for comments.  These comments are now social media data and if all papers are online and have these comment windows then the data set and method of communication has officially changed!

The next step in the transformation of the news to "clock" what percent of articles for news online has a comment.  This will be the blurring of the lines between social media, C2B and the data generated on the other social media formats like twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums.

Welcome to are now late for work.  At 9AM, it was okay to be 5 minutes late, but at 9:15Am you are now 15 minutes late and if you remember the 15 minute rule in college you will remember that if the professor is this late you are free to leave.

That means if you are late, you will be left behind with the group moving onto to other things...

Don't be late, start the change...