COM0011 – Desperately seeking Social Media

I was finding it a bit hard to blog about Social Media when I have so little personal experience interacting with it. So to get started, I cast around to see if I could find some effects of Social Media in my own back yard…

Here we have consumption of traditional Media. But not Social and not very sociable either:

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This looked like a solitary sort of media activity…

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…but, it ended up quite sociable. Sociable Media:

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Ah ha! – this is the classic Social Media image – all wired up with that healthy electronic glow:

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Here’s some Traditional Media production that will no doubt get promoted on Social Media:

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Television is the kind of Media I’ve worked with. I’ve been on both sides of the television industry fence – I worked in documentary film production for television, and then jumped over to the other side, to buy programming.IMG_20150923_154008

Poor old Television – left behind in the wild tidal wave of Fragmentation and Multi-Platforms, Digital Divides and Discoverability, Cord-Cutting and Over-the-Top Television.

I’ve watched as the new and nimble platforms for media consumption displace the industry I’ve worked in for 20 years. In the world of documentary film production, filmmakers and producers took pride in being thoughtful and thorough. During a golden window, resources existed to take time, and to research in depth. However, at the same time formats were more rigid and the paths to distribution were narrow.

Social media platforms such as You Tube and Kickstarter created a whole new way to imagine distribution and audience, and to monetize production. The strict formats and lengths dictated by television are slipping away and the production cycles are faster.

IMG_20150923_153941The stability of the old system has been lost, and fewer people can make a living in documentary film production. On the broadcast side, as eyeballs turn away to other screens, the whole economic structure that television is based on teeters. Advertisers notice the drop in viewers, and are beginning to shift their dollars elsewhere.

It remains to be seen how and if the new structures will allow filmmakers the luxury of making a living from the venerable craft of documentary story-telling. We are living through a media revolution. And social media has played a big part in the turning of the wheel.

While I dabble my toes in the little Social Media puddles in my backyard, wondering how they can be relevant to me, I’ve also been whirled about in that tidal wave sweeping away the old foundations.

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