Monday, May 18, 2009

What's in a name?

If you go back a few years, before the internet and social media had taken off, the world received all of its news-based information from journalists. And everybody interested in the news realised this – easy.

Wind the clock forwards to today and audiences have an ever-growing number of avenues to receive and digest news. The traditional routes of television, radio, newspapers and magazines still exist (although most of their audiences are in decline) but now we have to contend with internet resources like blogs, forums, boards, wikis, social media sites like Facebook and alike.

And to the 'man in the street', we need to accept that it can be confusing. What's the difference between a blog and a forum, and what should they read for what type of news? Who's important and who's not – how can they tell?

In my view, we can make it simple. If we strip out all of the titles – journalist, blogger, board reader, editor etc – and just use the word 'influencer', I believe it should make it easier. After all, all of these commentators, irrespective of the medium they are using, are creating influence in their audience. Clearly some will create more influence than others, but that's been the case.

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