Forbes offers another excellent article (see below) on how Twitter and additional social media platforms influence corporate decisions. The problem with the article is context and an understanding as to how information and opinions are generated. A related concern is the flow of information.
We live in the age of social information where the mistakes of national corporations are publicized through a variety of social channels and quite frankly, that’s a wonderful development. It’s liberating not to have to depend on traditional media to express our views.
But people assume that it’s social driving most conversations and that assumption can cause many to make communication mistakes.
Per Pew, the basics of communication are well entrenched and most conversations are driven by newspapers and established media especially as it pertains to community news. The social world takes its cues from these sources and proceeds with opinions. Because of the considerable decline in newsroom staff and patronage, commenter’s make the mistake of dismissing the power of traditional news sources.
Beyond our determination to see the world as a social phenomenon, it’s not. It’s simply too easy to be negative on Twitter, see http://leonardsipes.com/is-it-too-easy-to-be-negative-on-twitter/. Other platforms skew towards specific demographics thus having limited appeal.
Thus real power continues to be in the hands of traditional media and that’s no surprise because someone needs to investigate and research and write and few within the social community have the resources to compete.
Pick the most powerful commentors within the social sphere and contrast them with the Washington Post or New York Times. Who would you believe? Who do you trust?
The answer is both self-evident and well documented. Traditional media creates the news and traditional media distributes the feeds to hundreds if not thousands of news sources that continue to distribute to their readers, viewers and listeners. Because of the perceived reliability of the source, their influence is unquestioned.
So when we justifiably celebrate the growing power and influence of social let us remember that the real 500-pound gorilla remains traditional media and quite frankly, that won’t change for the foreseeable future.