On the Importance of understanding what you are writing about

Nick O’Neill needs to do more research. Most of what he writes is speculative based on two or three months of research rather than sociological research. He goes after trends and gut feelings. As a result whilst his content is interesting to keep a track of it’s not relevant to the type of content I am looking for.

Podcasters and social media people need to take a more academic approach to their writing. I’ve found myself angry with what Leo laporte and other podcasters have said. Some of them are really pro certain technologies and boasting about their advantages without taking a media tech and society view.

What I mean by this is that technology and communication are cyclical. What was really common in older media is going to become common in new media as more people come to use it. Radio and letter writing are what podcasting and e-mail are to their contemporary period.

It’s the same with the iphones being bricked. There was such an outcry within the early adopter crowd that you’d think technology has never evolved. We all know that more apps would be created for the Ipod touch and iphone for example.

It’s interesting to see how things are evolving and how by looking at previous technological trends we can see how the future will take place. Those who write about technology need to have a media studies background for a proper, well based understanding of their topic of conversation.

If you want historical information you want to find professors and their PhD thesis, the same should be true about technological writing.

The Social Media

Forget the term new media, it’s passed, it’s gone. Today’s key word is social media. What this term means is the following. Any medium that encourages conversations via new technologies, whether twitter, blogs and podcasts or forums is a social media.

It is the idea that authority has disappeared. Rather than be talked to by the content producers a dialogue is formed. Liana Lehua of Girls gone geek.tv for example started following me just as I was listening to her talk on another podcast than your own.

There is no need for the tabloid press to tell us what the “rockstars” are doing, rather they tell us themselves. Look at Leo Laporte’s blog. Look at Documentally’s two websites. Look at Loudmouthman, Jeff Pulver and others. These people all create content for us to enjoy.

Each of these people is taking advantage of the social media to create a profile for their activities both as podcasts and textual content. Those who are new to the media, who have yet to create a name for themselves have a great opportunity. If you’re a sociable individual then take some time to learn about the social media movement and participate.

Participation is a key concept. We are all publishers, we all have a website. We have moo cards and they’re social media bookmarks. They’re just a quick way of sharing contact information. As soon as we get to our computers we add those we meet and keep up to date with what we’re doing. It creates a great sense of unity.

They’re also taking advantage of the new social media landscape. It’s a shame that most people are limited to zombie biting, vampires and other wastes of time rather than sharing their creative output. I wish more people would write about what’s important to them and share it via twitter, blogs and of course aggregate the content according to the various social media tools like Plaxo Pulse, Lijit and Tumblr.

This is a call for more people to take proper advantage of the current social media trends and participate more actively. Don’t just join a social network and post photographs. Write and produce content as well.