The WBUR Social Media Group (SMG); a potential must-attend rendez-vous in Boston.

The WBUR Social Media Group (SMG); a potential must-attend rendez-vous in Boston.

WBUR-SMG has the potential to become the rendez-vous of reference for all interested in social media in the Boston area. On Thursday 30Th of October, the second SMG in the series took place; currently the plan is to turn it into a monthly event

The event featured two discussion groups. One centered around the potential hype surrounding web 2.0 and whether there are ways to balance healthy skepticism while “mining” the web’s potential.

This discussion was facilitated by John Carroll, senior media analyst at WBUR and Adam Zand.

Click here to view a video of this particular discussion.

WBUR - John Carroll

WBUR - John Carroll

As founder of “Manifest” a print-on-demand web magazine, I joined the discussion titled Journalism in a 2.0 World lead by Robin Lubbock of WBUR and Dan Kennedy professor of Journalism at Northeastern University.

Take away points:

– Squeezed from the top and the bottom.

Established media companies such as regional newspapers are being squeezed from the top and from the bottom. At the top, are heavy-weight news providers such as the BBC, CNN, the AP who have the resources to cover events worldwide. At the bottom, are local entrepreneurs who provide hyper-localized content. CCTV in Cambridge, MA for instance or which reviews restaurant in a 12 block area of Seattle. David Boeri of Radio Boston, noted that in Cambridge, MA, there are more subscribers of the New York Times than there are of the Boston Globe.

– Avoiding the fate of the music industry.

Owners and employees alike have vowed to avoid the fate of the music industry. In short, a combination of complacency and late, uncoordinated reactions have put that industry in a precarious financial and negotiating position. How different things would look today if the music industry had wholeheartedly embraced the web and launched its own user-friendly, digital distribution platforms.

Likewise, newspaper-owners are scrambling to find the model which will help them leverage the internet and social media in particular, into a long-term revenue model.

Barbara Slavin (left) and Dan Kennedy (Right)

Barbara Slavin (left) and Dan Kennedy (Right)

– Getting out of the current paradigm.

Like the music industry however, it may be difficult for newspaper executives to move outside the current paradigm which is built upon such potentially obsolete notions as copyright, predictable revenue stream, few or no competitors and a general gatekeeper status.

– News snacking.

Furthermore, the way people and youngsters in particular consume their news is being characterized as news-snacking. In short, news is gathered from a variety of sources, in short amounts but throughout the day. Mobile access to news only exacerbates this balkanization effect.

This is only a short summary of what has been discussed. I look forward to SMG becoming a regular event at WBUR.

To be notified of future SMG events connect to WBUR via any of the following:






The Converstation


One Response to The WBUR Social Media Group (SMG); a potential must-attend rendez-vous in Boston.

  1. Ken George says:

    Caption: At 90.9, Manifest is required reading. Download your copy today!

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