Not sure about that. We see ideas made out of it every day. Whether they are hashtags, blogs, tweets or and invitation to share based around content. Look at the success of the recent Wispa launch on Facebook, which generated thousands of comments, or the thousands who told their stories via the Barack Obama #40dollars campaign. Words and pictures used to create stories that we go on to share.
But Bailey insists that you can’t see, hear, touch, taste or smell ‘social media’ and you can’t use it to express an idea. And you can’t do this he says because “social media it isn’t media at all”. He says this because unlike traditional media you can’t make social media do what you want:
“You can’t make other people do or say what you want. People talking about ideas online is not media, it’s plain old word-of-mouth.”
So really his issue and definition of media is with control? Media is only media if you can control it? If you can buy it: buy ad space, TV spots, banner ads and poster sites?
Control and ownership is one of the definitions of traditional media and lack of it is one of definitions of social media.
Control is certainly a big issue, but lack of it doesn’t disqualify social media as media. That just makes it different.
And besides on that basis, the basis of control, are ads that we can spoof online or posters we can graffiti no longer media as control has been ceded? Or are they no longer media because they are assailed by a torrent of abusive comments and are forced offline?
It is certainly true that ideas need to be rigorously thought out. If they are not they can easily be lost control of as we have seen in recent months with Qantas and McDonald’s. Two brands both savaged on Twitter when social media campaigns when awry.
There’s also the issue that social media campaigns can, and often do, comprise numerous elements. It might be a video shared
by @gordonmacmillan | http://wallblog.co.uk
Interesting piece by Nick Bailey, a creative director at digital agency AKQA Amsterdam, on why he thinks social media isn’t really media at all.
He makes a lot of good points, but I think he is also wrong as he falls into the trap of trying to directly compared traditional media and social media and of course they are different in a great many ways.
He echoes what many say about social media at the start of his piece , i.e. that it is not like traditional media. He starts out by trying to define what it is not; it is not “paper, charcoal, pencil, canvas, paint” he came across at art school; and that it is not the print media, billboards, broadcast and traditional online media that he first encountered working in the ad industry.
Media, he says, was stuff you could see, hear and touch. It was what he used express ideas, which leads him to the problem he has with “what the word ‘media’ means when it has the word ‘social’ attached to it”.
He says that while we all agree that it is important, and that it is everywhere, “no-one seems able adequately to explain is how you make an idea out of it”. Continuar leyendo «When is Media not Media? When it’s Social media»