May 5, 2011

You Are Controlling The Future of Digital Media

Much of the web experience, particularly in the way we consume content, is becoming social and personalized. The public re-use of stories and the ability of consumers to share content online allows for the piece of content to be read by hundreds of other consumers.

Clay Shirky
notes that
the aggregation of news sources has gone to the consumer side. The decision about what information to receive and bring together into a bundle is now made by the consumer, not the publisher. People now don’t go to the New York Times homepage but they go to the story because someone has tweeted it or put it on Facebook or emailed it. People are now assembled by other consumers, not the news source. 

Consumers are also no longer consuming digital content on a single device. Instead, they tweet on their laptops while viewing a TV program, watch another show on their tablet during a commercial or look up lyrics on their smartphones while listening to a song on the radio. This new behavior will force content producers to adapt to it. That is why publishers will have to incentivize viewers to discuss content on social networks and applications.

Moreover, the way users engage content is becoming more of stories that have deep social integration and crowdsourcing nature. Social platforms are shared spaces and so the stories there are more open and collaborative, which challenges journalists to abandon their traditional “we write, you read” approach.

 is one of the companies that is trying to add context into the equation. They are enabling the community to share stories that are attached to a time and a place 
and showcase that information on a timeline that intersects with people’s stories. Such concepts are a product of the changing behavior of consumers which ultimately forces publishers to become multimedia storytellers, community builders who can facilitate conversation among various audiences, and bloggers and curators of good quality content.  

Do you agree users are the drivers of future digital media? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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