Newspaper: Social Media at Its Peak and Breaking Apart

It feels to me, that lately newspapers have tried to make me hate them with their ignorance and narrow-mindedness. Again this morning I read about how one Finnish daily magazine is painting pictures of how social media with its services will soon collapse and people start again living real life and meeting friends in the real world and, of course, reading newspapers again.

This getting back to your real life and meeting friends seems to me like they don’t get the whole idea behind things like Facebook. It’s not like we are moving our social life totally to the web, it’s more like social media is an extension of that. We are not just sitting on our butts in front of our computers the rest of our lives, we are also planning and eventing with these new tools which enable us a richer social life. And for example, there’s even these things in Facebook called Events. What do they think people are doing with those? Setting up virtual meetings?

This middle aged columnist is also very sure of that according to his own observations “social media, managing without paper and magazines, has come to its peak and now from here on it’s downhill”. What are these observations he talks about and why I, who follow news broadcasts about these things very intensely, don’t find anything indicating like this?

What I do find is that services are currently finally beginning to find real business models behind these ‘everything free for all’ models. This was also a one thing he attacked towards in his column: not currently having a profitable business model. When a journalist says a thing like that, in a national business magazine, it tells that some people have really lost the game. Some of the new ways of doing business are so way out of what they have used to, that they don’t even believe they can be done like this.

I don’t understand this battle and talk about this social media vs. newspaper anyway. It’s too transparent why some papers write about these things like they do. Not very intellectual way to handle the pain that comes from the reader figures that are coming down. Somehow I feel the smearing of these new ways of communication people seem to like, just another way to some people out there still try to maintain the status they’ve used to have.

I want to end this to a quote from the column: ‘What goes up, must come down’. He meant this with social media, but why wouldn’t this apply to newspapers too? What god has given them the omnipotent status to be the institute of delivering information?

Before the papers there were the travelling salesmen who delivered the news to people with word of mouth principle. They became obsolete when local stores, newspapers and radio hit through.

Look at the situation now. We have in real-time all the information and news from all over the world to see and explore that we can possible digest. I can also ask a valuable question in this situation:

For what do we need this media that delivers yesterday’s news, – out of which many, like the sports section, won’t interest me at all – is produced in a way that wastes so many trees every day and people just throw it away after using it once?

ManageMe 2.0 of the information flood era

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Image by Taiger808 (Licence)

I wanted to share my thoughts on how to manage your time and presence with what the web x.0 can offer in this era of huge information flood; we are at the same time trying to read the news of the world [hopefully people still care about these], our professional news, news of our hobbies [there can be many different branches here], updates from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, new videos from services like YouTube, the list is as endless as one’s imagination and need to feed. So how to manage all this and get the best out of it in a way that you can have a life too?

If you are like me; always searching new interesting things and also sometimes finding them even without searching, you most likely are facing this same problem, the feel of spilling a glass too full.

For the start, I can say this: there’s no way to get them all. You will miss information and sometimes you will miss your friends ‘My dog is sick’ status updates but hey, who cares? The circle of web is continuous and tomorrow you have new things again. This is the first thing you have to comprehend.

Another thing is what really makes the difference to you. What’s really important and what you enjoy? You can subscribe to a hundred blogs, but is it really necessary to fill your RSS Reader too much if the things these people write aren’t that useful to you. So learn to separate what is useful information and what is just echoing. Today there was listed 208,559 bloggers only in the WordPress’ frontpage. It’s not odd if you can loose yourself in this.

But what are the tools to manage the rest of it, e.g. the social services so that you can access them more rapidly? It’s all about management. iGoogle and Netvibes are good examples for this. I used to use iGoogle but two weeks ago just happened to try out Netvibes and am now hooked – and that’s why I’m using it here as an example.

In Netvibes you can group things for example like Gmail, Twitter feed and your most interesting feeds under different tabs which you can name, let’s say as ‘News’ or ‘My Social Sites’. This already saves you some time when you don’t necessarily have to browse and access to each of your accounts one by one.

Same applies to news – this I find as one of the most relaxing things. I want to keep myself updated about things that happen in the world and in the web. I have to and need to do this if I want to be better at my work, have more perspective on things that happen in the world and have overall something to say to other people. But I don’t have the time to read every printed newspaper or even visit their sites. So what to do?

Let’s say you’re interested in economics and business. In my Netvibes I have a tab called ‘Business’ where I have a couple of feeds from business-related blogs that I have found useful. In this same tab I also have a couple of Netvibes widgets and feeds for news sites like Kauppalehti, Financial Times and Newsweek.

I used to have, okay, still have, my Google Reader filled with RSS feeds from too many sites that I can’t possibly read because it would take too much time. This kind of management helps me to glance today’s interesting topics [e.g. news] more easily and maybe catch up some cool and interesting thoughts from bloggers, all this in the same page. And grouping things like this help you concentrate on the same topics more efficiently.

This same way-of-effectiveness applies to microblogging. Although I have to say that most of the time I use Twitter through Tweetdeck, but at the same time I have a tab in Netvibes where I have my Twitter feed, a couple of Twitter search widgets with different search terms and a Tweetmeme widget. This way I believe I maximize the power of using Twitter.

There is of course a lot more that you can do with services like these, and I don’t want to list here everything that I have in my Netvibes. The message of this post was more like ‘There is hope to tame the flood to your advantage AND have a life too’.

Hopefully this post is going to be helpful to people and if you have your own way of interesting web management that you want to share, please do. I’m always eager to hear other experiences.

Issue on newspapers – re-revisited

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Image by Jonah G.S. (License)

I wasn’t going to say anything anymore about the subject concerning the distress of the newspapers [I feel this subject is already worn out and passe], but when one of them publishes a column which is one of the most naive I’ve read this year, I just can’t keep my mouth shut.

This certain Finnish paper is one that I like to read daily and feel they still have authority to speak about the issues they discuss, but today they really hit their head to the wall.

A one writer of the paper, completely moron it seems, is trying to reason why a newspaper is better than an electric reading device with other targets of usage than reading! For example, how would the writer cover his floor when he is going to paint the walls of his house, not with Amazon Kindle anyway, but with newspapers of course! Same thing with fish and flowers; salesperson can’t wrap them to an electric reading device.

Well I have to answer to this; I haven’t in ages got my fish or anything else that I’ve bought in a newspaper, mostly maybe because it is too darn expensive paper to use to things like that. And when I’m painting my walls I’m using plastic sheeting on my floors which is reusable to other renovating targets in the future, as newspapers wear out before you’ve even hit the painting phase.

I don’t even wipe my ass to the newspaper anymore; I did this a while when I was a child [really, I did!], before of the whole toilet paper thing. So the newspaper is no good in that too. And I don’t like to have neither my ass or my fish, covered with toxins that newspaper ink may consist of.

The column in the paper has to be a joke. But if it is one, in a daily newspaper about economy, I have to ask what the heck is the purpose to waste expensive space to something as stupid as this? The columnist, to me anyway, gives an impression that he’s a dinosaur.

If this is the best they can, they are even deeper than I imagined. There’s this one golden rule in succeeding in business: don’t make your customers or potential ones feel themselves like an ass [the donkey kind of thing]. There are still people reading your papers, but they also know the benefits of the ‘Web thing’ often better than most of you, and stepping on their toes on issues like this won’t most definitely increase your sales.