Media Is Human

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Have you ever really considered that one of the biggest shifts we have seen in the past decade is that media has suddenly become human?

It may seem obvious enough. "Of course media is human, just look at Blogs, Twitter and Facebook!" But, in fact, it’s not obvious. Media used to be fed to the masses by talking heads. Someone who was reading a teleprompter from a screen where the words were carefully (and politically) crafted by a team of producers, writers and editors. Foregoing that and looking at newspapers, even that content from the seasoned journalist was highly edited by “at least” one person (if not a handful as well). This is not a question of "all hell breaking loose" when anybody and everybody can publish content, but it is curious to think about how emotional media has become and how personal the people who create it are to us all.

How does a tweet make you feel?

In the old days, the best stories would leave their mark. Be they happy, sad, tragic or inspiring, it was something we talked about around the water cooler or discussed at the dinner table. We paid no major attention to the actual source who provided the content” they were simply the conduit for the story. Now, more often than not, the stories that strike a chord within us are happening to people we know (at some level or another). It’s amazing to think that as long as people are connected, all of that content does become media.

It’s something to think about.

Media is not created by someone else. It’s created by someone we know. Most of the people we are currently getting our media from we either know in person or are connected to online. Even those more traditional mass media journalists we’re more connected to than ever before. We’re learning and knowing more about them because we’re following them on Twitter or friending them on Facebook. They actually want us to follow them and learn more about them… the personal side.

Why does media becoming more personal and human make media better (or does it)?


  1. Personalized media isn’t necessarily better. Neither is media in a social context.
    All these platforms provide are increased potential relevancy. However, great creative shines because it is remarkable in the true sense of the word – remark worthy.
    Personalized messaging is phenomenal when it’s personal. But we aren’t talking about personal, we’re talking targeted. Targeting increases potential relevancy, which is perfoms as a creative optimizer/filter, not an analytics technique.
    Social succeeds when it speaks to the viewer/participant as a social experience, as something trustworthy, humanly relatable or as part of an experience that speaks to a broader social movement (which is why you share with friends).
    Targeting is a tactic. Targeted creative is an art. Remarkable, social worthy, share-worthy creative is a strategic skill and an art. This is nothing new. It’s as old as a good retailer delivering a great product experience and saying “tell your friends”.
    Great point, great post, as always.

  2. Personal and professional media both have their place and play an important role in how we understand our world. One allows us to connect and express ideas and the other informs us in a more formal way.
    Right now I feel like media is more human, but human beings can have ugly sides and we need to strike a balance.

  3. After reading this I stepped back for a minute and thought about what you where saying. I’m not sure that news it self has change as much as our water cooler area has grown.
    While we maybe losing the physical act of an old fashion yes I said an old fashion face to face conversation aren’t we with twitter facebook etc.  just simply shifting from a face to face chat with friends by the cooler to a faceless conversation amongst our ever growing cooler hangout in the digital world. The news 9 times out of 10 starts off the same but only seemingly becomes human by the people we fallow through our digital coolers.
    For instance I read a tweet which usually started from either someone’s blog or from a traditional media source then I rt and begin the human conversation in the digital world. If the story is extremely note worthy I may find myself walking around the office looking for someone in the flesh to tell my new found news too.
    I would argue most of the great blogers out there are just as professional in there writing as the traditional media outlets they just have less staff not less resources.
    So while we maybe getting our news directly from our twitter account I don’t know that media has suddenly become more human as much as our water cooler area has grown into a digital oasis of friendly conversations once only to be shared by few in an office setting or at our local pub.
    Always great a great post thanks Mitch.

  4. What was once “word of mouth” is now “word of type”. Word of mouth has always been the best and biggest form of advertising. However no one could accurately measure its size like we can now with online media.
    The benefits to this digital social sharing is that once something is communicated it is saved indefinitely and almost anyone in the word can find it. Not just people within yelling distance.
    Tell the word about the cafe that ripped you off, not just your neighbors. But I guess twitter followers are now my digital neighbors, I don’t really know who lives next door these days.
    It has just started. I believe site like twitter and Facebook will expand more and more, enveloping more of our daily lives and recording our memories!

  5. That is a great point – media has become human.
    The very fact that few people interact with brands on FB or Twitter but instead the people who are running the brand is such a change from even 5 years ago.
    Your point that “Media is not created by someone else. It’s created by someone we know” makes media far more influential because it is now closer to our hearts and lives.
    The blogger / tweeter who responds to me and engages with curries favour with me – and gets my offline word of mouth.

  6. The biggest shift is that the web was finally accepted (as opposed to ‘the internet’), and its not really that big a shift. Once we step outside of our technophile myopia, it becomes pretty obvious that, well, not a lot has changed. 10% of people still make 80% of content. Most people using these services are still just watching, reading, or what have you with a small group.
    The difference–and this is an important difference–is that *who the content controlers are* has changed. The people who control the veto on what airs and doesn’t is no longer the power base that has been building itself up for the last 50 years. Now they are just equal oportunity providers (though they’re trying REAL hard to change that). And maybe that actually does make it somewhat more human in a way…
    … at least if we declare the old media dynasties ‘swine’.

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