Social Content vs. Big Media Content: Do You Have to Pick a Side?

Wow. The Blogosphere is all a buzz today on what seems to be a battle for which you’re supposed to pick a side. The major stories have to do with YouTube allowing CBS to filter comments on its videos and have them on a separate page (rather than right below the video itself) and the New York Times adding, that is, “surrendering to” social news (meaning, you can submit NYTimes articles directly to Digg, Newsvine, or Facebook from within an article).

Mix that with the lingering rumor that Fox, Viacom, CBS, and NBC might have a YouTube competitor in the works, and you have all sorts of opinions flying!

Some are predicting the downfall of Digg & friends, explaining that social sites like Digg breed negativity of sorts. Others point out why a YouTube wannabe funded by the man couldn’t function properly: quirky, home-made videos would be lacking.

And on top of that, there’s a third viewpoint being called “de-portalization.” The idea that portals’ (Yahoo, Google, etc.) relative traffic will decrease as the “foothills” (blogs, etc.) traffic increases. Since Craigslist, MySpace, and YouTube are all considered portals in this model, the focus seems to be on the little guy taking the lead, trumping both social sites and big media sites.

I have no idea where any of this is really going, but it is fun to watch the speculation from the sidelines. In the mean time, I hope no one minds that I utilize all three types of sites (big media, social sites, and the little guys) and would prefer none of them to disappear…

  • As long as a portal can generate a sense of community, it will be successful. Digg has been successful so far, but the trick is keeping it up.

  • Logan

    The thing about the Digg community is that it’s becoming only community and nothing else. It’s a community of people trying to game the community more than anything–it’s certainly not primarily about news or information. It’s almost like a pyramid scheme, feeding off its own growth until the lack of substance catches up with it.

    About the overall post, I don’t think you necessarily need to pick sides in this. In a way, it’s actually an exciting time for the whole media industry as it works to incorporate the Internet into new models of news and information distribution. I expect a lot of new things will rise and fall as different experiments succeed and fail.

  • Bob Caswell

    I agree. It is exciting to see how individuals or companies take advantage of the landscape. Good things seem to be coming from multiple sources.

    That last sentence of mine probably seems more like a, “Duh. What else is new?” comment, but sometimes I feel like we need the reminder…