In the world of content, technology and people he writes and consults about, pundit John Blossom sees a Content Nation. It is growing rapidly. When he wrote a book by that title a few months ago his Content Nation had a population of 73,000,000. In his weekly www.Shore.com Enewsletter, Blossom said recently that today it is easily 100,000 000 people who “use social media to seriously influence others.”
AWCom is not sure if that figure includes all the persons in the world already connected to the web (Blossom says there is a huge market of 5 billion people who are not), but those who are will help generate more data by individuals in 2009 than in the history of mankind through 2008. That’s according to Andreas Weigend, writing about The Social Data Revolution(s) for Now, New, Next, The Monitor Talent Group Blog.
Obviously, that staggering amount of data needs to be sorted, edited, packaged and purveyed in chunks easy to assimilate, if at all. It is less daunting a task for matters automotive – Google only has 219,000,000 entries for automotive 😉 – as of this writing. That’s where auto journalists come in, except increasingly they are being pushed to the web where the good, bad and indifferent are mixed in a growing profusion of auto sites and blogs and the multitude of sources and torrent of words dilute the perceived (and dollar) value of a writer’s words (see Road Signs).
Building on that is the common vision that audiences (readers, listeners or viewers) will congregate and interact around shared interests, rather than physical locations. This leaves open the possibility of people divided and isolated in camps according to their predilections, as in current divisive talk radio.
One interesting suggestion for dealing with the problem of voluminous undifferentiated data comes from a communications consultant in England. Heidi Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, Heidi Sinclair & Co., notes in Media Post that many journalists have become media brands. Among them Arianna Huffington, Maria Bartiromo, Fareed Zakaria and Nicholas Kristof. She asks, who wouldn’t go to a sports site sponsored by Nike? And who would have the money and the motivation to produce a reliable quality sports site? Events sponsored by competing sportswear brands might suffer but that wouldn’t be the case if GEICO or All-State Insurance sponsored an all-inclusive consumer auto site. They, too, would have the money and the motive to provide drivers of all cars with a quality experience from great writing and excellent art to complete specs and reliable reviews.
On the other hand, those that bemoan the incursions of the web, (see Talk Back) can take heart in a recent survey that shows 90 per cent of the “tweeting” on Twitter is done by just 10 per cent of its members. And, Wooden Horse News reports that research by analysts at Knowledge Networks leads them to conclude “Facebook, Twitter and others of that genre have failed to become much of a marketing weapon and likely never will.”