Sunday, September 09, 2007

And the beat goes on

I noticed there’s no such thing as stale-dated news in the blogosphere. Probably because most writing is from an individual’s perspective and not from the me-first-deadline-driven pace of MSM newsrooms.

In traditional media, stories have a finite arc with a clear beginning, middle and end. Once they’ve passed through the news cycle, the audience and reporters generally move on.

Stories get old fast.

Or at least that’s how it used to be.

Things seem to be different in the realm of social media. Here, an old story can come back to life over and over again.

Take the blogger’s union (please). The idea caught people’s attention around August 6, just over a month ago. There was considerable buzz around it. I did a Google search back then and another one recently and noticed most of the posts were from early August. However, there was a September 2 entry on Webomatica devoted to the union and one on September 9 from Technosailor.

Interesting. Especially when you consider that each of these blogs has its own community which may or may not have heard about the union. Their audiences could easily be reading about it as fresh news. This in turn could spawn other entries, more conversations and before you can say collective agreement, the story’s hot again.

That’s quite a change from the status quo. And it’s going to ‘post’ a major challenge to all of us in PR. When we plan our communications strategies, we’ll need to venture beyond the traditional news cycle to a world of never-ending stories. We’ll have to accept that ‘old news’ can rear its head at any moment in time, spread like wildfire from one network to the next and before you know it, become top of mind again.

And we’ll have to figure out new ways to manage that.

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