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“Mainstream no more” is tough pill to swallow

31 May

As we come to the end of May, two things with huge implications have shown themselves.

THE FIRST was the Wall Street Journal’s faux pas, trying to force a set of rules on their journalists who’ve started adopting social media into their work flow. Just one of the rules, that ‘Business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter‘ sounds like it was written by someone who woke up yesterday. Or didn’t hear about the ‘95 Theses‘ published ten years ago. Not this one, but in this book!

THE SECOND was the launch of a company called Blink.lk. It’s a new media company in Sri Lanka, launched by a former journalist and longtime friend Tyron Devotta. (Full disclosure: I am partly involved in it, at least in sentiment.)

One of their first posts on the blog –that has fittingly preceded the main web site–was called “Mainstream No More.” It’s written by a staffer, a former reporter. She expresses the struggle this switch involves. Today, anyone in the storytelling business has to get under the hood of social media and see what makes it so compelling to the audience. Or as Jay Rosen aptly called them, “the people formerly known as the audience.”

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