The Future of Media: Social Networking

The term media literally refers to the informal groups which convey news and information to us. We can gather news, information, and entertainment from the television, radio, and the printed media. Some of us may even rely on the Internet to get the daily grind of news fast and accurate. Media is an ever-changing sector as newer methods of communication emerge and old forms of entertainment are substituted by new ones. The entertainment industry has also changed dramatically.

As the entertainment business has matured, print media have become more irrelevant. Newspapers and periodicals have largely given up their news stories and turned into mere advertisements for products and services. TV and radio stations now host news and current affairs programs and feature music and other programs rather than news. Music channels now compete with news channels in prime time slots and both offer music videos and music shows, while movie channels replaced major film franchises with home video rentals.

It is clear that there is a shift towards informal and personal network media such as the internet. One reason why this is so is because most people use computers and televisions to interact with others. Unlike the formal media, such as newspapers and magazines, people are much more likely to interact on the internet. This has created a major opportunity for media outlets to take advantage of this trend and build communities around common interests and common cause.

This is not to say that traditional media are losing their relevance. While the public gets less interaction through traditional media, they are still extremely valuable and continue to influence our world. However, the growth of digital media and social media sites has made it possible for traditional media outlets to compete with these sources of information and entertainment. Many in the media industry predict a future where entertainment stories form the backbone of the business news. A paper or magazine with a solid newsroom can still be very profitable, but to compete with the likes of the internet, digital media is an essential ingredient.

In fact, several large conglomerates have produced their own television stations and tabloids, which compete directly with print publications. As the mediums develop more tools to deliver content, the ability for individuals to consume media will continue to diminish as individuals begin to rely solely on online sources for their entertainment. This trend will continue as companies begin to offer unique content through both cable television and the internet.

For the moment, at least, the future of media is changing. Social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are quickly taking over the conversation space in terms of how conversations evolve and engage with like minded individuals. Because of this, it may be wise to focus efforts on creating social media engagement as a marketing strategy. By offering interesting content, creating group events and hosting discussions on topics of mutual interest, medias can benefit from their increased reputation as legitimate communication channels. This trend will only accelerate as conglomerates take full control of media, driving the cost downward and forcing all media outlets to respond to the increased demands.