Social networks have become a big part of my life, whether I admit it or not, and it’s nice to step back and hear some theories about where they might go. Try escaping, I dare you.
Thursday night I helped organize a panel discussion at Yahoo! for Silicon Valley’s Social Media Club. A great help was Ms. Havi Hoffman, whose title is “Attention Agent”. She has been at Yahoo! for a decade and currently works on social media and marketing for the company. I can’t imagine why she said she’d had a hard day — with the free Starbuck’s-style coffee, basketball & volleyball courts — except that there were fewer people enjoying any of those perks than there were sitting in isolated corners or booths in the cafeteria working intensely late into the evening. The truth is Yahoo! is trying hard to crack the social media code, just like all of the young kids on the block.
Panelists from Reddit, Digg, Yahoo! and Topix led a debate and agreement on the challenges of user-generated news, popularity rankings and revenue models. They were joined by Dan Gillmor, who’s comforting and at the same time challenging words kept chanting that we were still in the infancy of this shift.
The discussion uncovered one key element present with the intersection of social networks and journalism. Trust. Ratings, rankings, karma, diggs, thumbs-ups, votes, whatever you’d like to call them are beginning to solve a much-needed problem of misnamed credibility and truly democratized media sharing. What a great time to be alive…when whispers can finally shatter long-standing, power-backed mistruths. Blogtalkradio supports that idea.
Hard to believe a post from the marketing department on our corporate blog? I don’t blame you. So decide for yourself. Try it today! It’s free.
Craig Newmark might have a thing or two to say about social networks, trust and the changing role of journalism. Time Magazine’s “…wizard of the local web”, recently told ZDNet’s Donna Bogatin “We think of Craigslist as a form of Social Media.” He founded Craiglist.org in 1995 and grew it to a 22-million unique visitors per month service. Here’s a short video of Craig that I took at the Future of Media Forum in San Francisco.
Talk about social! You can listen or talk to Craig live on Blogtalkradio this Monday, August 27th on the InDaNo show.
And that’s the news on news,
VP of Marketing