As advanced as we think the world is when it comes to new media - with RSS readers, Google News Alerts, Blogs and citizen journalism - it's important to take a step back and recognize the sheer brunt force and power that Mass Media still has.
Just the other day, I announced that I have become a Contributor to the Montreal Gazette. Twice a month, I will be writing my column, New Business - Six Pixels of Separation, in the Business Section (you can view my Blog posting and my first contribution here: Seven Blogs You Must Read And Other Useful Know-How - Montreal Gazette Column). I still pay close attention to the feedback and comments I get when something "hits" in the Mass Media. I'm curious about how people find out about it, and I'm even more fascinated by the emails and Facebook messages I get from people I have not connected to in a while.
Mass media still has mass impact.
In this instance, the Montreal Gazette promoted the launch of the column by featuring a picture of me on the front page of the newspaper as well as a promotional call-to-action on the front page of the Business section. The more times I am featured - and the more prominent the piece is - the higher number of messages, phone calls and well wishes I get.
Make no mistake about it: Mass Media is a very effective tool in getting your message out to the world.
But, here's the most interesting component: on multiple occasions, I received messages that read, "I look forward to reading you now much more frequently," or "it will be great to read your thoughts every couple of weeks."
Most people (the masses) really have no idea what a Blog is.
Anybody who wants can read me here, every single day. Plus, it's one hundred percent free and they don't even have to come here. If they read that first column, they know where to grab an online news reader and how to have this content delivered to them as it is produced. Heck, they can even listen to me blab every week on the Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast.
I'm thrilled and happy to see so many new faces excited about checking out what I have to say every couple of weeks in the Montreal Gazette, on the other hand, it's sad to see how few of those people realized that I'm here, Blogging every single day.
My guess is that as cool as Blogging may seem, the masses are still most impressed when the content appears in a mass media outlet. So, the big question becomes: how do we turn something like a Blog into a Mass Media? That, in and of itself, is a strange question, because I would argue that a Blog has more distribution and access to readers than any single newspaper in the world.
A while back I Blogged about the difference between Mass Media and mass content (Mass Media Or Mass Content - What's Worse?). There might be some kind of balance in leveraging the two channels as a "means to an end" so both succeed and prosper in the new economy.