I won’t be retweeting Mashable stories this year. I understand how this sounds, believe me.
But give me a chance to explain.
First and foremost, I love Mashable. I’ve always been a Pete Cashmore fanboy, and I still am. And I do read Mashable on a regular basis — with great pleasure.
So less frenetic retweeting Mashable stories on Twitter, no postings of TechCrunch stories on Facebook, no wildredditting or rampantstumbling of Social Media Examiner.
Of course I’ll attribute them with a link if I use them as source material for a blog post, but that’s it.
Here’s the short version:
I don’t want to be one of thousands retweeting news stories from mega sites this year. For better use of my energy, rather than echo-chambering the news, I will do a better job of sharing other bloggers’ perspectives instead.
And here’s the long version:
Mass Media Vs. Social Media
I mass media to be really exciting, I really do. It’s not for nothing that I first chose this world for my education and early career in public relations.
But I’ve also learnt that social media is just as exciting from a societal perspective. And from a personal perspective — even more interesting than mass media!
What triggers me about social is how thousands and thousands of voices suddenly can have their say.
I’m a firm believer in that everyone, anyone, can have at least one fundamental and world-changing thing to say at least once during their lifetime.
The Blogosphere, I Salute You
And this is where I find the blogosphere to be such an amazing place. In it’s purest form, it’s nothing less than a shining bright celebration to the importance of freedom of speech.
I would go so far as to argue that access to a neutral and global internet should be manifested in the United Nation’s declaration of human rights.
Not because it’s a human right to filtering the world through Instagram or post funny cat videos on Facebook. From a macro perspective, those networks are mere public transport vessels for ideas and messages.
But because anyone could blog, meaning voicing an opinion or setting otherwise hidden information free.
The Rift Between Blogs And Reporting The News
Granted, “blog” is a pretty ugly as far as words goes. Derived from weblog, it stills gives us an idea about what a blog really is.
It’s an account of logged chronological perspectives.
This is why blogging and reporting the news are two very DIFFERENT phenomenas altogether.
Reporting the news is all about providing an account for events that are newsworthy, meaning that they are of interest to people no matter who the sender is.
Blogging is about setting a perspective free in the universe. Just as news are important, so is different perspectives. It has very little to do with the idea of “newsworthiness”.
An editor I know once called us bloggers “castrated journalists”, but nothing could be more misleading.
I don’t blog to inform the general public on recent events. I’m not a news outlet, nor have I ever intended to become one. I’m a blogger who from time to time logs my perspectives as they come to me.
And this is where it starts to get interesting.
Why We Shouldn’t Call Everything “A Blog”
Sites like Mashable may have started out like blogs, but imho, they stopped being blogs the minute they started configuring their editorial process to become a news outlet online.
I think this is fine. I love news and news will always be important. The general public must stay informed.
But since I feel so strongly about all the thousands and thousands of voices out there, voices that are expressing what’s on their minds only to be read by the few, well, this is really the side of the web that I feel most passionate about.
So, I don’t need to be one of thousands who retweets the latest Mashable article. I bet that every single one of the one’s who are actively following me on Twitter knows that Mashable exists anyway.
If they want news, my followers know where to find it. <<< Click to tweet.
And it’s not like I don’t give back to great sites like Mashable. I do allow myself to be exposed to their ads when I visit their site for the latest digital industry news.
Sharing Is Caring — So What Do I Care About?
But as for sharing my own traffic, as modest in volume as it is, I’d rather share it with someone who will genuinely appreciate it. Someone who has provided me with a unique and fresh perspective that I couldn’t find anywhere else.
Someone who might consider reciprocity and acknowledgement sometime along the way.
Someone who might say hey, thanks man and let’s have a discussion about this, just you and I and see who else likes to join in?
So this is why I will be sharing whatever traffic or influence that I have with interesting voices from all over. Voices that are expressing how they see the world.
Because even in this brand new world of ours, these voices will only get big news media recognition if they should happen to “freak-of-nature” and thus go viral. And then only for 15 Mb of fame at the time.
Otherwise, big news media will only reference a voice if that voice has risen to fame and accomplishment by merit.
But I can’t escape this immense respect that I have for any person who decides to describe their world, no matter if they are someone “to be reckoned with” or not — and hit that “Publish” button.
It’s something extraordinarily beautiful about how someone who’s not a trained writer, who hasn’t got the slightest idea about UIX or structured storytelling [infographic] , still can just hit that “Publish” and put a slice of their mind out there.
Bear in mind that this isn’t indie romanticism. Because even perspectives can earn great followings in volume.
I’m thinking of bloggers like Seth Godin, Gini Dietrich, Brian Solis, Peter Shankman, Chris Brogan, Marcus Sheridan and Danny Brown. It seems they’ve resisted the urge to become niche news media outlets and instead kept evolving their thought leadership.
They’ve also remained active in the discussion of these perspectives, both in theirs’ and others comment fields. Most of them also gives up their platforms to fairly unknown guest bloggers.
So I don’t need to be one of thousands who retweets the latest Mashable article. As a principle, I will do my best to share blogger perspectives instead.
In the end, it’s all about YOUR energy and how you chose to SHARE it. And I know how I want to share mine.
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