Is it professional blasphemy to draw a comparison between some of the worries over the excessive autonomy of the blogosphere, recently voiced by the Presidents of Iran and China but clearly argued and prepared by their public relations advisors, and the growing frustration that many of us who work for, or inside some of the larger institutions and corporations nurture for that same environment?
In both cases the reasons are, at least, twofold:
a) ignorance of the phenomena and the difficulty of truly grasping its relevance, for lack of accepted measurement and evaluation criteria clearly understood by the immediate elitist and middle-to-old age environments in which we operate;
b) difficulty in influencing that environment with anywhere near the same effectiveness compared to traditional mainstream media, nor of understanding the effects of whatever efforts we may wish to make.
If you read the very carefully crafted but clearly understandable words used by our colleagues who write for Hu Jintao purifying the internet.doc, President of China, or for the President of Iran (name too complicated) you will notice how close they are to not having the faintest clue of the environment they have decided to comment about and how worried they are about the potential consequences of the game going too far.
Isn’t this what many of us feel? Wouldn’t we prefer to return to old fashioned institutional websites where you controlled all contents and could refer your ‘pet’ journalists to, when they needed more info? Oh yes! That was a good period indeed!
Now, we cannot even go to sleep or take a plane or go into a meeting without being bombarded by rss feeds, sms’s from monitoring services and many other alert contraptions, without having a faint idea if what we read will be read and picked up by someone else, and someone else and someone else and finally get to your boss who will bark at you for not being able to influence what all these guys, who have nothing else to do in life than worry and write about you!
Life was relatively easy when our job depended on having an energy source (do we know how and why a light or a computer turns on when we click?). But who really noticed?
Now we are being harassed by do-gooders who try to persuade us that we even need something like XPRL, a universal public relations computer language that even obliges us to agree on what we mean by what we do and have learned to do by doing….
Is this the beginning of the end of one way communication as we have learned to do it? Even marketers and advertising people are beginning to think this.
Are we moving from one way communication to what others increasingly call conversation, only to get away from the stereotypical way we communicate-to?
Is this only a fad? Of course it is! It must be!
But what if it wasn’t? Then what will we be able to achieve in a few years time? Is this what they mean by the term disintermediation?
What a nightmare!