Five truths for 2010:
The age of transparency is mostly about getting caught.
Ten years into the new media era, the institutions we love to hate – government, banks, big business, media – aren’t any more willing to tell us what they’d rather keep to themselves. The constant outing of reality TV frauds, tax-supported executive bonuses, front groups and scumbag celebrities is still a function of how Americans use the Internet to inform and entertain themselves. Not the other way around.
Social media is getting less social.
Over time, millions of people will stop using social media sites because 1) their bosses lock them out during working hours, 2) they tire of all the commercial clutter or 3) they learn how those revenue-hungry companies are sharing their profiles, posts and friends lists.
The Rocky Mountain News is still dead.
For all the outraged hang-wringing and new ventures, media consumers in Denver and many other American cities are still only willing to support one local daily newspaper. Barely.
Journalism, however, isn’t dead. It’s just changing.
So-called “advocacy” media will flourish as more formerly ad-supported news outlets – or individual journalists and commentators -- become funded by interest groups, politically leaning foundations, single corporations and even government. Whether you think it’s biased or not will depend on your point of view.
No company will ever hide its identity again. Har. Kidding.
Getting nabbed isn’t as certain as, say, driving through a DWI checkpoint with an open bottle of cream de menthe in your lap. But some well-known brand out there is going to have a major PR problem when it draws the first high-profile enforcement of the Federal Trade Commission’s new transparency in marketing rules.
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