I hope that title won’t turn any of you off, I am happy to admit that I will be part of that mob in Boston next month for the Society for New Communications Research’s Inaugural SNCR Research Symposium.
Paul Gillin, tech journalist veteran and social media pro, will be delivering the keynote. Paul will be discussing how the “New Influencers” are disrupting media and markets. I’ve been thinking a lot about these new Web 2.0 gods and where they fit into the ecosystem of PR and media. Are these new heavyweights (c’mon, you know who I’m talking about… Do you want me to recite the litany? Okay then, let’s start with one variation on the Trinity -- Om Malik, Michael Arrington, and Scoble -- and leave it at that … for now) really the Barbarians at the Gate of the stuffy, paralyzed world of “old media” or are they just repackaged media élites, as guided by their own tastes as any cigar-chomping editor in a dusty newsroom (actually, it appears that Om is also partial to cigars).
As John Gapper wrote last month in a great Financial Times piece:
“While anyone is free to launch a blog, contribute to Wikipedia or publish photographs on Flickr, a relatively small number of activists often dominate proceedings on Web 2.0 sites. Although they are unpaid, they can nonetheless achieve an elite status reminiscent of the old media's professional gatekeepers.”
So, we’ll see what Paul and other participants in the SNCR have to say about this.
Other things I’ll be interested in hearing that day: Rob Pongsajapan of Georgetown University (my alma mater) will be moderating a panel on the “Emergence of Blogging in University Admissions and Recruiting.”
Finally, eastwikkers alum (and a SNCR Research Fellow) Giovanni Rodriguez will be discussing his work on the 33 wikis project (started here on eastwikkers). Can’t wait to hear what Giovanni’s got for us.