Rubel’s underlying premise is right:
“The fact is that everyone who is contributing to the dialogue - be it in video, text or photos - has earned the right to be called media.”
But I disagree with his rationale for eliminating the label:
“It’s like we’re a separate entity from the rest of the so-called “mainstream” journalists, filmmakers, photographers, etc. who do what we do and get paid more for it. We sit in a special dish like leftover meatloaf so we need a special name. If you use these phrases you're unintentionally perpetuating that myth.”
First of all, mainstream media and much of the public love (or have finally embraced) the social media phenomenon, so the “special dish” is clearly in the main course and there’s nothing “leftover” about it.
More important, we need the label to understand the phenomenon. We come to understand new things by looking at something we already understand (mainstream media) and explaining the differences (the social elements). For this reason, Rubel admits that “the phrases were helpful as the world began to take notice. But now, it’s different. We’ve arrived.” Well, Rubel has arrived. Mainstream media, Silicon Valley, and millions of people around the world have also arrived. But not everyone, and we certainly are not finished understanding how this arrival is changing the world. Imagine trying to write about how media is changing today without using “social media.” It can’t be done. The label is not a buzzword, and it will disappear from current usage slowly. And it will take up permanent residence in history books.
Meanwhile, I propose satisfying Rubel (I hope) by stating clearly that he and all bloggers are part of the media, without any limiting modifier. But I insist on saying that he got there by being very smart about and being a leader in the development of social media.