The Digital Meaning of “The Word of Mouth”.

“If the news is that important, it will find me.”

That is the conclusion of an article in the NYT.

“There are lots of times where I’ll read an interesting story online and send the U.R.L. to 10 friends,” said Lauren Wolfe, 25, the president of College Democrats of America. “I’d rather read an e-mail from a friend with an attached story than search through a newspaper to find the story.”

In one sense, this social filter is simply a technological version of the oldest tool in politics: word of mouth. Jane Buckingham, the founder of the Intelligence Group, a market research company, said the “social media generation” was comfortable being in constant communication with others, so recommendations from friends or text messages from a campaign — information that is shared, but not sought — were perceived as natural.”

This article goes along which the observations we’ve just made at re:publica08. In many discussions and in many conversations people told us, that they rely and trust on their social network members and that they neither read daily newspapers anymore nor do they watch TV. They consume media by recommendation within their social network and they share media within it.

What does this mean for media companies and as well for other companies? It is definitely a loss of control and power. They no longer rule their “constructed picture of the whole” – no matter if it is good or bad – they have to re-define their opinion leaders and start a dialogue with their audiences …

One thought on “The Digital Meaning of “The Word of Mouth”.”

  1. Dieser Eintrag ist kein Spam. Vielleicht braucht das Anti-Spam-Modul ein wenig deutschen Text zu Beginn, ja?

    Kein Problem, ich kann auch Deutsch, und ich gehe Meilen für einen guten Kommentar (dafür bin ich bekannt)!

    — after my comment was removed six times, now the next try 🙂 —

    Hmm, I do not think that necessarily the “machine” which produces the news
    has to change in a way they that they have to start a new dialogue with
    their audiences.

    Why would a newspaper want to start a dialogue? What would be the benefits
    if journalists start discussions with their readers?

    Isn’t the first goal of newsmakers to “make news” and not to discuss until a
    consensus is made? News sometimes also need to provoke people to get a step
    ahead. News are an instrument of power, why let anyone els participate in

    What they loose (valid only for a minority of people; the firstmovers
    digital natives) is the broadcasted “monopoly of opinion”. Others now also
    broadcast their opinion in blogs, tweets, podcasts, complementary portals
    (like, bildblog) and so on.

    I think it is more of a powershift that is happening in regard to the
    “monopoly of broadcasted opinion”. Now there is more competition around

    For people which did construct their picture of the world by consuming only
    one source of media/news online, will get the same result as if they got the
    news on paper.

    Doing multisourcing in regard to news/media still stays the best way to get
    a complete picture. I do not see that the internet will change this fact in
    any way.

    Diversification of news-sourcing still pays dividends in the century of the

    Ich kann auch einen Schluss in Deutsch verfassen, das geht auch.

    Grüße an alle Leser, die nicht so hartnäckig kommentieren wie ich.


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