Thursday, June 02, 2005

New media coming of age 

Two pieces caught my eye today, both showing how the new media is starting to slowly infiltrate the old bastions of business and news. Firstly, from "The Wall Street Journal":

In its short lifespan, blogging has largely been a freewheeling exercise in online self-expression. Now it is also becoming a corporate job.

A small but growing number of businesses are hiring people to write blogs, otherwise known as Web logs, or frequently updated online journals. Companies are looking for candidates who can write in a conversational style about timely topics that would appeal to customers, clients and potential recruits.

Last year, Christine Halvorson was hired as chief blogger at Stonyfield Farm Inc., a Londonderry, N.H., organic yogurt company owned by Groupe Danone. She applied for the job after responding to an ad posted at Monster.com. A former freelance writer and Web content editor, Ms. Halvorson now writes four blogs for Stonyfield, including a blog about the company, the Daily Scoop, and Creating Healthy Kids, about healthy foods in schools. Her job entails researching, linking to news and providing personal insight.

"It's wonderful to write every day," Ms. Halvorson says. "The only challenge is keeping up with this rapidly changing blogging technology, like audio and video blogging," she adds. She earns an annual salary in the mid-$40,000s, she says.
The article lists several other example of new corporate opportunities for bloggers. Salaries range from mid-$40,000 to around $70,000, which I guess is not a bad money for this sort of work. Only time will tell if blogs will become an integral part of modern communications strategy within the business world, or whether this is merely a brief and inconsequential fad among corporate innovators who are always interested in trying out new technologies and techniques in their never-ending quest to gain the edge.

Then this from

Are you a witness to major, or lesser known, news events? Have you seen an incident, or an event we missed, that you would like to tell us about?

If so, here is your opportunity. The BBC News website would like to receive your stories and perspectives from around the world.

If you have any pictures or video to accompany your text we would also like to receive them. Consider this your chance to report on events in your area that you think the world should know about.
This is what blogosphere is partly about – citizen media, including where possible, ordinary people reporting on extraordinary things directly to a world-wide audience. Military bloggers are perhaps the best example, coming to us from the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan, but you don't necessarily have to be directly in the line of fire - you can "merely" be present at an international gathering and report on a CNN personality accusing American soldiers of killing journalists. Either way, it's a useful democratization of news, and while it won't in a foreseeable future replace mainstream outlets, it will be an increasingly important supplement to the traditional news business.


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