Mathew Ingram on the Globe and Mail's digital future (present)

ThirdTuesdayTorontoSocial media has turned the news gathering and distribution world upside down. No longer must we sit mute as we read our newspaper or watch the television news, knowing that they’ve got it wrong but unable to voice our views. Now, we can easily post our views on a blog, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media publishing platform we choose to use. Others who share our interests will find us and, if they think we’ve said something worth reading, they can redistribute our content with a simple gesture on the platform of their choice.

Not only can we talk about the news we receive, we can report it first hand. We’ve already seen citizen generated news sites like NowPublic spring up to take advantage of the fact that there are many, many more citizens who are originating eyewitness reports on events where the news media have yet to touch down.

Mainstream media is rapidly being undercut as audiences move to online social media and advertisers realize that what worked yesterday may not be working today.

On the other hand, let’s be honest that we all get a thrill if our content crosses over into traditional mainstream media and gets referenced there. That’s a simple acknowledgment that while most of us write for niche audiences who share our interests, an appearance in traditional mainstream media gives us access to a much larger audience. And, in most cases, mainstream media still carries with it a greater degree of authority in its newsgathering and reporting.

So, what’s a newspaper guy going to do? Stick his head in the sand and hope that the user trends don’t make him a casualty before retirement?

mathewingram1If you’re Mathew Ingram, you’re taking a different path. You’re embracing the new online social media tools and exploiting your incumbent advantages of authority and reach to try to build a new relationship with your audience in the new medium. And you’re helping (pushing) your employer, Canada’s newspaper of record, the Globe and Mail, to embrace new media and explore their potential.

And, if you’re Mathew Ingram, you’re going to share your knowledge, experience and vision with Third Tuesday Toronto on March 24.

The Globe recently appointed Mathew as their “communities manager.” He is well qualified for this position, having established himself as (one of) Canada’s most respected and widely followed technology bloggers and reporters.

Since he took over as community manager, the Globe has engaged in high profile social media experiments – most notably using CoverItLive for live coverage of a subway shooting in Toronto, the Canadian budget and the visit to Ottawa of President Obama; the establishment of a public policy Wiki; and encouraging other Globe reporters to make it personal by using Twitter.

This will be Mathew’s second appearance at Third Tuesday. He helped us establish Third Tuesday when he agreed to be the speaker at our third event. Then, he was talking about the use of social media by reporters. And he was a great hit.

I’m sure he’ll be an equally great hit this time – and a sellout. If you’d like to attend, you can register online at the Third Tuesday Toronto Website.

Thanks to our national sponsor, CNW Group, this Third Tuesday will again be free to the community. CNW Group covers the cost of our sound system, which is our biggest single cost. So, thanks to CNW for supporting Canada’s social media community.

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  • I think that newspapers are in the business of providing authoritative information so that they can sell subscriptions and ads. And I also think that there’s still a demand for said “authoritative” information, so to that extent, newspapers dont’ have to change their product, it’s that they have to change their business/revenue model,and become less of newspapers and more of news organizations.

    They probably won’t be able to sell subscriptions the way they used to, but social media will let them sell ads better than they have ever been able to. That’s where their revenue model has to change, in the delivery of advertising. They have to start phasing out (or at least stop relying on) print editions, and start thinking of ways to use online technologies to deliver both their authoritative content and the ads they sell alongside it.

    And it’s not rocket science, either. It’s something that plenty of A-list bloggers and affiliate marketers have already figured out how to, just on a much smaller level. All newspapers have to do is scale a revenue model that’s already pretty proven…