the problem with social media? mainstream media

A few hours ago my Twitter feed was bombarded with news that TSN and the Montreal Gazette were reporting that former Leafs, Canadiens and Devils hockey coach, Pat Burns had died earlier today.

I read the news here.  But as you can see the story is gone although the link (as of now) is still valid.

Now, I don’t know for sure about Mr. Burns’ status.  I wish him well and pray for him, his family and loved one’s.  However, this is not an article about Pat Burns.

It’s about trust.

Who do we, as a media consuming society, trust?  The Montreal Gazette?  TSN?  Twitter? Our buddy at the water cooler?

Mainstream media (MSM) is concerned about selling advertising and units:  The more papers sold, the more advertising on the local news, the more banner ads on websites.  All of these increases an operations revenues.  And that’s good for them.

Your buddy at the water cooler?  She gets her news from media.  Traditional or new.  She’s too busy working and getting water to be involved.  She just wants to be part of the water cooler conversation.

Me and you on Twitter.  There’s no money in tweeting or retweeting.  There is, however, the issue of trust.  And it’s that trust that opens or closes doors for us in regards to career or potential business opportunities.  It’s also trust that determines our status in our local community.  Here’s what I mean:

If a large volume of my tweets are unsubstantiated and turn out to be false then the amount of trust I hold falls.  In real life, this can affect whether people will trust me as a friend or trust me to be a community manager of their brand.  On the other hand, if my tweets (and other social media content) are seen as valuable then opportunities for friendship and business abound.

And that’s the difference between MSM and social media.  MSM is profit driven and social media is trust driven.  It’s true.  National Enquirer is not popular because their stories are true.  They don’t care.  It’s about profit.

So when news breaks, it’s not social media/Twitter that is breaking that news.  People don’t make money tweeting.  People tweet based on news that comes from traditional media and their online properties.  Twitter and social media just spread what MSM publishes.

Rumours may spread like wildfire on Twitter.  But they are created by MSM.

What’s your opinion?