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Media as a living organism

January 11, 2007

For too long we’ve thought about media consumption as a single act; an event that occurs independently of others.

As we know from research , media multi-tasking is becoming very much the norm.

Media consumption now needs to be seen as something that’s fluid and organic and that responds to a variety of stimuli; IMs from friends, visits to websites, telephone conversations are all inputs that change the pattern and form of consumption.

We don’t yet have the intelligence to understand exactly how all this is working together, but common sense and our own experiences tell us that it’s happening.

It’s therefore interesting to see that some media companies get this. We’ve mentioned in the past that the BBC is ahead of the curve and here’s further proof.

BBC has it’s own developer community Backstage; they help out on projects and work together on new interactive ideas.

This request was recently posted on the Backstage site.

“Five Live is already the home of live news and sport. Five Live is THE place for the listener to interact, respond and rant about news, current affairs and issues important to them. But we still have lots to do. Five Live has expanded across the multi-platform environment this year but we want to do a lot more.

With your help we would like to find a new way to see what our listeners are thinking, what they are reacting to and how feel about news. What else could they be seeing online while they listen live to the Radio station? How could our radio station join up more effectively with other parts of the web? How can we enable the listener to interact more effectively with us and in turn more effectively with each other via Five Live.

We are encouraging people to “Be The Editor” on a Friday morning when they get to pick the subjects on air. But how do we gear our content to what they are talking about with their friends and down the pub on a daily or even hourly basis”

If you read between the lines there’s something really interesting going on. Sure, news media has to change with the times, because news changes by the second, but adding the additional layer of how masses of people are responding and feeling about that news on an hourly basis, is an interesting development.

It has huge implications for advertising and for the media that doesn’t yet work in real-time.

How do you create ads that respond to real-time events and conversations?

What role does the monthly magazine play in such a fast changing environment if it doesn’t have a truly dynamic web component?

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