Being opinionated is okay…

Hi from “into the spin” AKA Arleigh,

So this is my first post to the newly minted AppCarousel blog as I wanted to wait until I had something interesting to share… So far we’ve been talking about carousels and all kinds of great app economy and tech innovations – such as ‘HTML5: the holy grail …. or not quite?’.

Today I want to draw your attention to another aspect of innovation that I find interesting – the PR side. This recent article, Back to the future: Is media returning to the 19th century?, from GigaOm was intriguing as it highlighted the details from an in-depth series that was written by The Economist about the evolution of media in a digital age and how it has impacted the distribution of information. Or as Om Malik, the founder of GigaOM Network, likes to call it “the democratization of distribution.”

Here are a few highlights of the interesting stuff:

“Looking at the evolution of media in a digital age, The Economist comes to the conclusion that new media — and in particular the explosion of blogs and other social media tools like Twitter and Facebook — is taking society back to where it was in the 18th and 19th centuries, before the development of newspapers and other mass media platforms.”

“Up until the early 19th century there was no ‘mass media’ in the sense that we think of the term now. Newspapers had not really been invented yet, and news still travelled via word-of-mouth, or via hand-printed pamphlets written by people like political theorists Thomas Paine and John Locke. And even when newspapers as we know them started to be published and distributed, they were opinionated — and often gossip-filled — publications that catered to a tiny audience, much like blogs did when they first appeared.”

Says The Economist:

“In many ways news is going back to its pre-industrial form, but supercharged by the internet. Camera-phones and social media such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter may seem entirely new, but they echo the ways in which people used to collect, share and exchange information in the past. ‘Social media is nothing new, it’s just more widespread now,’ says Craig Newmark.”

And more from GigaOm

“Whether we like it or not — and whether traditional media can figure out a way to take advantage of it or not — The Economist is right when it says we have in many ways returned to the coffeehouse era of the early 19th century, when all news was social and most of it was opinionated. And while some worry that media consumers are going to get caught in an ‘echo chamber’ and filter out any opinions they disagree with (something author Eli Pariser argues in his book The Filter Bubble), the main benefit that we have over our counterparts in the 19th century is we have hundreds or even thousands of different sources and voices at our fingertips, if we want to make use of them.”

“That is an incredibly powerful force both for journalism and for society as a whole — as the events of the Arab Spring have shown, despite the skepticism of some pundits like Malcolm Gladwell — and it is one we are still only beginning to understand.”

What I like about the GigaOm summary is how they highlight the importance of opinions and how being opinionated is okay… In theory having an opinion and not being afraid to broadcast it can help with the distribution and consumption of your ‘news’. This concept can definitely be applied to all the content that is generated for, on, and about the app industry and the mobile sector, but also to the current app discovery challenges everyone in the space seems to be coming up against.

There is also the flip side, such as with one of the news tidbits that came out on CNN yesterday, to consider where being too opinionated and voicing these opinions isn’t always OK. I guess the moral is be opinionated, but in a ‘smart’ fashion.

This, of course, is just my opinion that I thought I’d share with you all via the AppCarousel media source we set-up… food for thought.

Into the Spin (aka Arleigh)

3 Comments on “Being opinionated is okay…”

  1. carouselman says:

    Hank Williams was very opinionated the other day when he said Hitler and Obama in the same sentence. Then yesterday politician Herman Cain said to the people of the USA “If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself”. What is it with people, why do they feel the need to say things which are hurtful to many and controversial to say the least. Is it true that “all publicity is good publicity” ?

  2. intothespin says:

    Wow, we’re on a roll this week with great examples of people spouting opinions that have the potential to harm their reputation…

    The latest comes from Ann Coulter, the love her or hate her pundit, who, in an interview with Fox News, compared the ideals of the Occupy Wall Street protesters to the ideals that were advocated by Nazi Germany.

    Ann doesn’t just stop there, she goes on further to say “the statements by Occupy Wall Street protesters are similar to what was said before the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution and with only slight modification when the Nazis came to power … This is always the beginning of totalitarianism.”

    You can read more about it here:

    I guess we are truly learning about what it means to be ‘smart’ in the opinions you present to your community and the public realm. Thanks Hank, Herman and Ann for a great lesson this week!

  3. […] Last week Arleigh in our team published a blog article entitled “Being opinionated is okay” which you can read here. […]

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