There was a discussion about the difference among New Media, social media, and public media on the public media camp listserv this week. Here’s my response:
You might even want to throw public libraries into the mix of public media. As the Old Guard retires, libraries will realize that they aren’t just about books/newspapers printed on paper anymore. I think Phil Shapiro would agree.
Andy Carvin of NPR’s Social Media Desk doesn’t like the term “New” Media. While I sympathize with Andy’s disdain for the term, I think this is the term that differentiates the old paradigm — scheduled TV/cable shows and movie theaters and their associated distribution companies — from a new trend — video stored AND distributed via the internet without the middleman telling us what or when to watch OR produce and share… along with live streaming broadcasts and their associated chat (e.g. ustream.tv) or collaborative chat (e.g. stickam.com). I don’t think most of the population sees the significance of this trend yet.
Many New Media applications are not yet what people think of when they use the term “social media,” which at this point is typically thought of as facebook or twitter-like web sites. However other New Media applications will become more and more useful for social interaction, whether it’s real-time collaborative video or static facebook content.
Yes, some day the above trend will no long represent what is “new.” Something else will come along and that technology usage will then fit under the umbrella “New Media.” But we’ll probably call it something else by then.