There is buzz today about last night’s segment on something along the lines of social media which aired on Carte Blanche. If you haven’t seen the segment, here it is:
Most of the complaints about the segment which have been doing the rounds on Twitter and a couple blogs. The segment reflects a small part of the interviews conducted with, among others, Rafiq and Dave, and a particular viewpoint I would expect to be shared by people who don’t understand social media and are quite frankly baffled by this whole Internet thing. While the degree to which the segment accurately portrayed social media’s role and the people who use social media daily, the importance of having an uninterrupted conversation about a topic emerged out of it. The segment was about catchphrases and putting a cynical slant on social media for the folks back home who don’t use it and who are probably likely to dismiss it as some silly geeky thing the kids do.
I watched another interview about social media that was conducted by Jennifer Jones at PodTech’s Marketing Voices. She interviewed Shel Israel, one of the authors of “Naked Conversations” and what struck me was what a difference a normal conversation about a topic makes as opposed to a hacked up interview for the sake of extracting a couple catchphrases and sentences. Here is the interview with Shel Israel both as a comparison with the Carte Blanche style and because the interview was really interesting:
Like Nic, I am not overly impressed with Carte Blanche but at least they dealt with the subject matter, in some form or another. It is important to bear in mind that while most of us have been playing in this pool for a couple years now, we are not representative of the mainstream. There are a lot of people in South Africa who don’t use the Web and wouldn’t know a blog if it jumped out from behind a tree and said “boo”. This shift online will take time and, until then, we can only hope that the people doing the reporting are a little more balanced in their approach to the topic, even if they don’t understand it or appreciate it.