I wonder what kind of tea The Economist is serving Nic Newman? The red teapot and teacups are pretty cute, don’t you think? Read Nic Newman’s post, Social is the new search, and then listen to the interview (The new gatekeepers?).
Here is an excerpt from The Economist’s special report on the news industry:
In January 1776 Thomas Paine’s pamphlet “Common Sense”, which rallied the colonists against the British crown, was printed in a run of 1,000 copies. One of them reached George Washington, who was so impressed that he made American officers read extracts of Paine’s work to their men. By July 1776 around 250,000 people, nearly half the free population of the colonies, had been exposed to Paine’s ideas. Newspapers at the time had small, local circulations and were a mix of opinionated editorials, contributions from readers and items from other papers; there were no dedicated reporters. All these early media conveyed news, gossip, opinion and ideas within particular social circles or communities, with little distinction between producers and consumers of information. They were social media.
(Economist.com, July 7, 2011. The end of mass media: Coming full circle. News is becoming a social medium again, as it was until the early 19th century—only more so.)