Explaining New Media

When I wrote “Blog habits and the need for speed,” I was communicating something I’d learned while working with bloggers at The Washington Times: New Media rewards speed.

There is no substitute for being first, and you’re only going to be first by being fast. This means that hierarchical, top-down organizations that focus on control are going to lose, because in their attempt to control information, they delay information.

Furthermore: New Media rewards innovation, and innovation can only occur by trial and error. You have to take an improvisational approach — “Hey, let’s see if it works this way” — then measure the response to see which of the various approaches works best. You have to constantly strive for improvement in method, and constantly monitor feedback.

New Media rewards communication. You can’t be inaccessible, secluded behind barriers to incoming information, and expect to succeed in the New Media environment. You can’t function effectively by hiding in your office, with a private phone number and an e-mail address known only to a few chosen associates, because the piece of incoming information you miss — the person who can’t get past your receptionist — is going to go somewhere else.

Hugh Hewitt’s “Bear in the Woods has obviously seen the same things, and experienced the difficulty of trying to explain New Media to executives accustomed to the hierarchical control-based style of management.

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