@ Mipcom: Will Social Editing Displace Traditional Media?

Slide - user content panel Oct 2006The notion that content has to be edited is a legacy of old media, said Simon Assaad, co-founder of Heavy.com. “The beautiful thing about the internet is its open architecture which means we can all provide different services, whether that’s blogging, editorialized feeds and broadcasts, on-demand or content that travels to where the audience is. The notion that the media world is built around one kind of entertainment experience comes from that very old media world. We’re just getting liberated.” The future of media companies that have build themselves around the function of editing will be determined by the audience, and how much they value that as a service.
Mark Goldman, COO of Current TV, said there’s definitely a role for traditional media companies in organizing and filtering the huge volume of content online, and building their brands around that. That is missing in some of the existing video sites, he said, and though services like YouTube support the viral nature of the web, “it’s not a general day-to-day business without some organization, some packaging and some presentation to the consumer”.
David Fischer, MySpace MD Europe, said the site’s audience skews older than you’d expect: 70 percent of users are over 18 and 35 percent are over 30. Outside the US users are older still. (That seems quite staggering to me – I have trouble getting my early 30s friends to understand what MySpace is about, whereas friends in their 20s are there. Mum can just about send an email.) He made the good point that distinguishes MySpace from video sharing sites: “People are interested in the same things online as they are offline, like word of mouth, and we provide a context for people to communicate. They comment on lots of different things but it’s self-editing, that P2P is almost part of the social function of editing.”

This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.