On the Ground at Social Media Week: The Future of Real-Time Publishing, Hosted by The New York Times

Social Media Week

Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.

MSNBC's Emmy Award Winning Journalist Ann Curry

Emmy Award Winning Journalist Ann Curry (@anncurry)

Against a large screen featuring live status updates from Egypt, MSNBC journalist Ann Curry and a panel of seasoned reporters discussed “The Future of Real-Time Publishing” at The New York Times Building.

This was a timely topic as the world focuses on Twitter updates from citizens of Egypt to learn the latest developments from Tahrir Square.  The panel primarily discussed how social media has empowered citizens to become reporters who can share their experiences immediately across a span of social networks on location.

Readers have often aided journalists by providing key details.  But in the world of real-time reporting, journalists are faced with the challenge of report now and redact later.  An interesting solution to this problem was mentioned by an audience member who claimed NPR writes “unconfirmed” when reporting a story in real-time.  This helps the audience understand that a correction/further clarification may follow the news update.

After the session, I asked Associated Press’ Social Media Editor Eric Carvin for his views on the difficulty of trying to spread information across so many social networking sites.  I mentioned how NPR is leveraging Tumblr to deliver news to its followers but that it’s yet another social networking site that NPR needs to place on its radar.

Social Media Week Panel

Our panelists (left to right) Andy Carvin, David Clinch, Joshua Harris, Ann Curry

Eric’s answer was the complete opposite of what I expected.  Eric believes the number of social websites will eventually decrease because not all of them can reach profitability.  This belief is actually in alignment with the “Web 2.0 Bubble” that is currently being discussed by the social tech community.  While Eric does bring up an interesting point, I actually explained that in the future I see more social networks being created to focus on a variety of interests instead of broadcasting to large audiences.  But that’s another story.

The proliferation of smartphones is drastically simplifying the ability to record and publish videos, snap photos, and send status updates that can be shared with the world.  Today’s panel recognized social content is constantly being refreshed and it is important to separate the facts from gaping inaccuracies for the benefit of us all.

Mauricio Godoy is a contributor for the Social Media Week NY Blog and a Social Business Strategist.  You can follow him on twitter @MauricioSWG

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