Didn’t take notes during last night’s Future of Media Summit in Mountain View, Calif. As usual, the connections in the audience were as interesting as the conversation on stage. (If a podcast goes up, I’ll let you know.) About 150 people took part in Sydney and another 50 Stateside. Disappointing that in 2008, the videoconferencing technology was still subpar. But here are a few noteworthy snippets:
• Great to meet Phil Bronstein, former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and now editor at large. Smart, capable and approachable.
• I talked about the Great Decoupling: the most important development in the media world over the past decade. You no longer need to be a member of the traditional media to participate in the news ecosystem, thanks to the Internet. People usually think of media — and journalism — as tied to newspapers, broadcast news or news magazines, but in fact journalism has been decoupled from their traditional vessels or containers: newsprint and the 6 o’clock news. Today, anyone is able to commit a random act of journalism.
• I only briefly had a chance to touch on my thoughts about the media’s current role as a Distraction Machine, with endless coverage of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Tuesday’s New Yorker cover and other evidence that today’s media serve mainly as noise, diverting us from critical issues, rather than serving as vessels for illumination.
• It was fun to see Robert Scoble and Tom Abate mix it up over what constitutes news and journalism. My view is that Scoble was closer to the mark when pointing out that the traditional media missed the early coverage of the earthquake in China, while people on Twitter and other social networks were all over it.
• Scoble pointed out that traditional journalists have little idea about how to extend their reportage into the blogosphere through the use of social media tools like Digg, Newsvine, Twitter, Techmeme, Memeorandum and the like. (Unless they read this blog.)
• Robert also mentioned a site I haven’t seen mentioned often: Twittervision, which offers coverage of real-time Twitter posts in a wide range of cities.
• Great to see Shannon Clark & Jay Cross, both of whom I first met at Gnomedex a couple of years ago.
• Received a free copy of Ross Dawson’s book Living Networks and look forward to reading it.