In two small steps for the wine world’s social media content creators, traditional broadcast and print media recently moved in giant steps towards integrating social media wine content inside traditional media formats. Camouflaged and stealth like, Gary Vaynerchuk, Alder Yarrow, and Tyler Colman set in motion a series of watershed events that just might debunk the fundamental “party platforms” supporting both sides of the tiring but raging debate between traditional and social media wine writers on whose wine content has more value.
Earlier this week, I opened US Airways’ in-flight magazine and noted current contributors included some high profile wine bloggers including Tyler Colman and Alder Yarrow as well as a bevy of bloggers entrenched in other content specialty areas of the blogosphere including William Keens on running business meetings and Carlos Portocarrero on personal finance. Their contributions, in my opinion, added up to the most compelling content in the magazine.
It is a strategy that Dan McCarthy, CEO of our rapidly evolving traditional media company NCI and blogger at ViralHousingFix, and I have been kicking around for our own local shelter magazine portfolio; curate the best social media content and present it to readers in traditional print and online media products. I asked Alder about the level of commitment US Airways made to him:
Kudos to US Airways and the editors at Pace Communications who publish the magazine for the airline. Republishing Alder’s wine content from blog to magazine is personally validating both as a wine blogger and publisher of traditional shelter magazines. If social media content is regularly curated across the web, why aren’t more traditional media operators moving that content into other media formats that also aggregate engaged, niche audiences? Aren’t they deserving? The answer lies at the center of an editor’s admirable bias for creating original and unpublished content, a now dated strategy that has dictated media pros’ operating mindsets for a very long time. Unfortunately, in today’s proliferation of powerful online content by once unknown authors, a wall is constructed between editors and these important and engaging content sources, ultimately creating a disservice to readers.
Yesterday, SIRIUS XM Radio announced a regular, live, two hour weekly new show featuring the wine world’s undisputed social media icon Gary Vaynerchuk. In this move, SIRIUS exhibited a lack of prejudice towards the creation of a mainstream wine personality, exclusively chiseled out over social media wine networks. Granted, Vaynerchuk has taken his celebrity to serious enough heights that minimizes the size of SIRIUS’ leap, but the event is groundbreaking enough and credit goes to SIRUS XM Radio’s Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, who said:
Gary’s entrepreneurial spirit and energetic expertise in wine make him and Wine & Web the perfect match for satellite radio and our cutting edge, sophisticated audience. His passion for life and wine is infectious, and will resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds.
Eliminating Vaynerchuk as a viable radio personality would have been a missed opportunity. Discriminating against the curation and recreation of already-published content is an injustice to media audiences. Should museums stop featuring works from classic painters and sculptors that were already exhibited elsewhere? Getting beyond this is the first step in a practical approach for moving content from the social web into traditional media products. US Airways and SIRIUS XM Radio have now proven that in the sphere of wine content and beyond with their landmark strategies.
Recently, Flipboard took a groundbreaking step towards making social content appear as magazine content, and “flipped” the concept by aggregating social content and reproducing it as a magazine, only online. Jeff Battersby at Bloomberg Businessweek described it this way:
Flipboard is a “personalized social magazine” app for the iPad that aggregates nine of your favorite online media sources, grabs content from links posted on those sites or by your friends on Twitter and Facebook (including photos and video), and then presents that content to you in a beautiful, easy-to-read, magazine-like format. After almost two weeks of using Flipboard’s free app on a daily basis, I believe that Flipboard creates a Web media experience that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
While this may sound like standard RSS feed reader fare, Flipboard is unique among any of the feed readers I’ve used. Instead of simply collecting and displaying a list of recent posts, Flipboard grabs the content that each post links to, letting you view it all like a magazine article. So, if a friend on Facebook posts a bunch of recent vacation photos, Flipboard displays them all. Likewise, if someone you follow on Twitter posts a link to a video or article on the Web, you can view that video from within Flipboard (except, of course, if it’s Flash-based) and read several paragraphs from the linked article…. The overall experience is much more seamless and enjoyable than your typical feed reader, dedicated Twitter app, or even Facebook itself. As advertised, Flipboard has the feel of a personalized media magazine.
I have been using the app on my iPad and while I don’t necessarily require the transitional presentation of social content to be comfortable consuming it, I suspect it is the first of many applications that will go a long way in making social content more digestible to hard core traditional media fans. The battle lines are now drawn. Hopefully, these events will serve to refocus the mud slinging between online and traditional wine writers. It is about time to abandon prejudices of media platform and format in the judgment of valuable content.