Tag Archives: new-media

The Pancake Media Manifesto

At events, I find myself constantly surrounded by people who consider themselves “experts” just because they’ve wielded a pocket camera and a badge with a custom URL on it. Expertise comes from time served, lessons learned, and community activity.

Mind you, I’m just an enthusiast.

Remember when your computer was “multimedia” capable? That meant it had a sound card and a CD-ROM drive (potentially capable of 2x reading speed). That’s where it all began. Suddenly, “media” wasn’t just for journalists. I must thank Jim Louderback for reminding me of this functionally-proper (yet incredibly outdated) term.

Didn’t take long before the world was abuzz with the sights and sounds of “digital media.” This seemingly encompassed a set of tools which could instantly facilitate the creation of content. Analog became yesterday’s news. We traded in our cassettes and VHS tapes for CDs and DVDs, printed material for Web sites.

A business card seemed impressive when you had “Digital Media” somewhere in your title. Right?

Then came something called “new media.” Few could define its scope, though some might argue that this was nothing more than a “more lemony fresh” form of digital media. Perhaps the term only served to separate the “new blood” from the “old army” in terms of content publishing. One no longer needed to be a media powerhouse to get their message from point A to point B. The Internet was seemingly a more level playing field for publishers of all sizes.

A business card seemed impressive when you had “New Media” somewhere in your title. Right? Hardly see it anymore – when it was all the rage just a few short years ago.

And now, we currently stare down the barrel of something called “social media.” This is new, digital media worth sharing, no? Certainly. Fueled by a series of tools (connected by a series of tubes known as the Internet), when one pushes something out to their connected communities – it’s suddenly social. Makes sense. It’s largely seen as self-serving media, or serving-someone-else’s-self media. Sharing doesn’t imply caring.

Oh, and… a business card seems impressive when you put “Social Media” somewhere in the title. If only I could come up with a word to describe the deep and heavy sigh I exhaled as I wrote that sentence.


Producers love “digital media” because it saves them time and space; publishers love “new media” because it cuts costs and increases distribution; marketers and PR agents love “social media” because they finally have a chance to pitch to the masses without fear of reprisal.

So, what’s next? “New” is old news, “digital” is mandatory, and “social” is implied (unless your activity remains completely private). Once the wired grows tired of the catchphrase du jour, a new one will be borne and business cards can once again be refreshed safely.

What about “Pancake Media?”

Seems appropriate, given the…

  1. ever-increasing stack of tools at our disposal;
  2. insatiable appetite for creation;
  3. syrupy sweetness that inevitably comes wrapped around the connection of disparate pieces;
  4. byte-sized chunks being easy to chew on;
  5. limited amount one might digest before feeling full;
  6. need to feed and fuel one another;
  7. appropriateness to eat at any time;
  8. propensity to share what we’re eating, anyway;
  9. endless list of tasty toppings; and
  10. inherent need to end world hunger, one way or another.

More to the point, the next step in this cacophony of content is actually doing something with it (something Chris Brogan and I were briefly discussing the other day – and I’m not just name-dropping). We see certain aspects of this already, with some people content in providing knowledge, information, and general help.

“Social Media” ain’t shit if it’s not making the world a better place.

Is this turning into a manifesto?

I never expect that phrase to catch on – if only because it sounds equally as stupid as the term “social media.” Of course, those with “social media” somewhere on their current business cards would likely defend the phrase to the death. Remember, “Social Media Experts” are quite frequently nothing more than marketers in tweep’s clothing. The next time you meet one of ’em, tell them that “Pancake Media” is REALLY where it’s at.

Saving the world, one pancake at a time. Whatever the hell that means.

Top 10 Signs That You're a Social Media Douchebag

Listen. I don’t have a problem with the world of “social media.” I have a problem with the carpetbaggers inside of it. This video better explains the type of person I’m referring to:

And lest you forget, “social media” was once referred to as “new media.” Any guesses as to what the next label will be? Hopefully, it won’t be “douche media.”

So, are you a social media douchebag? Here’s a checklist:

  1. You haven’t done anything but regurgitate what other people have done.
  2. You can call yourself a “Social Media Expert” without giggling.
  3. You suggest everything is a “fail” before you’ve moved out of your parents’ house.
  4. You think the world begins and ends with one or two blogs.
  5. You once had “marketing” or “PR” splashed across your business card.
  6. You make liberal use of the word “conversation” when nobody is talking to (or about) you.
  7. You only attend events that provide professional “opportunity” advancement.
  8. You have no industry perspective or prowess, yet you offer it.
  9. You use the term “Web 2.0” without knowing what it actually is.
  10. You think this list doesn’t really apply to you.

And before you point a guilty finger in my direction, Gnomedex was covering blogging and RSS back in 2001 before half of you assclowns had your own feed. In 1996, WordPress and Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist – but that didn’t stop some of us from sharing information with the world.

To the best of my knowledge (and understanding of history): it’s IMPOSSIBLE to define or label an era until we’ve passed through it completely. Nobody was wandering around during the “Dark Ages” talking about how they were living in the “Dark Ages.” Web 2.0 is a conference – not a technology or period of time.

Do you realize just how ridiculous some of you sound?

Gnomedex Goes Hollywood

It hasn’t been but a week since Gnomedex 6.0 activities came to a close, but Ponzi and I have already been thinking about the next Gnomedex conference. We’ve received feedback from countless Gnomedexers, including positive reinforcement and constructive suggestions. I’ve dropped hints as to the location of Gnomedex 7, and I believe it’s safe to tell you that we’re thinking about bringing ‘er to… Hollywood. Thanks in large part to our active participants, Gnomedex has reveled in “new” media constructs for several years – so now it’s time to jump start that conversation with “traditional” media. With Dave Dederer and Ethan Kaplan leading two of our more popular sessions, and with several videobloggers asking “where’s the beef,” we’re going to take our tech roots to where they could matter most to lifestyles outside the echo chamber. We don’t have a venue (yet), we don’t have any sponsors (yet), and we don’t have a date (yet), but we do have a vision that we’d like you to share with us. As always, we’ll set the stage for a damn good time.