Internet Week decided not to give me press credentials. Now you would think that I would be all irritated and petty about this fact. And you would probably be right. I can be a very shallow person. But frankly the humor of it all outweighs any blow to my ego. Because let's face it, the event that celebrates the great equalizer of media is seemingly only interested in extending press credentials to bigger news organizations and blogs. Now that's pretty damned funny — in a bitter, I-just-got-jilted kind of way.
I really can't blame them, though. I do, of course, but I can't. Internet Week understands all too well what the rest of us are too afraid to admit: blog posts and podcasts are nice, but what really works is TV and major news outlet coverage. Which only serves to highlight one of the biggest problems I have with digital as a whole. We crow about the power of the Internet, but we all know in our hearts that traditional media is still more important.
Word of mouth is powerful stuff, because it carries the recommendation of a trusted expert or friend. But it's inefficient if what you need is quick pick-up for promotion. That video that your friend passed to you may indeed go viral just through pass-along, but it sure helps when the Today Show picks it up and suddenly you have a million new folks passing it along.
Now again, let me reiterate that I understand my 30,000 targeted uniques a year are meaningless to an organization that needs to reach 100,000 or 250,000 minimum to move the needle. I get that. In fact, as I was punching the wall this morning I was saying to myself, "I understand. They are good people with a tough decision to make." But it occurs to me that we are reaching a decision point in Internet-land. It's reaching the point where we need to either believe in the rehetoric that the Internet is the replacement of traditional medias or we need to stop spouting this BS and start accepting that it's a glorified public access channel, no matter how over-valued Facebook becomes.
I can go either way with you on this. But of course my opinion apparently doesn't matter much, so I'll leave it up to all the old media brands playing and dominating on the Internet to decide which is right.
Gee, I wonder what they're gonna choose.