In today’s journalism structure, it’s important to think about the “spread-ability” of your content. No longer do that days of simply putting your story in the paper exist. In today’s journalism industry, content has the capability to go viral in a matter of mere minutes, thanks to popular social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.
In Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture, they discuss how easy content can spread throughout the Internet. They say,” …entertainment companies have long used models of overproduction and formatting to address this uncertainty.” (Jenkins, 197).
The concept of “virality” is one that entertainment industries have been interested in long before media companies. But, with the transformation media outlets are in as we speak, shifting to website first content, they must consider the ways in which their content if going to be used. YouTube trends manager Kevin Allocca did a Ted Talk in which he discussed how easy a video can go viral in today’s society.
The answer is that media companies are learning the concept of creating content for the web; designing with the idea of “spread-ability.” I’m employed with Oregon Public Broadcasting, and one of the things we discuss weekly is how our content is going to get used on the Internet. Because of the advent of the Internet, the question we think of on a daily basis is no longer, “How are we going to construct a story for our audience?” The question has become, “How are we going to interact with our audience?”
I think when journalists think with this mentality, they’re able to make more educated decisions about how to create stories for an online audience.