Social Media at Mediabistro Circus: One-Way Content Streams Are Some ‘Uncle Milty Sh*t’ — Multi-Directional Media Are The Future

Following milennials’ lead is central to media pros’ success with social media, Social Approach CEO Shawn Gold said yesterday at Mediabistro Circus

The first day of Mediabistro Circus sessions concluded with four unique takes on social networking, with the major takeaway Social Approach CEO Shawn Gold‘s assertion that milennials understand social networking’s value in ways that older media pros can benefit from. When it comes to the old model of disseminating media in a one-way stream, “There’s some Uncle Milty shit going down right there,” he told the raptly attentive crowd.

Never mind that these most dynamic points were made by a speaker who prefaced his talk with the caveat, “I took a redeye, took some Ambien — I’m still working through those issues.” (And we have the pictures to prove it.)

Despite his somnolent state pre-session, Shawn Gold revved up the crowd with his social media insights mere hours later.

Unsurprisingly, Gold, former EVP of MySpace, focused much of his presentation on social networking among the milennial generation, MySpace’s core audience, declaring, “The future of media is kids today” in reference to the younger contingent much more versed in — and, therefore, more the beneficiaries of — social media and all it has to offer.

“The Internet generation has grown up sharing their lives,” he said. “They’re aware of privacy, they’re aware that anything they say can be used against them, but they somehow don’t mind. Their lives are more scheduled and structured than ever before,” making them the model for using social media to connect more, quicker, and better than older generations. “They’re so limited in time, social media lets them efficiently connect.”

Steve Rubel, senior vice president of Edelman PR, in addressing how the public relations industry was capitalizing on social media, spoke of the need for data portability via the “cut-and-paste Web,” through which content from a specific site goes virtually anywhere else on the Web in the form of widgets and other tools.

“The Web is moving to a place where content goes wherever you want to take it,” he said. “Every single publisher needs to be sure they’re not building a ship, they’re building an armada. It’s no longer about Web sites… Go where people are creating collages, and be sure your site is a part of that collage.”

Kate Everett Thorp, CEO of Real Girls Media said that social networking creates new marketing opportunities and provides for custom interactions. “It allows the community to tell others what they like,” she said. Vital to all the working journalists in attendance was her assertion that we’re witnessing “profound shifts in news, as “being first isn’t necessarily getting all the traffic.”

Steven Johnson, author of Ghost Map and Everything Bad Is Good For You capped the session by discussing the “rise of the geographic Web” and the burgeoning relationship between locality and social networks.

Johnson founded, a Web site that crawls the Web for blog posts pertinent to a neighborhood environment, an idea he said he came up with as a result of reading his own Brooklyn neighborhood blogs.

“Blogs were covering a part of my world that were not being covered by traditional media,” he said. “You start to hear the true voices of the the people in the community. We are trying to take these voices and organize them and help people find out what’s going on around them.”

Johnson (whose Gmail RSS feed, when displayed to the crowd mid-talk, indicated he had 8,469 unread emails) said he learned of a friend’s nearby mugging courtesy of

“The Internet was able to make our conversations public,” he said.