There is an interesting example of the disruptiveness and transformation of new and social media in the New York Times newspaper today. Unfortunately, it really only comes through in the print version. That’s because in today’s article on the mayor of Moscow’s recent infrastucture investments in South Ossetia, the New York Times has elected to print comments posted originally to its livejournal blog.
It only hits you when holding the paper version of the Times how the conversational DNA of social media has changed the ecosystem for news overall. Even when reprinted in the New York Times, comments come across as the slightly off-color and perhaps off-key commentary that they are — the boisterous and proud weltanschauung of their spirited Russian authors audible between, through, and behind the lines.
The Times may have wished to make Russian responses available to the domestic US audience, the blog’s popularity having become a bit of news of its own. It may have wished to feature some of the many perspectives Russians hold on their iconoclastic mayor. Either way, seeing blog comments on paper drove home just what we mean by “distributed conversation,” and “conversational media.”