The life cycle of news, and how it interacts with the blogosphere

In this article about tracking the life cycle of news , what struck me was this:

Watching how stories moved between mainstream media and blogs revealed a sharp dip and rise the researchers described as a “heartbeat.” When a story first appears, there is a small rise in activity in both spheres; as mainstream activity increases, the proportion blogs contribute becomes small; but soon the blog activity shoots up, peaking an average of 2.5 hours after the mainstream peak. Almost all stories started in the mainstream. Only 3.5 percent of the stories tracked appeared first dominantly in the blogosphere and then moved to the mainstream.

Which seems an excellent illustration of the old quote [paraphrased] that “mainstream media isn’t necessarily good at telling you what to think, but it is very good at telling you what to think about”. The internet gives us a voice, and, while it is valuable to engage in discussion about issues of the day in our own forums, and interesting things may emerge from those discussions, where are the real sources of novelty coming from? Or rather, how can we amplify the novelty – the issues that are actually important to people that are neglected by the mainstream filter – that must be existing, and get it into the mainstream dialogue?

It would be really interesting to know what the 3.5% of crowd-sourced stories were…

One Response to “The life cycle of news, and how it interacts with the blogosphere”

  1.   Scott C
    July 15th, 2009 | 9:19 am

    Thanks dude – that fits perfectly into the media studies paper I’m doing. A really interesting read.