Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - The Future of We Media

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I've been thinking about your comment here on US (esp.) journalism having lost its way and equating that to the problem marketers also have. People are just fed up of sameness, lazy attempts at talking at them, topics and products that do not interest them.

And today they have a way of letting you know -- choices and the ability to create content are rebalancing the equation.

Having said that, there is definitely a need and a role for skilled writers, storytellers, seekers of facts, etc.

You say the next wave will be about achieving something through media. Meaning. When I ask younger professionals what it is they are looking for -- the UPenn study on happiness itself says it -- we want meaning. Conversation, like technology, is a tool.

What we see on the other side is the ability to find that which each person and organization in the end is looking for. So perhaps we need to gt much better at asking the right questions vs. having all the answers up front.

Thank you for joining your voice and for the information on the conference.

Valeria, I enjoyed the post, and yes, the economics of traditional journalism institutions are bleak, especially in the U.S. But the future of journalism itself may not be so bleak - and not merely because blogs and amateurs are somehow filling the void.

It's important to think hard about two things.

1. What's the point of journalism? Is it an end in itself? Is the point of journalism to do journalism? Or is it to seek and distribute information and knowledge as a means to making the world a better place for more people?

It may be that journalism institutions are losing audiences and influence because they have lost their way - especially in the US.

Meanwhile, along with eroding trust in media institutions,

(see: )

I see a rising tide of people who don't call themselves journalists, and they also don't call themselves bloggers, but they are starting to use the tools and techniques of media to make the world a better place for more people.

2. What's the "We" in We Media all about? It's about the empowerment of everyone to be media. The first wave of We Media may have been the rise of blogging as a platform, avocation and cultural force - but the next wave will be about other ways people - and institutions - can achieve something through media. Nonprofit groups will be investigating and monitoring human rights - and promoting campaigns to address their findings; civic groups will be creating their own media and using the tools of media to connect with and inform their communities.

Media institutions will need to figure out their place in this highly networked culture.

By the way, some of these questions, but by no means all, are the subject of the annual We Media conference (, coming up later this month in Miami.

(Disclosure: That's a shameless plug - I'm one of the organizers).


Many journalists and writers have written using a participatory tone and voice. While at the same time working to uncover, investigate, expose facts from which we are called to participate in with the choices we make.

Words can be equally powerful whether we engage actively or we are sitting on the sidelines. It's the being available to it because they are available to us that really matters -- the discourse of democracy.

With the active voice, we now have a greater opportunity to help tell the story. Another reason why I so love the work the Institute for the Future is doing with stories and foresight to insight to action. We will revisit your collective ideas from year end about their work in the coming weeks.

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