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Cost of Social Media Participation

Social media is the latest buzz phrase to describe the trend in normal people creating content. Something previously the realm of professional journalists.

In a recent article, Nina Simon investigates how much time is involved per week for different types of participation:

Social media involvement

I’m considered fairly involved as I participate in a number of services, including this blog, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and monitor a forum here or there. Some of my friends are participating with Twitter alone, as Twitter dropped the barrier of entry to virtually nil.

This raised a question of how journalists are allocated time for social media. The trend in traditional media is to attempt to integrate social media into the news process. This includes using user generated content in the print product and on the web. But it also involves journalists becoming members of the community.

The obvious implication is that more time is required. However, with newsrooms shrinking and with print and online operations attempting to converge, available time is reduced.

Until time is allocated to social media, the voice of the traditional media will continue to broadcast rather than participate in the conversation.