I was perusing Twitter and saw the mention of “new media.” I wondered what this phrase was and dug a little deeper to see that the journalistic gods were at work creating a new buzz around old and new forms of media. Hell, I have done the same – look at the name of this blog: SocialMediumSphere. My aim was to sum up not only social networks, but also what they encompass.

Old media would include newspapers, press releases by fax, radio, and I’d dare venture to say that even email is an old manner. The word “old” does not mean that those tactics are not to be used anymore, but simply renovated. I like that approach much better. People are still reading newspapers – no matter the decline in readership, it still exists, so why not use it?

While old media was a passive form of entertainment, new media is interactive entertainment. It’s fun for me to post the high cost of Enterprise’s rental cars and to get a response back quickly on how they can assist. {I’m disappointed that they couldn’t offer me a discount, but that’s another post.}

Social media, on the other hand requires a conversation between the content creator/s and the audience. Social media is about the people who engage on the platform. If people are connecting through the media, then it is social.

In order for new media to be considered social, it needs to have an element of interactivity where the audience can contribute, connect or collaborate with the content. There are big brands right now that are not utilizing this aspect – they ignore posts on Facebook and Twitter and fail to interact with their audiences which costs them money in the long run.

The Ricki Lake Show recently began creating social media communities and producing new media programming that integrates the old and new media. I’ve watched the show in the past and haven’t really been a fan, but I think that’s taking all mediums with a Tweet in the right direction.