Last night, Managing Editor Greg Barber and I had the opportunity to speak with students at American University about all things technology, journalism, and social media — and wow, were we floored by the energy and engagement in that room.
The AU Social Media Club claimed the hashtag #WaPoAU for the event — you can read some of the key takeaways by following the Twitter stream here. We were thrilled with the feedback and ideas that emerged from our discussion, which covered everything from gamifying Social Reader to the importance of personalization in a consumer’s media diet. We were struck by the fact that not a single student in the room was studying journalism — and yet, everyone present exhibited a voracious appetite for discussing the future of news and news consumption.
What else did we learn during our visit?
- News is increasingly consumed on-the-go on mobile devices
- Personalization is becoming a necessary (and normalized) facet of the reading experience
- Social media is transforming news consumption and distribution into an active and participatory experience
- Long-form journalism and analysis must adapt to a rapidly-changing world of 140-character news blips and aggregation engines
- Social media’s various roles are evolving and expanding — will social TV or film be the next frontier?
We wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped organize the event. Both of us were extremely impressed and inspired by @AU_SMCEDU.
If you, like us, have ideas or comments regarding the future of journalism and technology’s role in the media landscape, give us a shout. We’re very much looking forward to continuing the discussion with you.