Last night I read a post by a particularly insightful guy questioning "to what extent news is news." He was deliberating movement in the market in relation to alleged news-- asking, to what extent is news embedded in the market...
With real-time technologies and more "social" ones at that, the role of "news" and/or "media" fluctuate.
I was thinking about this while listening to an outstanding presentation by Marcel LeBrun, CEO of Radian6 today. Marcel opened his talk with Marshall McLuhan's thoughts on "the medium as the message." Idea being, the medium, social technology in his case, has a larger societal impact than the messages contained in/on the medium. Marcel went on to talk about the richness of what he refers to as the "social phone," or social web in all its opportunities for participation.
Interestingly this same idea came up in David Matthia's comment in response to Peter Kim's post questioning the value of Influencer lists. Referring to Influencer lists as 'fad-ish', he suggests the real trend is in the influence of the medium-- in organizing and supporting groups (drastically simplified, but similar to what is discussed on David's blog, The Root Trend).
This is all particularly interesting to me because I don't necessarily think of the social web as a medium... Not that I'm the first to suggest this. I don't argue the richness, opportunity, or profound role of the technology in the markets or society, I just don't think of it as a medium. Still, I wonder about its role-- current and future.