Scene: The newsroom at a Big Newspaper. Our two Social Media Idol finalists are standing before the three-judge panel awaiting their comments.
Reporters and editors gather for the Final Judgment. The room is silent, save for the pinging of Instant Messages and the soft strains of a special, abbreviated, unusual two-hour only episode of the Hobson and Holtz Report podcast.
The judges are ready. It’s Go Time.
Judge Number One: How you doin’ tonight, dogs?
Reporter One: Chillin’ dog – ready to get all social and bloggy, baby!
Reporter Two: Um, I’m fine, but kinda on deadline. Can we speed this up?
Judge One: A’ight, dog, I’m feelin’ you. So, here’s the thing Number One – I wasn’t sure about your story at first, there were a lot of words and all. But then you laid down the video blogs and mashups, and you just started doin’ your thing, baby! (Reporter One smiles with confidence.)
Judge Number Two: I agree. Your story…moved me. I loved the part about the cat. It must have been so scary, being stuck in that tree.
Judge Number Three: Look, the cat is all well and good, but you’re missing the point. The brilliance in your story, if I’m being honest, is that you didn’t actually create any of it yourself. Using the audience to research and publish the entire piece was fantastic — it’s what being a Social Media Idol is all about.
Judge One: Now, Number Two…um, how you think you did?
Reporter Two: Well, I wrote what I think was a good story, I talked to a lot of people and….
Judge One: Yeah, see, that’s the problem. It was, I don’t know, just all right for me, dog.
Reporter Two: But I worked really hard….
Judge Two: I know you did, sweetie, and I just love that passion about you. But where were the cats?
Reporter Two: My story was about a government conspiracy and cover-up. There weren’t any cats.
Judge One: Or dogs, dog!
Reporter Two: Uh, right, no dogs, either.
Judge Three: Okay, here’s the problem with you, Number Two. You published your story before you let anyone read it or comment on it. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you only had one Del.icio.us and one Digg button? You know the minimum number of social media tagging thingys to include with each story is 20; anything less and you’re just not trying.
Reporter Two: Okay, but my story led to the resignation of 10 government officials and saved thousands of innocent lives.
Judge Three: Right, but would it have killed you to recreate your entire piece in Second Life?
Reporter Two: Maybe not, but I don’t think….
Judge Three: It’s like this, Number Two. You just don’t have what it takes to be a reporter today, much less a Social Media Idol.
Reporter Two: But…I won the Pulitzer Prize.
Judge Two: That’s magical! Did you get a cat?
Reporter Two: No, I was honored for my journalism skill.
Judge One: Your what now?
Judge Three: I don’t see what journalism has to do with being a Social Media Idol.
Reporter Two: Finally, something we agree on.