I’m MELDing!

God bless Katz Kiely 🙂

As well as spinning up planning on the 2008 edition of b.TWEEN, Katz’ Just-B Productions are also behind the upcoming MELD, a forthcoming event bringing together the North’s foremost interaction designers and journalists for a week of ideation, blending the talents of old and new media.

I’m not sure ‘interaction designer’ is the best characterisation of the kind of people MELD’s looking to recruit – but I guess bloggers, social media mavens and anyone with a flair for the distribution patterns of the 2.0 era would be appropriate…perhaps even some ARG designers, mobile and locative experts?

MELD is running launch events in Leeds (15th October) and Manchester (10th October) with the ‘lab event running from 10-14th December

I’m uncertain that polarities exist between journalists knowing how to tell a story and social media experts knowing how to distribute. Blogs like TechCrunch and Blognation are as professional as Cnet and Wired – and actually displacing the authority and reputation of their old media predecessors as well as mastering the new tools of distribution.

Perhaps, what’s more significant than an amateur/professional divide is the broadcast/conversational juxtaposition. New media can teach old media how to co-create, discover, collaboratively filter, crowdsource, syndicate and mashup – but new media’s just as strong at content creation. Most importantly, social media is providing ad-hoc accountability and oversight of a mainstream media that’s drifting towards incurious laziness and still looks down its nose at its new rivals.

So MELD is perhaps an opportunity to do more than create and pitch, but a chance to understand what’s really changed; it’s important to understand the cultural and technological shifts that have driven social media and captured the cultural imagination and the reasons why mainstream media is increasingly distrusted.

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