I’m at the Web 2.0 Expo taking the pulse of market buzz. I haven’t yet done the Exhibition Floor Trawl, which to my mind is the best source of data on what’s really happening–who’s exhibiting, what booths are people lining up at, how big is the crowd–but I had to post on a funny initial impression.
After sitting in on a couple of sessions I headed over to the blogger lounge to connect with some friends. The blogger launge is just a couple of doors past the media lounge, so I peaked in there first to see if I knew anyone. The difference between the media lounge and the blogger lounge was telling.
When you walk into the media lounge, it’s deadly silent. There are a couple of rows of banquet tables, about half full. People diligently typing away, head down. You walk two doors down to the blogger lounge, and you can hear the buzz outside the door. Similar rows of tables, but they’re all full. There are couches with people lounging with their laptops. Pandora radio is set up putting out tunes. There’s a small video/sound stage setup for video interviews. But most of all, people are engaged in conversation everywhere–talking while posting, twittering, texting.
It’s a striking metaphor for old vs. new media. Why the two lounges are even separate is an interesting question, and I can only speculate that enough old line reporters don’t want to hang out in a cluttered social environment where there’s music and conversation going on that they need their own room. Maybe it’s distracting. Maybe it’s annoying. But speculation aside, the different environments are a compelling symbol of the different worlds of traditional and social media.
I wonder how many of the people in the blogger lounge have defected from the media lounge.