Guardian Activate Redux: Arianna Huffington

I liveblogged the Guardian Activate Conference in July.  Now that the videos of the speeches are online, it’s a good time to revisit some of my favourite things from the day… I’ll post up one video every few days or so…

Arianna Huffington – “Mainstream media suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder, and new media suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder…”

First of all it’s amazing that even though it’s just under 3 months ago, the things Arianna Huffington touches on as ‘happening now’ seem so long ago…

…the Iran elections, the very start of Healthcare reform in the US.  The speed with which ‘new news’ comes at us is astounding.

Which chimes excellently with the point mentioned above…

Mainstream media has ADD

It can’t focus on anything long enough to make it matter (the sole exception perhaps being the Telegraph’s expenses scandal).  Every day has to be about new news, new headlines, new ways to grab attention.

Meanwhile, new media has OCD

It keeps going with things, again and again, reinventing, adding to.  Look at how the Kanye West thing is over in ‘mainstream media’, yet continues to be remixed, shared, carried on across the web… the story doesn’t die.


I guess the power of new media, as it develops, will be to keep going not just at the memes and the fun silly stuff, but to start chipping away at the important stuff too.

Hopefully we’ll see a lot of it bubbling to the surface around Copenhagen later this year.  Because for the mainstream media, there will just be another big story along the following week