Social Media Power And Pitfalls #cuj100

As a part of the Columbia University School of Journalism celebrating its centennial, they had a panel discussion on Social Media Power and Pitfalls at Taj Mansingh, New Delhi.

The event had Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder & CEO, Infoedge ( introducing the panelist,Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, the social media guru for us and Barkha Dutt, Managing editor, NDTV, also a Columbia School of Journalism Alumni.

Before the actual panel discussion started with Barkha Dutt and Sree Sreenivasan asking her questions and discussing how the social media is influencing the main stream media, we were privileged to listen to his take on how social media would change things for the future.

I would also like to share a few of the things he put up on his slides.


So  looking at the picture, I remember a similar one with 1 million as the standard, and to think that it has been taken to 50 Million is a pointer to the way things are fast paced and also what holds in future.

He also took us on the way how the print/news industry in US is now looking for drastic solutions unlike their Indian counterparts. The classic final cover of Newsweek was a revelation with a hashtag #LastPrintIssue.

We also got to know that Associated Press has started to print news along the bills and invoice receipts, so the next time you make a purchase you could also get your bills with the latest developments. This is one of the trial that the media is trying out.

The best of his interaction was when he put up this slide:

I believe this is pretty true even on a macro level. If we were to think that people are sitting in front of their seats and waiting for an update from you and me, forget that or from a brand, then yes we have a problem.

The sheer size of the data that it generates is the real issue, times have changed and so have the number of users across media platforms, with so much of updates, tweets and videos, the challenge lies in being heard and being noticed and it’s just that we will almost be missed especially on Social Media.

He also touched upon the changing media habits and how we should be making ourselves more knowledgeable with whats happening which he suggested as changing media diet.


According to him the year 2013 would be the year of Social, Mobile, Video and Geo location/Local.

Now onto the panel discussion with Barkha Dutt and Sree Sreenivasan, it was also a peek into the minds of the media and also the reader.

Barkha Dutt was candid in admitting that social media has made it to prominence and on a personal note she was happy about being able to talk to people. That twitter has made it easy to access the people has brought about a great change in the attitude of some celebrities.

She gave a ring side view of how she takes the divergent and sometimes over the top opponents – described as ‘trolls’ and their comments. On the other side, she felt that she should be able to take the discussion offline and also extend to know the person offline.

The general perception is that the television or the print media is not that threatened as much as in the west may be for the next 5 -10 years. But yes Barkha made a clear point when she said she was doubtful if Indian viewers will ever pay for content as they have been always getting them for free!

To me it was a learning experience especially with the two mega minds in business. Sree Sreenivasan, then put together 13 ways to stay relevant in the social media, pardon any media for that matter reproduced below! That pretty much sums up the whole!

So cheers to you/ your brands success this year….

Here is the link of the presentation and also the storified version from Sree.

Senthilkumar Rajappan

PS: this post was written for and was published here: