The War on Stupid Needs YOU!

Somewhere between the phasing out of the telegraph and reaching 180 millions tweets per week we lost our way, or at least overlooked a few things. Now, an ominous monster lurks in the shadows waiting for the opportune moment… we call it Stupid.

In a world where attention spans measure in milliseconds and access to data is seemingly limitless, society appears to have lost the ability to think deeply (or at least longer than the newest episode of American Horror Story).

Media continues to fragment and jump at the push of a button – from DVRs to YouTube – allowing us to tune in to what we choose when we choose. Great right? Sure, but it also allows us to tune out what we don’t want, or care, to know.

Critical thinking has been replaced by sound bites, and niche media outlets reinforce your personal echo-chamber. Our brains can’t seem to keep up with the tid-bits of information overload we’re bombarded with on a daily basis. This gap – call it context, background or critical thinking – is a ripe avenue for Stupid’s assault.

For journalists, the information “gatekeepers” knowing how to interpret and file meaningful dispatches from this mountain of binary translations is especially important.

In fact, it’s imperative.

The news cycle has kicked into overdrive, operating on second and minutes instead of days and weeks. Declining readership has lead to staff reductions, and an obvious shift to a more digital-centric strategy. Public perception of the media are at trust at all time lows.

“These are strange times in which we live and good information is more valuable than ever,” said Patrick Rodgers, freelance journalist and former Community Editor with Connect Savannah. “The problem is not the quality of the information, but how it is presented.

Blame it on the speed of the tweet, or the half-mast newsroom staffs, or on excel spreadsheets even (heck, they are confusing), but there’s a war going on… A War on Stupid. And Patrick Rodgers along with long-time cohort Andrew Davies have been in the trenches.

Fortunately, the media gurus are happy to share what they’ve learned from catching all that shrapnel. For trained journalist or general news consumers, the duo plans to illustration the new information pipeline and draw some bridges between important topics in the media field – bridges over the dark recesses of Stupid, of course.

“While recognizing that the average person does not consume information in the same way they did 10 years ago (let alone 20 or 30 years ago), begin to ask how the vital information people need to make sense of the ever-changing world can be delivered as effectively to them as possible (not just in its means of delivery, but in how it is consumed),” Davies, Lead Creative Juicer with Paragon, said.

With strange times come strange habits, to say the least. The media industry, along with news consumers of all walks, are still trying to make sense of it all. The convoluted life cycle of today’s newspaper story offers a glimpse into some of the information holes and new-age challenges we’re all facing, but it’s just a glimpse.

Join Rodgers and Davies for an in-depth look at “The War on Stupid” and the changing dynamics of news consumption at SoCon12, February 5, 2012 near Atlanta, Ga. The news wheel is still working, but the duo hopes to apply their years of experience to optimize its roll. From the newsgathering process to the way information is displayed, delivered and ultimately consumed, the changing dynamic of the news industry affects journos and consumers alike.

Join more than 30 industry experts leading more than two-dozen breakout sessions, lectures and networking opportunities for SoCon12 at Kennesaw State University. SoCon’s curriculum offers sessions for virtually all tech-related professionals, from journalists to mom-and-pop marketers.

Now in its sixth year, the SoCon series is one of the longest running and well-received social media conferences in the Southeast. Joins hundreds of influential people for 1.5 days of networking, knowledge building and all around good times.

Register before January 1, 2012 for early-bird discount rates.

War on Stupid - be there, or be dumb

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