When I first saw the group “Occupy Wall Street” I did not know what hey were about, what their message was or even why they were camped outside to deliver their message to the public. Part of the reason I did not know what these people had to say was that mainstream media was speaking about them and not for them. The news would come on and say that the protesters were dirty or that they were loud. There was even a story on the new which lasted about fifteen minutes saying that a member of the group “Occupy Boston”, a like-minded group who is squatting in the commerce section of Boston, was mean to a female member of the Coast Guard which has a base nearby. As I watch this drama unfold, and begin to hear some of the facts come out in this act of civil disobedience, I turned to social media to find out what is really going on.

        Sites like mobiledia are vital in the spread of facts that the mainstream media does not want to cover. Its has a full Facebook presence that anyone can go to as well as over 7,000 likes on its Occupy Wall Street article alone. Its Occupy Wall Street article, by Lorien Crow, shows how the social groups involved in this movement are using Facebook , Twitter, and other social media applications to get participation, organization, and information out to the public in spite of almost no coverage to that end by the mainstream media. Sadly, the mainstream media is so intertwined with business advertisers that it cannot be independent in its reporting of aspects of conflict in modern society. I dealt with this first hand recently as a unionized member of Verizon on strike for a new contract. The news took more than a week to report anything about the strike but ran ads everyday from Verizon advertising that the company was still strong in spite of the strike. Any detraction from the message of the workers looking for a fair contract was reported on immediately. It is simply true now that sometimes mainstream media panders to its advertisers in its reporting. This is not fair reporting, but it is a safer way to do business for them.

       The article speaks of a new application called Vibe. This application can send out information and messages to its membership. It also allow users to register anonymously and erase posted messages in a timely manner. This application will be vital on both connecting participators as well as informing members of possible conflicts while not worrying about archived messages coming back to hurt them legally.

     At first glance Vibe seems to repeat other formats or even be destructive to open conversation. The truth of the matter, however, is that every conflict has two sides. If one side can plan and organize in the quiet private confines of its board room and meeting houses, then the other side should be able to post its activism to social media without fear of mainstream organizational reprisal. Simply, Vibe is a needed tool in social activism.

      In the end I read on Facebook what the Occupy Movement is all about. It is about truth and relevance It is about kids becoming adults, having huge school debt, and not being able to get a job. The truth of the matter is that these kids could have just stayed home, collected unemployment, and become irrelevant. Through the use of social media they instead connected with a common frustration, organized with a common voice, and showed the world that the masses are not content to sit home on the dole while the economy collapses. Much like the grassroots efforts in the Middle East, and through social media as a tool, they have started to gain attention to the fact that economic change is needed. They have done so while traditional media has collected advertising money and slept on the story. Power to them for refusing to be irrelevant and attempting to showcase the truth.

   In pure marketing concept,  If social media ia the new voice of the facts, then it may render mainstream media simply a voice box for ads. If users go to social media for facts, they will render the advertising dollars of traditional media useless. By looking only at the business dollars and not reporting the facts, traditional media is just shortening  the lifespan of itself.

Ty Ray