Cocktails and community in news

There’s a quasi-time-honoured tradition of cocktails and banter that have led to news leads.

But a party I recently attended reminded me of the importance of involving the community in news. (By this I mean more than the lot of us getting hammered.)

Typically, party music is the job of the host. Indeed, for this party, the host spent the day on iTunes, downloading and cultivating the perfect playlist that would create the absolute ideal atmosphere for merriment.

She needn’t have bothered.

The playlist for this party was ultimately crowd sourced.  (Note: while the following may read a bit like a paid endorsement of Apple products, I remain a humble, unpaid observer)

Back to the party… Picture it: Party-goers with a cocktail in one hand, crowded around someone with an iPhone, looking through their playlists. A quick swipe and a tap et voila! Thanks to Apple’s Airplay, their song was broadcast over the home’s speaker system.

The iPhones fed an invisible jukebox. The result? People started dancing. They got competitive over who had the best song.

‘Who’s song is this?’ someone shouted when Disco Inferno started playing. A congo line was formed. Yes, it became that  kind of a party.

And this is how news organizations have to think: While we remain the venue with the big speaker system, we can’t take for granted that we’re the only playlist out there.

Because to host the perfect bash, it’s also important to dance to  – and appreciate – someone else’s beat.

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2 thoughts on “Cocktails and community in news

  1. It’s a good story. I suspect though that while the host didn’t control the music he did control the guests, in terms of selection. It’s that balance between the crowd and who is in the crowd that is a new version of the gate-keeper issue.

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