My business partner and I negotiated late into the night last night and we’ve come to a very critical decision. It wasn’t easy to do, but we know it’s the right thing for us.

We’re totally getting some ShamWows.

The first step. I have a terrible addiction to media. All kinds of media. Yes, even ShamWow commercials. Now, you may be thinking “Suze. The ShamWow commercial is advertising, not media. You, of all people, should know this.”

Yup, you’re right, it’s an ad. But the ShamWow commercial that we all know and love is 2 minutes long. By today’s short and sweet YouTube standards, it’s a flippin’ documentary. And, it’s because of my obsessive consumption of media that I even know about the super absorbency power and the 2 for 1 deal if I call within the next 20 minutes, anyway.

ShamWows aside, I’ve consumed more media this week than I think I’ve consumed in 6 months. Today, I’m thinking about why that is, and how new media is changing the game at a pace that we can’t even fathom.

That’s news to me. Like everyone else, I was glued to my media on Tuesday as the inauguration of the U.S.’s 44th President took place. I even put it on during my Web Media class, using the Associated Press’ Ustream feed. It was remarkably appropriate timing, as we not only watched the proceedings via the Web, but we followed along with the millions of streams of conversations people were having online.

When I watch world events taking place, I am not typically one to get sucked into the emotion of it. I am a complete and utter TV Geek, so what I’m watching is how the news outlets are weaving the stories. I watch what camera angles are used (yes, I was counting how many cameras they had on Capitol Hill!). I think about how they set up the gig, where the production trucks were, and how the journalists prepped. I look at the graphic elements, and think about how they help the story.

This time around, I was also completely fascinated with the new layer of media that appeared on top of the traditional coverage. The addition of the Facebook feed on the CNN Live web site actually gave me butterflies. The steady stream of iReports intrigued me. The way that the site flipped over the SECOND Obama was sworn in amazed me. Convergence is here, my friends. And it’s here in a big way.

Hey! I know that expert! Mainstream media always has a steady flow of experts on their roster to drop by and talk about marketing, technology, media trends and whatnot. Usually these people are called in from universities or huge marketing agencies or giant corporations. Well, times are most certainly changing. These days it seems, the experts that are being called in are the same guys I hang out with at Podcamps, and the same guys that come to speak to my college classes. Just this week, I watched with glee as CC Chapman interviewed on CNN Live about the impact of social media on coverage of the inauguration. I then listened intently as both Mitch Joel and Andy Kaplan-Myrth talked technology on CBC’s Spark.

Mainstream media is catching on to the fact that the true experts are the ones that are out here, living, working, breathing this new media space. And that is a VERY good thing.

Conversation is king. Perhaps the most fascinating thing to me about all of this media/new media convergence is that the foundation of it all is the conversation. It’s worldwide, and it’s going on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am riveted as I watch how people react to the things that are happening in the world today. Remember what I said above, about how I’m not one to get sucked in? That’s getting more and more difficult, and it’s BECAUSE of the conversation.

Even from up here in Canada, I  can’t help but get caught up in my American friends’ hope for the future and sense that big changes are coming. I look around me and I see emotional responses coming from my fellow Canadians, as they fully embrace a leader that isn’t even our own. These strong emotional reactions are only heightened by the fact that all of these conversations are going on. It’s community to community, person to person. It’s a chain reaction, and everybody is now part of it.

Media is no longer passive. It’s active. It’s now. And it’s changing the world’s perception of major events at lightning speed.

Final Word. Being the media junkie that I am, I could go on all day and night about this stuff. I get so excited about it that my mind races with all of the possibilities that exist. If Marshall McLuhan were alive today I think he’d be giving us the big ol’ “I told you so!” right about now. The medium IS the message.  This new medium called the World Wide Web is affecting our planet in a society-altering way. And it’s going to continue to affect us in ways we haven’t even imagined yet.


One more thing.

Want proof that I’m truly a media junkie? The bulk of this post was tapped out on my little iPhone keyboard at 2:30am, lying in bed in a dark room. Why? Because I woke up out of a dead sleep with this stuff swimming around in my head.

It’s entirely possible I’m going to need an intervention soon.