There are plenty of news organizations that make social media options immediately available, of course, such as BBC News, GlobalPost, The Times of India, Univision, Politico, Le Monde, and The Moscow Times. And some information providers are, lo, adopting new ways to be both informative and social. The Guardian, which itself has a sturdy sharing platform, recently reported on a new MTV app that will live stream programs and allow users to chat with other viewers during the experience. An app with limited content will be free, and a paid application will offer premium content, both of which will initially launch in seven European countries.

Bob Garfield, co-host of NPR’s On the Media, wrote in his book The Chaos Scenario that we are in “The Listenomics Age…If you do not listen [to audiences] carefully, you are a fool. Not because the crowd is a threat (although, of course, it is) but because it is your greatest resource.” Garfield goes on to extol the importance for digital content providers to learn “the art and science of cultivating relationships with individuals in a connected, increasingly open-source environment.”

“The mindful use of digital media doesn’t happen automatically,” wrote Howard Rheingold in his book Net Smart, to be published this month. “[T]hose who understand the fundamentals of digital participation…will be able to exert more control over their own fates than those who lack this lore.”

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Justin D. Martin is a journalism professor at Northwestern University in Qatar. Follow him on Twitter: @Justin_D_Martin