Becoming a good media practitioner (whether in journalism, public relations or advertising) you need to have a good understanding of pop-culture and your audience.

A few years ago my father introduced me to the USA Network program Monk. I think it’s a funny show and watch all the new episodes every summer, but my dad thinks it the best show on TV and watches it whenever it’s on. Tonight’s episode of Monk featured rapper Snoop Dogg as the special guest star. Snoop appeared throughout the show and even rewrote/rapped the show’s theme song. To me any show that is my dad’s favorite featuring a rapper is a culture clash, but I think this is a good example of the way our culture is created by mashing up diverse segments and opinions.

One of the results of the Internet and the Long Tail is the narrow segmentation of interests, markets and values. The mass media has always built mass culture between diverse interests, but the influence of the Internet is turning the mass media into the narrow interests. As web 2.0 blossoms, the convergence of ideas, cultures and opinions will move from the mass media to the individual mash-ups. People will find those mash-ups, be introduced to new ideas with referrals from their friends– online virtual friends who they trust.

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