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Jeter Breaks Ankle, Twitter Delivers Eyeballs

Stocks in this article: FB TWX MSG RCI BCE NWSA CMCSA

That's what Randi Zuckerberg told CNBC, pointing out that, despite social media's size, "the eyeballs" are still on television sets. In fact, our eyeballs increasingly multi-task as we move from mobile devices and computers to TVs. Often, there's no moving taking place -- somehow, we pay attention to multiple screens concurrently.

Word of mouth via modern channels doesn't sufficiently explain the symbiotic relationship between new/social media and the old guard.

Old-style word of mouth still exists, but it's not the primary driver of ratings it used to be.

Every year, I hear people hooting and hollering throughout my neighborhood during the Super Bowl. I hardly react. Before the game, dozens of people I bump into ask where I'm watching it. I tell them I have no plans and do not intend to make any.

The buzz on the street just doesn't get me all that excited, even when a whole city block bursts into a frenzy because something big just happened. The furor compels me to do nothing.

I can't quite explain why it's different when it comes from Twitter and, to a lesser extent, Facebook. For whatever reason, when Twitter erupts with people I've never met before saying something they just saw was "unbelievable," I must be part of it.

Resistance

I'm not sure we -- as a society -- realize just how powerful this dynamic is.

For every Dick Costolo or Zuckerberg sibling in the world that gets it, you have a television (or radio) executive or three fighting against it.

It goes like this.

Online media, television and radio need to enter a renewed era of partnership. It's on the latter two, however, to follow the former's lead. New and social media will continue to take off; the question simply becomes, Will the old guard go along for the ride or resist the trend, thereby setting itself up for almost-certain demise?

As a long-term investor, I cannot go wrong with Twitter in my portfolio once it goes public. At the same time, the oldest of the old guard media stocks look equally as attractive. I've won big with several in 2012 -- Time Warner (TWX), Madison Square Garden (MSG), Rogers Communications (RCI) and BCE (BCE).

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