Earned Media is what happens when a piece of your media gets circulated by the digital community. A blog post, a Tweet a Facebook "like", a YouTube hit. Earned Media means what "viral" used to mean. It's free media exposure that you earn because others thought the information was valuable in some way. Maybe funny, maybe informative, maybe controversial but somehow useful and spreadable.
I was jokingly chided by a colleague earlier in the week for using the term UGC (User Generated Content). "That is SO 2009", he said. "It's crowd-sourcing now don'tcha know!" Shit. I remember entering my first room at BarCamp Saigon in the fall of 2008. It was like all the participants looked at me and wondered if there was some sort of Senior Citizen special going on. That was the year I started my blog and had about six months in it. This year I'm able to go to conferences with the #1 blog in Vietnam according to Technorati and I'm still an antique - young pups walking the old bloke around showing him shit like shiny round discs and explaining that data in the form of '1's and '0's all combined to form the picture of the semi nude avatar with the midieval sword he was watching. "Damn deez kids is smart!", said the geezer.
Now - which one of you little Einsteins can tell me what the CIS is? I learned that at a conference in 1998 - you know, the other century. If you can answer me that, I just might give you the $75 voucher I got from Google Adwords at the conference! And don't Google it. Just tell me. And don't call me, "dude". I've earned my media.