As an old journalist, it’s fascinating to see how news is evolving in a lightning fast way. Before, the only way to get something in the press was for corporations and their PR people to draft a press release, send it to a journalist, and then follow it up using all kind of tactics ranging from a nice diner, a stalking phone call or an exotic field trip to assure the editors attention. Journalists were dignified. I was God. Without our royal consent, no news would pass. We were the ultimate, personified and slightly bribable filter between news providers and the general public. PR consultants and company communications people would throw their best at us to add our scalp (a nice bylined article, a favorable product review) to their clipping book.
With 80 million bloggers around, and citizens that Twitter, FriendFeed or Facebook quicker than the badly implemented software on their iPhones can handle, information becomes for the first time truly decentralized. Conscious web users have a plethora of tools to share their views, real-life-product tests, opinions and grieves with the inhabitants of the World Wide Web.
There is no faster, better or more balanced way to spread information. By the people, for the people, socially controlled by a busy cluster of very critical web users. News that is aimed to consumers can now easily circumvent journalists and media and hit millions of online users in an eye blink. Forums, bloggers, social networks and very active Twitter jungle birds are passing along what they identify as news faster and more thoroughly than the classic news channels. Corporations scramble around to find creative ways to harness the power of these social media.
As a former God, it amuses me tremendously. J