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
It’s difficult to predict the future, Vince. If I had that trustworthy crystal ball, I’ll be disgustingly rich by now… . However, my personal opinion is that the consumer mass nowadays dictates the trends. As Time correctly stated: the web is a mass medium that belongs to the people. Professionals can suggest and hint @ tools, like Facebook or Twitter, and the crowd will choose those that are peer-pressure-hyped most succefully. For professional communicators, marketeers and content providers that are not into tool-building, it will be a question of watching where the crowd is moving, and tool surf accordingly. Media to the crowds will shape shift and morph… but the good old art of transferring messages to audiences stays the same…
And deep in me, I’m still God. I hide it better nowadays 😉
So, what is your conclusion, D? Where should we go from here? And can you cope with the removal of deity status?