quotes

The world has changed. It is no longer the place that we once knew. In the era of real time web, people are shifting from traditional media such as newspapers and television to using the Internet and social media to find news, but the way that we receive news has been changing for some time.

Cable television brought about a much faster pace of news production with an increased demand for news stories and created the expectation of instant access to global news and information. This was in contrast with the day-by-day pace of the news cycle of printed daily newspapers that had preceded it.

The insatiable public desire for news created a culture where media providers needed to deliver news at incredible speed in order to remain ahead of competitors and, for a while, it seemed that this was possible. Then it all changed.

The emergence of Twitter as a medium for distributing content meant that we were no longer dependent on media companies to access news. Twitter gave people instantaneous access to information directly from witnesses of events. It became increasingly difficult for the mainstream media to manage the speed with which events were changing and deliver stories that kept pace with information emerging through Twitter.

We are now able to get information in real time through services like Twitter enabling us to access and experience changes in the world and their impact on people no matter where they are in the world, allowing us to follow events as they unfold..

There is something quite perfect about the way it captures how people feel in the moment, what they are experiencing and what they have seen through the pictures they capture and the thoughts they share, connecting us directly to those moments.

A long time ago, before printing presses made books widely available, we were dependent on the public authorities for our information. The invention of printing presses enabled information to spread quickly. It took book copying out of the hands of the Church and made it much harder for the Church to control or censor what was being written.

Printing presses turned people from being listeners to being readers. Despite the invention and widespread use of other potential communication technologies such as film, radio, and television, formal learning remained still largely reading based. It was the internet that changed the way we communicate.

The printing presses gave us the freedom to read and learn, but it is the internet, through social media and blogging, that has made it possible to be publishers distributing our thoughts and ideas without limitation across the globe.

It has the potential to profoundly change our lives and how we interact with one another and the world around us. I for one look forward to seeing how we use this new freedom of expression to shape our world and make something better, something we can believe in.

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  • Allen Maddox

    We also get to choose what we see. We are not held to seeing only what the news outlets want us to see. There is a lot of good things going on in the world and our communities that we can now see and follow more easily than before. We have more freedom to choose.

    • So true. Our capacity to access information and share ideas is having a huge impact

  • ladycygnus

    “It took book copying out of the hands of the Church and made it much
    harder for the Church to control or censor what was being written.” When you consider how much effort was put into copying a text – especially one of any length – the idea of them “censoring” content seems a little weird. It’s more like they weighed the quality of the content versus the amount of work it would take to replicate it. Just as a newspaper could “censor” stories it thought not worth the ink to print it.

    Which brings up an interesting point – with the internet we essentially have nothing separating us from the lowest possible denominator of quality. No publishing house to say, “this is terribly written nonsense” to act as a filter. About the only thing we do have is “popularity” – and it’s clear that as a population we have set a very low bar for quality.

    • This is very true. This is very much the next challenge. Now we are awash with content and accessing that content, finding that content is now the challenge. In many ways we are still beholden to large news organisations because they are recognised and trusted and have established traffic leading to Google rankings. It is incredibly hard for individuals to be found, to be identified even if they are experts in their field. So I think this is very much the next challenge that needs to be worked on.

  • Jordy

    What boggles my mind is not only what the Internet has done to communication, but the sheer speed at which it has done it. The ol’ printing press took how many hundreds of years to cause a shift in culture and the dissemination of information? The Internet did it in a few decades. If you count the explosion of “Web 2.0” as the true starting point of the communication revolution, then it took less than 10 years.

    It’s crazy because never before in human history have we really been able to mark the milestones within a single generation. It was too gradual before. Now a single company/entity/person can witness the change in a measurable way. If they’re paying attention to the momentum, they can anticipate where it will end up with accuracy that outclasses the past by orders of magnitude.

    And the rate of change is only increasing.

    • I totally agree. The pace of change is astonishing. I think we sometimes take for granted the speed with which technology and culture is changing