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.