Posted by: paulfbove | March 12, 2008

We Are the Media

We the Media by Dan Gillmor was a great starting place for looking into the world of Web 2.0 and social media. Thanks to an open source where everybody can throw in their opinion, people have become citizen journalists and the Web has become their outlet. The appeal is that everybody can contribute their thoughts, or they can sit back and read what others have to say. Plus, you can do all this while remaining anonymous if you so desire. That is a huge draw for many people. Traditional media used to be available in limited format (i.e., print newspaper) available only to people who lived in certain areas. Now everybody has access to everything that is put on the Web. There are no more boundaries limiting people. There are also new kinds of media. Instead of being limited to the writings of the New York Times or Washington Post, people can now check out a blog on any topic of their liking and read what others are saying. This is liberating for people. And if those people want to write their own blogs on a topic, they now have the means to let everybody know how they feel.

I for one use media daily. Whether it’s listening to a radio station from Seattle, or reading the news from London, LA, and Buffalo, I have unlimited resources at my fingertips. I can even use these resources to conduct research to help me with my job. Plus it’s much easier to collaborate with colleagues in other cities using Web 2.0. Wikis are a perfect example of a resource that has made it easier to collaborate on a work project. Everyone can add their input regardless of time zone.  I generally read both traditional media (in the form or newspapers, books, and magazines) and new media. For example, I subscribe to the Washington Post, but I also read articles online. There is still something I enjoy about the tangibility of a real paper or magazine.

Overall, I believe that citizen journalism has been one of the most important outcomes of advances in Web technology. Nothing is kept in the dark for too long, and news comes faster and with more opinions. If used responsibly, that is a powerful tool.

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