I was thinking about about a prediction from years ago that news would not be dominated by the major media in the future but in the hands of the people. It sounded too chaotic, everyone talking at once and no one listening. But some recent events have made me see how real this is becoming. Viral everything, video, tweats, links, txts, for good and bad. I get so much information now, not from CNN or NBC or Fox (god help us), but from YouTube and Twitter and Facebook. And of course, the people and sources you follow or friend or like defines the content, and perhaps the credibility of what you read and watch. It's all about choices. Sure, I may still seek out the major networks to what's happening on the battlefield in Afghanistan for example because my twitter circle is not reporting from there, but I could follow some sources who are there.
Sunday was the one year anniversary of the Japan earthquake, tsunami and disaster that followed. I sourced almost all my news and video through YouTube links, not CNN.
The KONY 2012 video now has over 75 million views in about a week. The story on the Today Show was an afterthought, an attempt at validation of the viral nature of the video. It didn't matter, we were already talking about it and entire day before the network did. And the purpose of the video was not just to educate the world of the atrocities of Joseph Kony, but show the government that the people cared and wanted political pressure and resourced maintained for his capture. The people spoke without Brian Williams to tell the story for them.
But I was thinking about how this change came about? It occurred to me that the biggest enabler to this shift is the network(s). No, not NBC, CBS, ABC, that's just too old school. It is the YouTube, Twitter, FB, txt msg network. We are interconnected with these media services, accessing them at home, at work, and with our mobile devices, again part of another network (3G/4G, WiFi, cable, fiber, satellite).
Networks built on networks. Without these new networks, we're back in 1978, sharing jokes via the copier, getting our news on channel 5, and picking up the phone to say "did you hear?" I can't imagine going back.