If you are active in any of the online social channels, you have probably seen how fast a news story can spread. The death of Michael Jackson was reported on Twitter before CNN, the earthquake in Haiti was all over the social web as people tried to find and share correct information.
On Friday I received an email from someone about the Rick Sanchez rant on satellite radio where he dumped all over Jon Stewart then went on a racial tirade which got him fired from his gig at CNN. I quickly did a Google search and the screen was full of reports on the story, not all from “credible news sources". It was everywhere. The twitterstream was packed with comments and it was one of the top trending topics.
The 20th century was the culmination of hundreds of years of technology that gave us the one-to-one and one-to-many media models. The Internet has given us the many-to-many model.
Each of us is able to produce and broadcast a message and create a conversation or join another one midstream and contribute as much as anyone else in the group.
Author, consultant, visionary and speaker Clay Shirky brilliantly points out that the tools we use become social interesting when they get technologically boring. He adds “It isn’t when the shiny tools show up that their uses start permeating society, it is when everyone is able to take them for granted.”
Here’s more from his TEDTalk last June. [video]