May 2, 2011

Rights and Privileges

We All Remember Where We Were When

That is a phrase that is only uttered a handful of times during a lifetime. Depending on your age, that is a reference to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the death of Kurt Cobain, September 11th or last night when the world tried to digest the news that one of the most sought after criminals had been killed.

At the height of the frenzy, there were over 4,000 tweets a second and every news agency on television, radio, print and online were scrambling for information. We were the news cycle. We were instantly brought back to 2001.

Your Vote Counts

Today is a national election in my country. Canadians were cynical that the government had passed a non-confidence vote in our house of commons to force the minority leading Conservative party to call an election. It’s expensive and no business or country or individual can afford to spend unwisely these days. According to the polls, this will be an historic day. Time, as they say, will tell.

We live in an instant news world. About two billion of us are online which is still only a third of the world's population, but the power for each of us to publish information has caused exponentially more content. Some is correct, some is reactionary, some is for good and some is not.

The Social Web has Changed the World

Through years of building online relationships, it is an honour to be able to send a message to people I have connected with from all over the world. There are kind emails and texts from caring people from places I’ve never been. They are people, not job titles. Last night, we shared something profound and most of us were alone or with a couple of other people. Billions were getting the news one-on-one.

Digital channels have given us the ability to share information quickly. Last night, major news agencies were quoting the social web as much as their own sources. Twitter, Facebook and the Blogosphere is a constant hum of information and opinion. As the saying goes, we must remember so we don't forget. And millions of us have the ability to share our voice.

Some call that a right, some call it a privilege but it certainly should not be taken for granted.

Kneale Mann

image credit: istock
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