You, Me and the Internet
Did you hear who broke the news of China’s earthquake to the world at large? Was it CNN, ABC or some other news agency? Was it a governmental organization in China or the US of A? Perhaps it was the U.S. Geological Service manning the world’s finest and most sensitive technologies. No, actually, it was us. You know who I mean … it was you, me and the Internet that broke the story before anyone else. Last Monday, when the earthquake rocked China’s Sichuan province, the first words of it spread from eye-witnesses on the ground to the rest of the world first from Twitter, the mini-mobile microblogging service that limits the user/reporter to 140-character-long updates with friends.
Twitter is an amazing little public widget and is fast becoming a new and preferred method of information distribution.
Faster than a speeding bullet and able to transmit news around the globe quicker than any other service. There is no middle man. The information goes from the event to the public in an instant.
Does this have meaning for the current publishing world? Should we incorporate this into our business models? It seems that this is a process worth considering. Think of the possibilities: instant reporting no matter what the subject. It could be about b-to-b events, a celebrity sighting or a devastating earthquake. We now have reporters everywhere, 24/7. As strange as this may seem, I am convinced it is and will be part of the publishing industry in the 21st century. We are now all cub reporters working the beat of a global news network.