The internet has changed the world... (4.50 / 8) (#12)
by chuqui on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 06:06:23 PM EST
I think maybe you're missing the forest for the trees. the internet has changed the world, and with it, news.
I've been on the net since, well, since most folks reading this message were in diapers. Bloody forever.
Back in the early 90's, we set up mail lists for fans of various sports teams, including the SF Giants and the brand new, baby San Jose Sharks. A big interest at that point was getting information on teams to out of town fans. A big part of taht mail list was people who committed to typing in box scores and stats from the newspapers.
See, this was in the days before -- gasp -- espn.com, when the out of town fan was stuck with -- gasp -- USA Today. On paper.
The changes the internet has brought have been revolutionary, but at the same time, subtle. You have to really see where we were just a few years ago to understand just what the impact is, because the transformation has been smooth enough that unless you checkpoint yourself and take a close look on where you are and where you've been (assuming you aren't a newbie and don't remember a time before espn.com....)
Here are the key changes:
1) immediacy. If something happens -- you know about it now. You aren't waiting for the evening news to get a 30 second headline, and you aren't waiting for a week until the next issue of Time to arrive. You find out now, and you can find out the details now, too.
2) diversity. If you live in Portland, oregon, you're stuck with the Portland Oregonian (and my sympathies). but if you want more than rip and read news and glowing reports about the Trailblazers, you now how options. If you don't like the political or editorial slants of your local newspaper, you now have options.
3) no geographical limitations. What if you're living in Portland, but you grew up in Chicago? Five years ago, fi you were lucky and rich, you could have the sunday Chicago Tribune mailed to you a week later. today -- you go to the web site.
4) you have a voice. the barrier for entry for YOU becoming "the media" is much lower. You don't need corporate pocketbooks. Which creates a huge ability for people to make their own voice heard, or at least available. That doesn't mean you'll replace the chicago tribune, but you no longer have to BE the chicago tribune.
These changes are revolutionary. It's now possible for me to read the Vancouver Sun on a daily basis about the Canucks if I want, or sneak over to the Dallas Morning News to find out if eddie belfour's been arrested again recently. it's empowerment of a great sort -- because I'm no longer limited to what my local newspaper feels I ought to be interested in. Instead of "all the news that's fit to print", it's "all the news anyone sees fit to print" -- and how much time you want to go find it. But it's not hard to build a set of resources that'll help you find what you want, without the limitations of the local media's willingness to hand it to you.
How can that not be revolutionary?
Chuq Von Rospach, Internet Gnome <http://www.chuqui.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> "The first rule of holes: If you are in one, stop digging"