New media has given way to an exponential increase in mass communication, be it by omitting the lag that comes with snail mail or enabling individuals to start revolutions from different corners of the globe. From my perspective, I love the way Facebook and Twitter have enabled people to come together in mutual and conflicting thought, and given the world a forum within which it can voice its passion, distrust, enthusiasm, hope, or despair. Intent.com is perhaps one of my favorite examples of this phenomenon, as it allows like minded people to come together without ever meeting face to face and share there positive intentions and thoughts for the day ahead.
But then there’s the media that accompanies the tweeting and the blogging and the spreading of intentions. I’m talking about the videos and photos, the things we used to hire professionals for but can now find for a dime a dozen on websites like flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and virtually anyone’s blog.
Jeff Howe, a Northeastern professor, calls this phenomenon “crowdsourcing”. Instead of employing professionals to put crucial pieces of media like video and photos together, Howe says companies are now relying on media put together by their audience because, with new technology, the quality is basically the same:
“What this allowed is for people to get together through intent, through shared interests. This is new, this is a fundamentally new development in the course of human history,” said Howe in his video.
Howe, who will be teaching Online Journalism at Northeastern University this Fall, came to speak to my class on his book, his coined phrase, and his positive outlook on why this could mean great things for the future of journalism. In his video, he shares his optimism as well:
“I don’t think crowdsourcing eradticates a business, it just changes it dramitically … it forces companies to approach us as potential partners, and that’s much more interesting and much more exciting.”
As a member of the crowd and member of the media, this concept thrills me. I can only hope that it will inspire more yogis to start websites like Rebecca Pacheco’s OmGal, which incorporates photo and video into a blog all about yoga. Blogs and websites like these show businesses like Lululemon where the crowd is coming from, and what they’re interested in Personally, I’m enthusiastic about hopefully reaping and witnessing the benefits of this exciting media evolution.