Today, with access to unprecedented amounts of information on the Internet – including millions of blogs, comments, traditional news sites, reviews, press releases, videos, and conversations on social networks - people are choosing how and when they are receiving their information. But, more importantly, they’re choosing “what” information they want.
This is what we call news.
It’s that simple: News is what we think it is. Just like brands are shaped by consumer perceptions, reputations are built by recommendations from friends and peers, and expert labels are earned by professional colleagues, news is defined by what we think is important. And on the Social Web today, this is gauged through our participation in telling stories and determined by our willingness to share information.
Ironically, it has been this way throughout history. For a time, however, when traditional mass media was the fastest method to share information, news was packaged for easier distribution and consumption. It may or may not have been what we considered news, but it was – at the time – the fastest way of getting “new information.” And when pieces of information somehow dripped outside of the packaged news story, it was often called a leak. Not surprisingly, though, the leaks were stories that had audiences too. Quite often leaks also became very popular “news” stories. So today, you can think of the Internet as a virtual news sieve…with leaks all over the place, each one with its own relevant audience.
Whether it’s leaking information or telling stories, we all play an important role in creating and disseminating news. And that can mean anything from stimulating global conversation to actively sharing bits of highly relevant information with members of our community.
Welcome to the Social Web — where every visitor, reader, and contributor is also a reporter.