Newspapers? Huh? What's that?


The social revolution has seen legions of people flocking to the Internet, and it's added a new dimension to the perception of geeks: they're now finally regarded as the "cool guys", with bank balances that make many a person's eyes water.

But the one thing that has really changed the face of the Internet is the way in which we consume news. The technology of aggregating news has certainly developed to such an extent that we can stay ahead with current affairs from wherever we are.

A significant contribution to this is definitely the power of RSS - Really Simple Syndication, an aggregation technology that allows users to subscribe to blogs and news sites, and receive the latest posts in an RSS Reader.

RSS, and its counterparts such as Atom, have lead to what can be considered the demise of the printed newspaper. After all, who wants to read about something that happened five hours ago in the Evening Post when they could already find out a few minutes after the event occurred?

Thus, the competition between media houses has become far more fierce than ever before. There are new stakes, and they're higher than before. The market is far more crowded and diversified. But more importantly: it's no longer the advertiser and investor that matters - it's the reader that counts the most.

In an age where the average population of the Internet is said to be 6 767 805 208 (2009 estimate), one can say that potential readership is exceptionally high. As such, publishers need to produce content that is eye-catching and captivating, and not necessarily relating the truth at all times. It's become a savage, ruthless world akin to a slick spy movie. There's industrial sabotage, plenty of hard drives crammed with archives of information, and large companies just waiting to be exploited through the vast means of the connected web. Publishers need to gain a strong readership in order for the dollars to start rolling via advertising and investing.

For consumers of news, the choices of getting the latest information is now endless. From opinionated blogs to up-to-the-minute professional journalism, the average user is hard-pressed to make a decision as to who has the most reliable views.

The answer is that we need to first accept the power of Web 2.0  - the connected Internet. From there on, we must realise that it's us as consumers who can influence even the greatest of news makers, as our actions in reading their stories and becoming "followers" of their news can either make or break these journalling companies. The fact that news has moved into the digital realm means that we can get connected to our world in a far more easier and intuitive way than before, and as such we should take advantage of the digitising of newspapers through blogs and online news sites, and as such embrace the future of the Internet.


Anonymous said...

Interesting article, and in day and age where very few young people read the newspaper, one can certainly see the advantage of encouraging thme to read the news via a medium that enjoy using and thus more likely to use. Personally i guess i'm old school so I don't know how excited i really can be at the prospect of the demise of the traditional newspaper. For me, coming home after a long day and sitting back up with the day's newspaper and a cup of coffee is relxing and something I look forward to. But each to his own!

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