This was an interesting overview of the way in which the Internet has evolved since its first appearance. I found it intriguing to read about many of the first features of the Internet because they were innovations that occurred before I was old enough to understand what was happening. The Internet 10 years ago was very different than it is now and it is something that in 10 more years will be even more different and technologically advanced. The beginning of the chapter was more of a learning experience for me and the end of the chapter reflected more of the way that the Internet is used in the present day and it was something I could relate to.
This chapter made me aware of how oblivious I have been to the many technological advances that happened years ago. For example, I was under the impression that blogs and wiki pages were a very new addition to the Internet. However, they are much older than I would have thought. Also, it was very interesting to see how the Internet has gone from a one-sided technology to a more interactive resource for people to use. I am also more aware of the speed with which technology is advancing. Almost as quickly as innovations are being learned, new ones are being produced which is a big step for journalism. This means that one day we will be able to receive and distribute information almost as it is happening.
The Internet has made it possible for people to distribute information quicker than ever before. It was interesting to see examples in this chapter of the way in which the public has been able to receive information before the government or certain corporations have decided to release it. There was a lot of information regarding the way in which news and information resources have changed because of the ability of normal citizens to add to what is found on the Internet. There is a certain freedom with the Internet, especially with things such as Wiki pages, which allows people to receive and distribute information from many different sources and a fast pace. It was also interesting to see how this book was only published a few years ago and there are already many things that have changed. For example, the author mentions how one day almost all cell phones will feature video capabilities. In fact, most of them already do.
This chapter gave some interesting insight into the ways that companies can use blogs to their advantage. Through blogs, companies are able to build a relationship with their consumers, which is beneficial for both parties. For example, customers feel better about companies when they are able to see their “human” side and therefore, they will continue to use a certain company if they feel better about it. Hence, it is a positive reciprocal exchange. In addition, some company CEOs can use blogs to better inform the consumer audience if they feel they are not getting all the accurate information. This is something that I had not thought about before.
The Internet has made it possible for citizens to play an even bigger part in the decisions made by the government in our democratic society. For example, people write blogs and opinion pieces about political candidates and influence the voters. For very popular sites, some candidates may even use them to advertise their campaign in order to boost their chances of winning. This has proven to be an effective tool in campaigning and has helped political candidates win their race. The government can also use the Internet as a tool to gain more knowledge from citizens. This was something I found interesting because I never thought something like this was plausible. There may be some questions that even people in the government may not know and they would be willing to gain knowledge from ordinary citizens.
Blogging is something that has made it easier for journalists to have a relationship with their audience. Although letters to the editor and phone calls have always made this possible, this chapter shows how blogs have made this communication even more abundant. An interesting fact was the way in which some news organizations would like to increase the involvement of the audience. For example, journalists are not always able to cover every aspect of community life. Therefore, it would be ideal if citizen journalists were able to cover issues thought to be important and then add them to news sources in some way.
This chapter raised an interesting point: the fact that when an event or meeting is closed to the media, that may no longer have any meaning. Because people are allowed to blog, the people who attend the meetings may release information through their blogs that may otherwise have been unknown. One thing I learned from this chapter was that in some cases people may be willing to pay people who write a blog. I did not think that was something people would be willing to give money for, but it was interesting to see that readers sent a man money in order for him to cover a story.
This chapter focused on the future of journalism and more specifically, online journalism. I was unaware of the fact that there are small computers found in many of the things we use on a daily basis such as wristwatches. It is almost intimidating to think about the way that computers will be used in the future. Our electronic devices will have so much more power which will improve the field of journalism so much. However, one thing that the author mentioned that was a very good point was the fact that integrity may be affected with this new form of journalism. If there will be so many people contributing to news through blogs and other web devices, it will be harder to control what becomes available to the public audience.
The Internet has allowed for more information to be communicated between larger groups of people. It has also allowed for many innovations in journalism. However, with the good comes the bad. The Internet has also created a way for liars and cheaters to reach a larger audience. There is usually no way to know for sure whether the information you receive on the Internet is credible. It is left to your own judgment. Almost anybody can make a web page that seems legitimate. This is just another one of the factors that journalism must now face with the increased use of the Internet.
I learned something new in this chapter. I was not aware that people who write blogs could be sued for libel. I find it hard to believe that someone writing something for which they do not get paid could be sued. Because many bloggers write independently, and many blogs contain opinions, I thought that they could contain anything. I also learned that it is important to have work critiqued and edited even for a blog for issues such as these. There may be something that goes unnoticed by a writer but that someone else notices may be inappropriate to publish.
The beginning of this chapter mentioned something which I could relate to completely. I once thought that writing on the Internet meant people had the freedom to write anything they wanted and view any content they wanted. In a sense, this is true, but it is not complete freedom when every action made on the Internet can be tracked by cookies and recorded for other uses. Towards the end of the chapter, it was interesting to see how the author mentions ideas about a time when there might be complete freedom of speech and ideas on the Internet. It is hard to believe this will ever happen but it might be possible.
This chapter was a recap of the information presented in the book. It mentioned things that I had been thinking while reading the rest of the book. For example, the author mentions that by the time the book is released to the public there will have been many more technological advances than the ones he mentions. Throughout the time I was reading this book, I was thinking that already we have made many changes in the world of journalism, which only shows how quickly the Internet and other technology are changing journalism. The author also describes the pros and cons of citizen journalism throughout the book and yet in the end encourages the readers to all try to make their own news.