Monday, August 15, 2011

A social phenomena

Global, social, ubiquitous, and cheap. That's how Shirky describes the Internet in today's world. He explains the idea of mass amatuerization and how it affects social media. Mass amatuerization has developed with the help of technology. It is basically when people use tools such as cameras, cell phones and computer to publish news which potentially can reach numerous amount of people world wide. People who are not specialized in journalism who post anything they want on the web. This social phenomena is due to the never ending use of the Internet.
Every second of the day thousands of people worldwide are surfing the web downloading, uploading, writing and reading what others write.
Whether the news is true or not is being put on the Internet. People love to gossip and tell their friends what they've seen if it's worthy enough and if it is it will be all over the Internet within minutes. The thought of news being "events covered by the press" is replaced by the increase of mass publishing outlets.
Facebook and Twitter and many other social networks are thousands of bloggers postings on the Internet and many other news sources on a daily basis. From politics to celebrity gossips to new trends in fashion everything you can imagine is being put on the Internet. You don't have to leave your house to keep with current events. Its simple, you just need a computer and Internet access and your in touch with the world.
Journalism is no longer reserved for professionals and publishing has been “deprofessionalized” (p. 63). I don't believe journalists will disappear. However, many jobs will be lost due to the lack of resources available. Shirky explains, "A profession exists to solve hard problems, one that requires some sort of specialization" and "because there is a scarce resource that requires ongoing maintenance"(p.56). Maintenance meaning the cost of printing, publication,production, and distribution. This will lead to lost of jobs in many corporations were once there was a great need for professionals to write the news. Now fewer professional will hold those jobs because mass amateurization takes over.
Today the traditional news outlets are no longer what it was before. The Internet took the newspaper's place. It has become the gateway for everyone who wants to put out news. Mass amatuerization begins and people now rely on their news feed or tweets for news. Breaking news will be posted within seconds or even in real time as opposed to the newspapers where it has to be published the next day. Amateurs are ordinary people who post news to their blogs or on one of the many social networks highly used today.
The future represented by the internet is the mas amateurization of publishing and the switch from "why publish this"? to "why not"? (p.60)

Shirky, Clay. “Everyone Is A Media Outlet.” Here Comes Everybody. New York: Penguin Press, 2008. (54-80)

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