Because of the Web, communication has drastically changed due to the information presented. Come take a look!
In print media, the information that is published can be controlled. People are able to decide what is important enough to put in the newspaper or magazine and what information should go where. However, in the online world, people have equal access to all of the content and are able to decide what’s important and interesting. Writing for Digital Media by Brian Carroll digs deeper into the new world of communication that the Web has created. Carroll discusses the similarities and differences of the internet and print media and the impact the Web has had on communication. As users of the Web, we serve as communicators, organizers, and interpreters of the information that is presented to us. Lets take a closer look.
The Web as an Interactive Space
Unlike print sources, people are actually able to interact with the content that is posted on the Web. Online media creates a space that people can interact with. Users of the Web can actually comment their responses and change a lot of the information that is posted online (Wikipedia for example). In a way, blogs are also a primary example of this. Bloggers are able to read any articles and write about their opinions where people can then comment, share, and spread their views.
The Notion of Timeliness
Many news sites now have the tool to send alerts and notifications to Web users for immediate coverage of breaking news. (24) On my computer, I have notifications from CNN that pop up several times throughout the day informing me of world news as it happens. Instead of waiting for the newspaper to arrive at your house the next day, the Web has reinvented the notion of timeliness. Users of the Web can be informed of anything at any time. But the one problem with this is, who decides what information is posted & how do we know if it’s true?
Millions of people choose to access information through online websites but if anything can be posted at any time, how do we know if it’s true? Since the web redefined the notion of timeliness, people want to know what’s going on at all times. Carroll states “But because there is no end to the news cycle, readers have come to expect continuous updates of big, breaking stories.” (24) Nowadays, people demand more because the Web continues to give more. Since News sites are always trying to give their audiences information, there is a higher tolerance for error because there is more room for rumors, lies, and hearsay. There is also more room for error because the content on the Web can be updated, changed, added to, and deleted at any time (unlike print sources).
Another issue we face is the information people choose to include in their posts. This is directly related to blogs because many people argue that blogs are extremely bias and only include the information they want to. Researchers Thomas J. Johnson and Barbara K. Kaye claim that “Blog readers are seeking out information to support their own views…” (26) I do believe this statement is true, but is it really the bloggers fault to write what they want? I think some of it is up to the reader to dictate what is credible or not. As my dad always says, you can’t believe everything you read. We, as users of the Web, need to try to identify the authenticity and genuineness of the information presented to us. We can see that source credibility is becoming a bigger issue on the Web then it is for other media sources.
The Web has become a space where people can discuss and say anything about anything. Because the information posted may be bias and unreliable, are blogs helping our world or are they hurting us? From speaking, to writing, to print sources, to the internet, our world of communication has changed drastically over time. One question that I have is, what’s next?