Revolution can be defined as the sudden, radical change in something. Our most famous example here in the U. S. Is, of course, the American Revolution. Another example well known to Americans is the 1960s counterculture revolution here and in most of Europe. An up-and-coming revolution currently taking place is the social media revolution.
Social media has changed people into producers of content instead consumers of content. In other words, the tail wags the dog. The way information and knowledge are spread has radically changed. The norm used to be broadcast media monologues, which is where one person disseminates information to the masses. Such familiar modes of this type are TV news broadcasts and newspaper articles.
However, because of the new revolution, these familiar norms are being forced to amalgamate themselves with the unfamiliar new. Now called dialogues of social media, not just one person but also many are now the disseminators of information. We now both gather and produce information, which is why we can be called content producers.
Several popular forms of this exist. One common form is easily recalled ideas or slogans made to galvanize others into repeating them frequently. Another form is print media designed to be scattered again to the public. A third form is the sharing from electronic media, including mobile devices and the Internet, with advanced search capabilities is a third. A final example is grass-roots direct action distribution, including public speaking, rallies, and demonstrations.
Major differences exist between social media and traditional media, also known as broadcast, industrial, or mass media. To start, because industrial media normally requires more resources to share what it knows, social media tends to be less expensive. It's also more accessible, too. Next, in the structured world of traditional media, specialized training is imperative. In the unstructured world of social media, no such training is required. Social media can be used and operated by anyone.
Third, the impact on response time and newsworthiness has been profound. While in social media, this can be instantaneous, the same can take hours or even days in mass media. However, as the influence of social media on traditional media grows, this difference will probably become minimal.
Fourth, the idea of permanence is very different between the two. In mass media, once an article is printed and disseminated, it cannot be altered. Retractions, corrections, and apologies might be necessary, but the article cannot be changed. However, in social media, changes can be made instantly.
It is interesting, however, to note the similarities between the two forms of media. Both types of media can be dispersed to a worldwide audience or to a local one. A blog posting may reach no one ' or it may reach everyone. TV news broadcasts may reach the same ranges of people.
The future direction of social media and traditional media is, of course, unknown. One hypothesis is the hybridization of the two. In this scenario, what is known as community media is the use of the frameworks of both traditional and social media. In fact, this hybrid is already being commonly used in some corners.
Whatever the future brings, the social media tool is not transient. It is here for good, even as its future direction is still not clear. Will hybridization continue evolving? Will mass media, as we know it, continue? Will the social media tool evolve to the point that it engulfs both the traditional and the hybrid? Keep abreast with your local media outlets as we go forward.