It has struck me in the last few days how “in-tune” an internet reader is as opposed to the masses that get fed by the 24 hour news cycle.
I started noticing the Killer Tomato scare in the mainstream media and on hastily written signs at restaurants on Sunday. However, I already knew about it from a Nashville veggie lover on the Wednesday before.
Articles of impeachment were introduced in the House against President Bush on Monday night. Have you seen it on your cable news channel or in the newspaper yet? (caveat: there’s a tad bit of hype to it)
I read about the US strike in Pakistan this morning on the web. I consumed several types of traditional media today before I heard about it on the radio coming home this afternoon.
And I notice this happens over and over. People get in a tizz over something and I’m wondering why because I read about it a few days ago. Or I have started to notice that memes on the web will get picked up by the yucksters on the cable and network news shows a few days after they’ve fizzled online.
Here’s the thing — I am in the minority. (and if you’re reading this, you probably are too). The great sages who are saying the time is NOW that EVERYONE is getting news/info off the web apparently haven’t been talking to people in the real world. Everyone is not uploading videos and commenting on blogs. There’s a time gap (and sometimes a plain lack) of knowledge as it’s disseminated on the web and then through traditionally media.
Because of this, even though it’s egalitarian, the knowledge on the web comes with a heavy bias. It’s leaning toward those tuned-in consumers who are generating the some of the content and who are in the minority. The results don’t pan out in the real world. Don’t believe me? Ask Ron Paul.
Of course, the traditional media comes with its own long standing biases and the need to perpetuate its business model. But traditional media is not dead. It’s just slow and bloated. And the masses are even slower consumers of it.
So there’s opportunity for all here. The traditional media can start working to feed the hummingbird minority consumers. And the web can start bringing more of the lumbering hippos into the fold. They’ll either meet in the middle or one will crush the other.