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It is no longer absolutely necessary to turn on the news to get a good grasp of what is happening in the world. Going directly to one’s facebook or twitter stream, doesn’t only give us an update on our friends lives, but has also become a key place for sharing news and information. Yesterday’s historic Massachusetts Senate election proved to be a great example of this. I was able to find the winner simultaneously as it happened, but not on the local news, instead on my facebook stream.
As everything is becoming more digital, it is only natural that social media avenues are not only feeding our curiosity for updates within our networks, but are also serving as the first stop to figure out what is happening on the outside world.
When it comes to the tragedy that has struck Haiti, news coverage can become too repetitive and people are turning to digital and social media for more specialized information. The military community has various facebook, twitter and youtube pages that are dedicated to the different units and branches participating in the rescue and rebuilding efforts. The Department of Defense is updating both its facebook and twitter accounts with relevant information and pointing its audience to other pages for further and more specific information. The military and government communities have mastered the use of social media as a means of sharing information and content.
As more users start to obtain desired information via social networks it will be interesting to see what impact it will have on traditional media. The interactive aspect of social networks and the ability to discuss issues in real time or close to real time should become a real game changer on who we turn to for our news over time. More importantly, is the sphere of influence changing?
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