Picture this, an overseas event happens and within minutes of it occurring there are thousands of blogs, videos, photos and a hashtag stemming from this same event all with different points of views. This is all before a Newspaper can even come close to a day before printing. These are the effects of distributed long tail content that are threatening legacy journalism and media because they simply can not cater for the space and time involved in the physical scalability.
As Teodor (2015) states that in a free content environment curators and aggregators are the valued product. WE are ordinary people with our devices filming, starting the conversation and hashtags and utilizing the platforms. In relation to citizen journalism in the new distributed media network the flow of information is far more disperse compared to traditional media. Bruns (2009) argues ‘the conventional models of media production, distribution, and consumption are no longer relevant’. This is evident in the way citizens curate content in the form of a ‘public record’ on platforms such as Twitter (Johnson S, 2009). Citizen journalism and the flow of information is distributed. We are embracing a technologically advanced information distribution that allows us to explore the evolving nature of the internet. This limitless nature is shown in the article ‘how can journalists use virtual reality to tell stories?’ Which explains new ways for journalists to utilise head mounted displays to communicate information.
This distributed media network has never been seen before in the whole of humanity. It is a new way of consuming media that conventional forms of media have no way of competing with. Not only in terms of scaling up but in the way it opposes the gatekeeping model; whereby industrial media filters ‘all news that is fit to print’ (NYT). Johnson (2009) states the new model achieves ‘news diversity and polarization at the same time: your networked front page will be more eclectic than any traditional-newspaper front page, but political partisans looking to enhance their own private echo chamber will be able to tune out opposing viewpoints more easily’. This is evident in the success of the 2015 hashtag #lovewins that started with this simple Tweet by Obama.
Following this one Tweet there were 35,000 tweets sent per minute and if that doesn’t put the power of the long tail effect into perspective, I don’t know what will.
If you’re interested in putting the power of new media into perspective watch this video. ‘You’re able to have these multidirectional conversations, you’re not just broadcasting, you’re there in the middle of it’.