Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Digg.com are becoming major news outlets for online readers because they allow for access any time, any place, and through many different platformsI find the shift from print news to online news particularly interesting because it adheres to a more specific audience and sparks stories more oriented towards infotainment rather than global, political and economic issues. I think one of the most crucial aspects to social media, as a news platform, is the personal experience readers can obtain because it allows them to navigate their way online through various devices and choose the information they wish to read. The article “Feedback Loops of Attention in Peer Production” discusses how social media sparks a motivation based on attention that empowers the reader to become more active. Digg.com allows users to share their stories, and in doing so the more popular stories will emerge at the top. The participation and communication among users are based on factors of enjoyment and the ability to become active on the site. The aspect of communicating and interacting with other online users creates this reinforcement and continued participation.
I believe that the convergence of news and social media platforms such as Twitter and Digg.com is partly due to today’s consumer society. What will grab the audience’s attention? Today, I believe that society seeks more information on celebrity news such as the Kardashians, Royal Wedding, and political scandals rather than global, political events. Moreover, as the content changes, the audience changes. On these social media sites, the audience is in command, since readers can navigate through links to different stories; therefore, the younger generation will seek news online more than in print. I know my grandparents read the newspaper every morning. Meanwhile, I rarely see my friends picking up a newspaper as they walk to class.
News corporations are driven towards profit, so if the audience moves online, then they have to expand their platforms to sites such as Facebook and Twitter. On these sites, the reader can interact with other readers by commenting, liking, re-tweeting, and expressing a personal opinion towards the story. Based on my own experience with reading news on Twitter, I can see why people today are more inclined to log in online rather than collecting the newspaper because you can read the top, most popular articles at just a simple click. However, the downfall to this, in my opinion, is that stories based around Hollywood are becoming more prevalent rather than what is happening overseas.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Mark Vegas