Monday, April 5, 2010

Twitter / Buzz: the new news?

Today's XKCD discusses the math behind a tweet out-distancing an earthquake (oddly, I read the comic before I heard about the quake). Later in the day, I found myself using Google's Buzz to post pictures of a fire in Boston. It's now getting to the point that I look to the Buzz map on my Droid before I consult Boston.com for local news. It's not that it's more rational or more considered. It's just a matter wanting to know what's going on now rather than a half hour ago. Sure, I can visit a regular news site and find more detail later on, but there's just nothing like having a few thousand potential "reporters" on the scene.

I suppose the future written by some science fiction authors is coming: we'll all be the on-the-scene "reporters" with actual journalists being the people who surf Twitter, Buzz, YouTube and so forth, the way they used to listen to police-band radio for a story. Once a journalist can tap into your head-mounted cam for a live feed hire you on the spot as a freelance photographer, there will be no story too fast to be fed into the hungry maw of the Internet.