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Saturday, September 11, 2010

About Internet six years ago: the emerging power of social media

maj11_2010 044 keskiviikkona 25. elokuuta 2004 [Wednesday August 25, 2004] I wrote about Reading blogs six years ago. What has happened since? What’s new? Are the changes so big as we tend to think?

The Internet is quickly becoming the world's primary source of information. Reporters begin every day by reading blogs. They're looking for the pulse of the people, for stories they might have missed. The blogosphere has become fundamental - the plankton of the information ecology.

Helge: That was big news at that time and routine for most journalists today.

But it's not just the media elite who are affected. Television took 13 years to get into 50 million homes. The Web reached that number in only five years. September 11, 2001, was the key moment.

Helge: Small and large businesses don’t yet know how to embrace the web and social media.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project found that in the days immediately after 9/11, just 3 percent of Americans who were on the Internet used it as their primary source of information. Less than two years later, as the US was preparing for war with Iraq, that number had risen to 26 percent.

Helge: Today, nine years after 9/11 the net is probably the primary source of information.

Now, 77 percent say they have used the Internet to interact with news about the war. They're not just reading the Web; they're emailing one another, posting messages, writing blogs.

Helge: Those figures reflected activities in North America, now the same is true for Finland.

The Internet has been revolutionizing business and culture for years - and that was just a side effect. Some experts believe: the 2008 election will be the first national contest waged and won primarily online.

Helge: Barack Obama was elected the president of USA and Social Media had a central role in campaign financing and his success. 

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