Friday, July 9, 2010

How communication needs have changed

We live in a world where everyone can be always connected, everywhere.

1.8 billion individuals all with Internet access and nearly all of them with the ability to read, do and collaborate online as they want (I say nearly, as some countries such as China block access to certain sites).

Media consumption has been 24 hours for the last two decades, mainly thanks to the proliferation of cable TV (In my opinion: CNN was the real victor in the first Gulf War). We had news updates pushed to us every minute of the day, as TV channels recycled the same stuff minute after minute… and that was just the beginning. This was also the start of the proliferation of devices such as The Blackberry, the business phone that is more popular as a tool for receiving emails pushed to the user 27 x 7.

With the proliferation of the Internet in the last decade, our information needs changed from being pushed to us to being pulled by us. People wanted to be up to date with everything all the time irrespective of the device or channel they were using. This isn’t so much information overload, but information on demand.

Now we have a further evolved state, where one way information consumption has changed into two way communication, connections and collaborations. People of all ages (but especially the younger millennial 'digital natives') expect to not only consume information, but also to respond and contribute to what they are reading, seeing and hearing.

This has, in my opinion, significantly contributed to the mass migration of readership from traditional newspapers to online sources, especially those that not only allow dialogue but make a point of encouraging it.
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