I’m a big fan of the internet. I love the speed, the access to all sorts of information, the ability that it gives to me to share news with friends in all parts of the world and the access to people I wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance to connect with (Paul, Mark, Eric, Ruth, Matt, Ann… Stephen and Boris!).
But, despite all the opportunities, there are a couple of things that cause me to stop and think.
The demise of the editor
Once upon a time documents were checked thoroughly for accuracy before they were published. This isn’t the case anymore. People can now publish opinion as fact without having to take responsibility for the consequences. Disclaimers can often be a get-out for people who just want to sound off.
No more borders
Once I could pick my target audience. Magazines and newspapers knew who their readers were, radio stations knew their listeners, everything could be targeted and tailored for the audience. We don’t have that luxury anymore. I need to remember whenever I publish something it could go anywhere. Even writing for a print publication, the final text could end up on a website somewhere and be open to the world to read.
- Accuracy does matter. Especially if you want to maintain your authority, which is valued in today’s online society.
- National borders no longer exist for information. Remember what you say could be read/seen anywhere so you should be writing for an international audience.
- Technology is a wonderful tool, but it’s a tool to aid communication and it’s the quality of the information/message that holds the value.