Feel the Ground Shifting: C-SPAN and Social Media are Changing Everything





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There’s a big fight on Capitol Hill about gun legislation.  This is not news, nor is it surprising.

What IS surprising, is that C-SPAN cameras have been turned off by Paul Ryan, as leader of the majority party in the House.  This has happened before, and both sides have done it.

The difference today, however, is that House Democrats are now Periscoping and Facebooking Streaming the sit-in on Capitol Hill.  And C-SPAN is broadcasting those streams since their regular cameras have been turned off.

The shifting you’re feeling is the complete democratization of media production.  We are no longer limited to media provided by government entities, cable companies or multi-national corporations.  We can produce and broadcast our OWN media.  Without filters or editors.

This actually reminds me of why I joined Twitter.  A cobra had escaped from the Bronx Zoo and some clever human had created a Twitter account to document his adventures.  I couldn’t resist playing along – I set up a Twitter account and giggled as I read Tweets with the tag #snakeonthetown.  You know what was so great?  I was being thoroughly entertained by another human.  Not Sony, not Time Warner, not News Corp, not Disney.  Just some clever person who may have actually lived down the street.  It was liberating.  (Not so much for the cobra – turns out he never actually escaped the zoo.)

Those of us who dismiss social media as a fad, or “something for the kids” are missing the point entirely.  It is changing everything.  And those who don’t embrace it or analyze its effects and power will be left behind.

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