Reflecting on “new media”

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About The Student Manifesto
There is a revolution going on. It is a quiet revolution. It is the kind of quiet revolution in politics that SJSU J&MC alum Joe Trippi spoke about in the world of politics in his watershed book The Revolution Will Not be Televised. But, it is not a revolution that is limited to politics. It is also a business revolution, like that talked about in business books like The Cluetrain Manifesto and SJSU J&MC alum Robert Scoble’s book (co-written with Shel Israel) Naked Conversations. It also a societal revolution and it is reflected in how social groups are interacting as reflected in Howard Rheingold’s book Smart Mobs. It is a global revolution, as reflected in Thomas L. Friedman’s very long book, The World Is Flat. It is a media revolution as reflected in Dan Gillmor’s prescient book, We The Media. On top of these and many, many, many other books, articles, blog posts, interviews, conferences, podcasts and other communications about Web 2.0, the changing nature of society and about that big huge still being defined thing we lump together in a big sticky blob we are calling “new media” add Andrew Venegas’s Student Manifesto.

So what is this revolution?
Is it about J&MC, or SJSU, or CSU, or USA? I do not see blood on the streets, what kind of revolution is this? It is a revolution about conversation. It is about the power of ordinary citizens as well as new media journalists to be able to go to their virtual windows to the world and (using their blogs, podcasts, video blogs and other forms of new media) to be able to shout out, “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!” In the fictional 1976 movie Network, Howard Beale from his TV pulpit was able to inspire folks to go to their windows and yell that out. Each individual’s voice carried maybe a few houses. It was only Beale’s voice that was able to reach across the nation, only Beale had the network. Now we all have the network, it is called the Internet. That is the revolution.

Ordinary folks can have their say and can change things
If the message is compelling enough to resonate, it can spread virally across the Internet and can make the leap from new media to traditional media. The message/story can echo throughout the globe and the course of even the biggest aircraft carriers can be altered. That is what folks in JMC163 saw happen with the Skype story. Folks in that class were not given the power to participate, they were not given the secret software, they already had that, we all do, it is free on the Internet. That is the revolution. Students, taxpayers, customers, citizens all have a say, all have a network, all have global reach. Nobody controls the message.  In my opinion that is the revolution, indeed!

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