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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The death of news? Long live a world wide web of keywords

News isn't dead. It's just transforming with the new forms of media.


There used to just be news. It didn't come in multiple forms. In the beginning, it didn't even come from multiple sources. It used to just be word of mouth. You heard about the news from friends, family, and neighbors. It was extremely local, which in turn made it extremely interesting and extremely relevant. Any and all news was newsworthy.

Then specific news sources were created -- newspapers, followed by radio and TV, and finally the world wide web -- eventually creating a news network so vast, reaching so many, that news was no longer newsworthy.

So news was divided into sections, creating not only local and national news for specific geographic regions, but also topical sections based on human interests. These human interests became the key to delivering the most newsworthy information to the most interested audience. And so, self-selecting audiences were born. Audiences who self-selected themselves as being interested in certain topics and sections of news. It started in the form of "pass me the sports section"; which became "favorited" niche websites and blogs; and eventually became what we know today as a "Like" or a "Follow".

But today, news is not only divided into sections for specific self-selecting audiences, it's also broken down by specific keywords. These keywords are used to tag or label news with specific related terms. The entire internet is based on the relationship between these keywords. Without them, Google wouldn't be relevant, Wikipedia wouldn't be vast, Twitter wouldn't be as global, and you wouldn't end up on oranges when you started with apples. Without keywords, you not only wouldn't be able to find what you consider newsworthy, you also wouldn't discover anything new.

Today, news is all related through a interconnected web of keywords -- the world wide web of keywords. And without it, news would die.

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