The idea of consumers generating content only remained a dream until a blast of technology (thanks to Web 2.0!) has spawned a host of users that create content in the form of words, visuals and so on and so forth. Indeed, the world is gradually but steadily moving away from the times when the dissemination of information were purely through the medium of newspaper, television and film and where consumers could only access information and not necessarily use these mediums to produce valuable information themselves.
All that has changed with the advent of the internet (and specifically, Web 2.0), and with blogging in print and visual form, information does not rest in the hands of just journalists, but to common folks as well. Apart from just the communication of information, several other avenues of multimedia has sprung forth such as the sharing and broadcasting of video, photographs and music, that can accessed for no charge at all.
Although, the vision of social media is to help people share media freely, the issue of copyright has also come to the forefront. For example, when the Dark Knight was first released, despite blocking all the routes, it was made freely accessible to users with a broadband internet connection in a matter of 18 hours!
Finally, social networking and bookmarking are also ways by which the ‘online community’ can share ideas, thoughts; keep in touch with friends as well as save information that can have an impact on their lives on a daily basis.
All in all, it seems that we are smack dab in the middle of the ‘Attention Age’.