The Good Internet

It was an tragic week for many Americans. It feels so random and unavoidable from afar. When I was a kid, Israeli buses were always targets of terrorist attacks and I remember being drilled on by adults that I was not to kick a can or pick up and suspicious bags on the street during my visits to Israel. The lunatics are definitely closer to home.

When I was a kid, the newspeople would say ‘America was Glued to Their TV’. I remember being in New Mexico with my parents gued to the TV when terrorists had hijacked an El AL plane and on vacation in New Orleans glued to the TV when Reagan was shot. I was in Japan when Princess Diana died. No internet.

While the lunatics were running around Boston wreaking havoc this week, the majority this week were ‘glued to the Internet’.

I think I was pretty late catching the news of the bombs at the Boston Marathon. I saw something about the markets and a bomb in Boston on Stocktwits streams and zipped over to my Twitter stream and saw ‘Boston Marathon’ over and over and than searched ‘Boston Marathon’ on Twitter. Immediately the context was set and I had more visuals than I needed. I knew enough to NOT turn on the television.

From that point on I mostly waited because of the noise. I don’t like diving deep into news, so TV and Twitter during major news and drama is too much confusion for me. I watch the financial tape. The financial tape tells me as much as I need to know.

Yesterday I finally turned on the TV to catch up on the news. I figured the story would have been pieced together enough to get it in one sitting. Unfortunately, the TV news gets quickly into derivative stories and the context is too confusing.

In the aftermath the common thread from people I follow in my stream is Twitter and Reddit did the best job. Over the next 10 years that should not change much on the macro. That’s tough for me because I don’t understand or use Reddit, but news is not my thing anyway so if the majority are happy, it’s a good thing and the majority will figure out other working news flows.

The flow of some timeless photos that the internet delivered, that I could devour by myself without chatter in my ear was what stood out to me from this tragedy. The internet and social networks delivered on this almost perfectly. The people I trust have now shared the photos that frame this horrific week for so many people in Boston and the role players and heroes that stood out. I salute them all.

The internet is also the place now where we can all chip in if we like in extremely direct ways. Ethan from GiveForward sent me this link to a Boston Marathon Support Page.

We are lucky to live in a period of ‘The Good Internet’. We can’t stop the crazies globally, but locally we can all chip in and be connected to the global like never before.

One comment

  1. Mark Essel says:

    The great thing about deriving news value from twitter or reddit is that you don’t need to log in or be a regular participant to be a recipient of the community edited news. My wife shared a reddit link with me and I checked it out about Boston. One of the founders from my startup FastSociety shared another link and I gave it a read.

    Being a consumer of information on services like reddit & twitter is as easy as flipping on a channel. The best part is friends are always interested in sharing the best quality sources from these services, without requiring heavy participation.

    Now if twitter was locked down so you couldn’t access it without an account…

Comments are closed.