London Olympics Taco Stand.

London Olympics Taco Stand.

This week has been a whirlwind of online overload learning in digital communications and mass media. From exploring how digital journalists can write create and publish stories at lightening speed, hearing from Bernard Marr how Big Data will one day just be accepted as the norm, to discussing the proper usage of mass produced content by citizen journalists, my brain is spinning.
 
Here are the top ten thoughts spinning in my head:
 
1. Does the Internet already know what I’m thinking before I think it? Did it know, or could it have predicted, that I would write this blog post based on my google search history and monitoring which book I just downloaded?
 
2. Can Big Data hurry up and create the technology that Bernard Marr referenced in his book, wherein my “smart” refrigerator knows what I am out of, orders it online for me, and groceries I need magically appear at my door? Because, seriously, I’m hungry, my frig looks like Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard and I’m craving those tacos I had at the London Olympics, (see photo above). Can Big Data get me those please?
 
3. If digital journalists can and do write articles now, can I hire one to work the midnight shift NOW? I would love to farm out my midnight news checks and twitter updates. Are they for rent? Where can I find one? That’s information I would like to have in my database.
 
4. If citizen journalists are now emerging to dominate news cycles and contributing to on-air broadcasts, newspapers, and digital feeds, who will vet their information? How will we know they are reporting real, not photoshopped, images? How will we verify they are indeed seeing what they are tweeting?
 
4. Will citizen journalists be governed? Will a new set of laws need to be created? By what standards will they be held? Can they interfere with other people’s private lives? Do citizen journalists have a right to publish what they record when they are in someone’s home? How will their images, stories, words, thoughts, videos and framework be kept in proper context?
 
5. Will the mass population of citizen journalists create a more transparent society or will it cause people to refrain from taking jobs in the public eye? Will the fear of being framed improperly by a citizen journalist deter future Senators, police officers, firefighters and other public servants?
 
6. Will we ever be able to take back our right to privacy or will we just redefine it as nonexistent?
 
7. Could the Reddit framework apply to authenticating stories in a new model of journalism, allowing the public to vote authenticity up or down?
 
8. How much longer until computers actually do something that is helpful to every day consumers, like bring us coffee?
 
9. Will the hard copy newspaper ever again regain the dominating first-go to source role in news? Will smart tablets and phones ever one day feel a backlash with one two many false stories and will the retro in hand print reign again?
 
10. Will or has the definition of what is newsworthy evolve with the dominance of citizen journalism and emergence of digital journalists? What will consumers of news want to read about, watch or hear in the future? Where will we find stories? Who will be the gatekeepers? Who will be the deciders of what counts as current news?
 
These thoughts and many others are swirling around in my head like a strawberry milkshake with the whipped cream melting and stirring itself inside the fruity ice cream treat. If you have answers to any of these questions, please, by all means, tweet me.
 
This article is for education purposes only for Syracuse University Newhouse Journalism.