The future is now my people! And it is happening on Twitter+CNN: We are prosuming news.
The term Prosumer is described on Wikipedia as:
In the 1980 book, The Third Wave, futurologist Alvin Toffler coined the term "prosumer" when he predicted that the role of producers and consumers would begin to blur and merge (even though he described it in his book Future Shock from 1970). Toffler envisioned a highly saturated marketplace as mass production of standardized products began to satisfy basic consumer demands. To continue growing profit, businesses would initiate a process of mass customization, that is the mass production of highly customized products.
One anchor for the cable news channel CNN has become enamored with the micro-messaging service Twitter over the past several weeks. He used tweets (Twitter messages) to complement his coverage of the recent Hurricane Gustav and now the network has apparently decided to take it one step further, basing a whole show around the real-time citizen journalism/opinions that take place on Twitter.
CNN reporter, Rick Sanchez's Twitter updates are being followed by over 9000 users as of this date (which leads to interesting infrastructure issues over at Twitter -- see venturebeat post). I did watch some of the user questions from Twitter on CNN's coverage of the presidential elections and had planned to write about it earlier. Rick asks his Twitter audience about their opinion on things like
Which refers to Congressman Lynn Westmoreland's words about Barack Obama. News media is now all about citizen journalism and participatory audience. Emails, Web forms and premium rate SMS still work but Twitter is the new way to go to get the audience involved!
So, are we really that far off from watching our nightly news cast from some amateur reporter on YouTube who has stitched together news stories submitted by his/her audience? I am amazed at Toffler's visionary outlook on this.
The future is happening right and we are prosuming it today!