Written by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson
Dan Gillmor, Founder and Director of the Center for Citizen Media, spoke about the future of Internet-enabled media and content, focusing on the democratization of mass information consumption produced by the enabling ability of the Internet to allow anyone to be a media producer, rather than just a passive consumer. Consumers can not only produce media and information to present to traditional production companies but to each other too. Mr. Gillmor stressed that consumer-driven production on the web does not consist solely of blogs but many other traditional and emergent media forms as well.
Some examples he gave illustrated the vast difference between public-enabling technology today and the previously enormous expense required to develop content for mass consumption. The New York-based Rocketboom.com produces high-quality video newscasts daily, yet does so without the backing of the traditionally expected old media production company and facilities. Application mashups are popping up around the web, kludging together existing applications to create new and useful or entertaining tools and resources, such as the Chicago Crime Maps made with local public statistics overlaid on Google Maps using their open Application Programming Interface (API). For a bit of levity, he played a (YouTube famous) video mashup of President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair apparently singing a duet professing their love for each other, through creative editing of existing video culled from various sources.