I was ratcheting through footage from the North Carolina Zoo when Weaver stuck his head into my edit booth.
“Hey ya know Sandy Carmany?”
“Not really - I think I‘ve seen her blog” I said, staring at the frolicking polar bear on the two screens before me.
“We interviewed her today for a piece on The Generals. Got some shots of her blog. Nice lady.”
I nodded absent-mindedly as the furry giants cavorted for the camera. Weaver walked off and found his own edit bay to get lost in. A few second later, a woman’s voice emanated from Weaver’s bay. I didn’t think much of it as I ejected my disc and closed down my timelines. Walking across the hall, I logged into another computer for a few stolen moments of web surfing. As is my habit, I started with the blogosphere, scanning post titles like I used to do newspaper headlines.
‘Additional benefits of blogging’ read a slug. Still thinking of the polar bear sequence I’d just crafted onscreen, I clicked on it and jumped aboard someone else’s train of thought.
"Local TV reporters are reading my blog these days and using it as a "source" for stories. I've done two TV interviews today as a result of my recent posts. "
It took a moment to realize I was reading a transcript of the encounter Weaver had just described to me. Councilwoman Carmany went on-line to describe how a local camera crew had insisted on shooting her blog for part of their story. From Weaver‘s bay I could hear Carmany’s voice listing the merits of the local hockey team. On the screen before me, I read her thoughts on the brief press visit, hoping the photojournalist wouldn’t show too much of her messy office.
Weaver stuck his head out of the bay.
“Check it out - she was all nervous about her messy office.”
Looking back at the screen, the word ‘MESSY’ shouted above the alphabet din in all caps. I glanced over at Weaver. He’d returned to his footage at hand, reeling through clips like the edit junkie he is. Drumming his fingers on the edge of the keyboard, he tapped out an imaginary tune as the effects on screen began to render.
As the computer whirred and ciphered, I tried to follow the new media ping pong match I’d just witnessed. A reporter reads a politician’s blog and schedules an interview. Shortly afterwards, the politician blogs about the interview - commenting on the process and plugging the upcoming airtime, all before the photog involved - a blogger himself - can finish putting the report together. I was wrapping my brain around the chronology when Weaver stuck his head out of the edit bay and complicated matters entirely with the cheerful proclamation,
“I’m gonna blog about it tonight!”
I shook my head slowly to absorb the hit. Citizen journos, plugged-in politicians and an army of laptop-spondents are changing the face of media even quicker than the out-of-town experts predicted. From my street-level perspective I see it every day, age old barriers crumbling to dust, dissolving the chattering classes into the multi-tasking masses. Even in my modest mid-market, what used to be a one-way flow of information is now a churning sea of give and take. I’m not sure where all this is taking us, but the trip certainly won’t lack for documentation. The dawn of the Information Age is truly upon us. As a compulsive communicator, caffeine addict and chewer of thought, I couldn’t be more stoked, or more exhausted.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have about thirty websites to scan. After that, I may even turn on the TV...Naaaah!