Social Networking Sites As a Breaking News Source

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Social networking sites offer people online a gathering spot to casually share their opinions and interests with other like-minded participants. Recent events however have indicated how effective these online communities are for breaking news on a national and international level.

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Although interest or opinions may vary from group to group there still remains a common interest in national or world news. Considering these social platforms connect people from all over the world on a 24/7 basis you're looking at their considerable potential as information sources.

What we're focusing on here is the ability of these social sites to gather and circulate late breaking news. Compared with the more traditional syndicated news networks it can be argued that social network sites are in fact more efficient and expedient in delivering news to the public. Take that CNN! By passing information along through word of mouth using the speed of the internet news that travels this fast is hard to beat.

Let's examine 5 reasons why a social network online can outperform the more traditional news broadcasting networks.

News Collected as it Occurs

Social platforms do not 'assign' people to gather news or information but instead are merely designed to share information or interests. Site members do however possess an insatiable and natural curiosity. Just through sheer numbers members combine to create a catch basin of global proportions. As a result they are capable of collecting information of little or great consequence anywhere in the world on a 24/7 basis.

Information Transmitted Fast

Any information picked up either through heresy or observation is usually immediately 'released' on the internet. To date there is no more efficient means with which to dispense information to the general public quicker than the net.

As is often said in basketball, 'Nothing but Net!'

Syndicated networks for the most part still have certain 'hoops' through which they must 'jump' before releasing information. This may tend to slow their process.

No 'Red Tape' or Protocol

Without the traditional 'red tape' or protocol that syndicated news networks contend with online communities hold an unfair advantage. The legalese involving fair play, accuracy, and ethics do encumber syndicated networks. The lack of such restraints however concerning online communities does 'allow' for information to be dispensed much faster to the general public.

Word Gets Out Quicker

News tends to flow from person to person and often time is simply broadcast to the masses. The net result is that information spreads virally and this word of mouth effect should not be overlook for its efficiency and speed. There is no 'formal' channel through which information is directed which means word is spread continuously, not at scheduled intervals. This process 'increases' both speed and just as importantly exposure.

No Regulated Responsibilities

Within any social network community there is no delegation of duties, responsibilities or authority. You are looking at a world-wide community with the capability of filling any role that may seem appropriate at any given time. From observing an event or translating its meaning to distributing the information this flexibility and spontaneity enables news to be collected and spread like a wild fire.

This lack of structure is built for speed but on the other hand can lead to occasional inaccuracies in reporting facts.

Social networking sites have both the channels and the manpower to deliver late breaking news at lightning speed. Using word of mouth to spread information social sites possess the ability to transmit news unencumbered by any red tape further accelerating the transfer of this information. It is not suggested that online communities replace syndicated news networks as news source but merely that they can compliment them if needed. Social network sites based upon their prominence on the internet possess the potential to be much more than they were designed for and this should not be ignored.