News Foo and the Orwellian Inversion

Arizona State University, Phoenix – News Foo Camp, December 2010

The Inaugural News Foo Camp was predicted to be an inspiring ‘unconference’, with 150 friends of O’Reilly from the feilds of journalism, technology, and public policy coming together to share their vision on the future of news and tech. ‘Hosted’ by tech and publishing guru Tim O’Reilly, the impressive list of attendees included digital journalist Jody Brannon, foreign correspondent Wolfgang Blau and tech tracking wiz Amy Webb, to name a few.

Amid the social media noise regarding the spectacular lineup of NFC speakers, Twitter was buzzing about one very special presentation. PeopleBrowsr CEO Jodee Rich was poised to share his insights on:

@cuisineanxious The Future of News – An Orwellian Inversion http://slidesha.re/fsgBU8 #slideshare #media

We at PeopleBrowsr hope you enjoy our blog presentation of Jodee’s talk as much as the audience in Phoenix enjoyed learning from Jodee directly – and he from them also!

Reimagining of Orwell: Big Brother Next Gen

When George Orwell wrote his seminal work 1984, the predicted power of ‘Big Brother’ had audiences afraid and concerned for their future.  Was this work a literary, and literal, crystal ball?  Would our thoughts, actions and purchase decisions be scripted, pre-determined and governed by a wise and all knowing central body? Would the ‘truth’ and reality of our decisions as consumers be decided by that central body (or even by brands themselves)?

HECK NO!

In fact, 60 years since 1984’s ominous inception, it’s people power – the sheer multitude of collective Little Brothers (and Sisters) – that rules and now largely claims media and public space.  Millions of consumers curate their own realities each and every day and, when just one of them looks for guidance, do they turn to Big Brother?

HECK NO!

They turn to their peers.  And, out of the stream of data and expression consciousness, come answers, options, proposals, understanding and, yes, the occasional resistance or opposition. This is, after all, a space where individual truths are respected but also where single realities can hold enormous power and influence because…

WE ARE NOT ALONE.

We are powerful because we are accessible and offer our PersonalSpeak* continuously. Together, we verify and authenticate points of view that usefully serve not one Big Brother but scores of brands, corporate and government organisations.

As expressed by a ‘Tweeter’:
@ChangeEnactor the #web2.0 orwellian inversion. big brother steps aside to little brother by finding voice and relevance

Big Brother is still watching, however the Brother that will advance successfully toward 2020 will undoubtedly be the one who reaches into the pool of consciousness and applies their wisdom to the same, to illuminate betterment for themselves and for all.

Many in the audience were left actively questioning, and questioning the future:
@quinnnorton Inversion of 1984 sure, but I’m not sure Little Brother is a nicer master than Big Brother. #Ignite #NewsFoo

So, what do you think the future has in store for news, media and technology?

For a fabulous visual representation of the changing face of consumer power, take a walk through PeopleBrowsr Jodee Rich’s slideshare “The Future of News – An Orwellian Inversion”. We’d love to have you join the conversation. Tweet Us @PeopleBrowsr to share your thoughts.

*Term coined for this blog

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