Does the internet really give regular people more opportunity to be heard?
We're told by various sources in the media that the internet is making talking heads obsolete, that it's giving the voice and power to regular people. But if you look on Twitter, it's celebrities who have all the followers. Regular people can talk, but is anybody listening? Is the internet just a mirror of life outside the internet? Does it give the people more voice? Has it changed in this regard? Is this even a legitimate question? Answer as you like.
Anyone can rather easily setup a free Blog, a free web page or attract many thousands of followers on Twitter. While its true that its only the stars like Taylor Swift that have millions of followers, for her its 2,508,682. There are plenty of niche experts I follow that have in the range of 30,000 - 70,000 listeners. The place I grew up had a population of 30,000. I think its amazing a person can post a short string of text and instantly reach out to so many for free.
Are they all listening at any given moment? Not very likely which is why I spread out my messages over a few days during various parts of the day, morning, afternoon, evening and middle of the night. Then I'm sure to catch even users other side of the globe. The last hub I promoted on Twitter got me 140 total hits out of my 396 followers according to bit.ly stats! 35% is a great number in my opinion :-) It was so high because I chose a topic that was the #1 trending topic at the time and I did get retweeted about 7 times too, to small groups of users. A more typical response I think may be around 7%.
Now IF you had 30k users and got a 7% response rate you would have 2,100 users interested in your topic for free. This is over a 1-3 day period the way I do this. If I compare this to the typical .5% click through rate for AdSense ads I think Social Marketing proves its self to be quite valuable indeed!
Are they listening you ask? I think so if you are engaging them with a subject that interests them. I try and tell them twits exactly what it is I am posting, and NEVER try and trick anyone.
Before the internet how was it possible for the average person to easily reach out to hundreds, thousands or possibly even millions of users for very little or not cost? It really wasn't. Well trusted bloggers have as much or more influence than major media outlets. So much so that new laws have recently been passed to govern them scary bloggers. I do think the internet gives the average person a voice they wouldn't otherwise have. I also think the average person is usually clueless as to how to best utilize this new found power.
As a person with social anxiety disorder, the internet definitely gives me the opportunity to have a voice, and be heard. Of course, I don't have the status and reputation of celebrities, so I haven't been heard by millions of people! But as someone who was never heard by anyone, at least now I can still speak to someone.
Oh yes, that is for sure, that is also the reason why I'm using Hubpages to connect to you all.
Ordinary people can create extraordinary results and that is anywhere even on the internet. You do not need to be a celebrity to be heard. You build a following by posting to various sites and forums, blog, hub, tweet, and the like. If your message you want out, is good to shake up other people, they will read more of what you have to say and then begin following and retweet and ask others to read what you have to say as well and there begins a revolution of sorts. Your cause should be of common concern for you to accelerate, anywhere and that goes even for the internet.
A couple of examples : Mahatma Gandhi-fought for India's freedom without the internet. He had himself heard and people followed his principles and even today greatly influences many.
Today, the world over, media and that includes the internet is being used to highlight the plight of tigers. Savethetiger campaigns are taken up all over the world. This movement is accelerated to influence people all over the world in real time because of the internet.
In short, it depends on how you are going to leverage the internet for a worthy cause and be heard enough to make a noteworthy change.
I think that the Internet does give regular people the opportunity to be heard.
The internet is a huge place and used by millions of people around the world, so anyone with any kind of online presence will be noticed and 'heard' by others at some point in time, one way or another.
I don't think that the internet necessarily gives individual people more of a voice though - for example, I could write a personal blog to express my views, but it doesn't mean I'll get a lot of visits, or a lot of commments.
However, If I was to join an online forum to express my views, then I would be noticed by many of the people already established as users of that site.
As a group, if the users of that forum worked together to draw in visitors and be heard, then it would be much easier for them to get attention from people - for whatever reason - than it would be for one single person to be noticed.
People that needs more attention or people that love being alone most likely they find there place in the internet. They think this the right place to be were they can speak and expecting other in the web would response and regards there thoughts.
Celebrities only have as much voice as we give them. Personally, I don't follow celebrities at all, so in my life, the answer would be, yes, the internet gives me a much greater opportunity to listen to people...like you!
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