Head of Media, Spannerworks.
What is the current state of play with the World Wide Web?
Having heard a number of lecturers touching on the subject (including today's with search engine marketing specialist Anthony Mayfield) I feel fairly confident I can give an answer.
The speed of communication has accelerated. Newspapers for example are no longer competing on a daily basis, but minute by minute online. The scale of available content is vast because the individual living in countries rich and poor has been empowered to create. According to Anthony, by 2010, 70% of online content will be created by individuals rather than companies and organisations. Individuals are communicating and interacting more and more through social networks - of the 1.25 billion people online, 400 million (and rising) use social networks.
In relation to journalism, rather than being passive readers, internet users are expecting to interact with journalists by emailing them and writing comments on their articles. And content lasts - yesterday's news is no longer today's chip shop paper. For example, yesterday on Guardian Unlimited, a story written in 2000 was the second most read on the website, incidentally it concerned sex in space (Astronauts test sex in space - but did the earth move?)!
That's some of the main characteristics of today's internet. It's clear to me that every aspiring journalist needs to embrace them to be successful.