By David Ponce
At 2:13am, EST, Ashton Kutcher officially reached 1,000,012 followers on Twitter. Why is this a big deal? Aside from the fact that he’s the first to surpass a million followers… he did it while beating CNN in a open contest. If you haven’t been following the race, that’s ok: it means you have lives elsewhere than in front a computer screen. But if you’re curious, here’s CNN’s take on it. In short, CNN and Ashton were racing to a million, and Ashton got there first.
It matters because Ashton is one (sometimes annoying, sometimes brilliant) dude, while CNN is a huge corporation. For one man to have the same voice and reach as CNN is a significant milestone in the evolution of media and highlights to what degree the landscape has changed in the last few years. Traditional, mainstream media is getting its ass handed to them by blogs, microblogging services (like Twitter), social networks and social news sites (like Digg). These services and their popularity are rewriting the game from a top-down, filtered, edited and often propagandized approach, to a disseminated, democratized and organic system of news gathering. In short, we’re entering an age where the people decide what’s news, and how to consume it.
What might have been dismissed as a passing fad by many a few short years ago now has at least 1,000,012 (and rising) dissenting voices.