Today while i was browsing the newspaper , i came across an article on how blogging has lead to something called citizen reporters or better, citizen journalism...it was pretty interesting. Also looks like bloggers came in handy during the tsunami giving out first handinformations....
A copy-paste from The Hindu:
The tsunami blog
WHEN you learn that a disaster has struck, waiting for the next day's newspaper has become a distant third in your list of options. The first move now would be to tap a TV news channel, the second would be to get on to the Internet. On the Net there are now two generic options. You could tap a news site such as the BBC or a blog for a less impersonal response. Bloggers take their role as citizen media very seriously. Within a couple of hours of the tsunami striking, you had "how to help" links going up on all kinds of blogs, with frequent updates being posted. (Technology sharpens a citizen's ability to respond — SMSes also started going out giving addresses in the neighbourhood where you could contribute relief materials.)
Blogs are now syndicated
The year gone by saw further evolution of the concept of grassroots media such as weblogs. You take a medium used by the cyber-garrulous to enshrine personal angst and turn it into something socially useful. Blogs are now syndicated, and the widely accessed ones are patronised by advertisers. August 2004 saw the publication of a book that said it was describing the future of journalism, or tomorrow's journalism. Titled We the Media it described a relatively new phenomenon in several ways. As the emergence of non-standard news sources, as the growth of grassroots journalists, as journalism that is even more instant than a TV news channel. As the first draft of history being written by a former audience.
9/11 the turning point
Dan Gillmor, the author, is a technology writer who has a blog called Siliconvalley.com. He has followed the evolution of blogging and mailing lists and looks at September 11 as the event which marked the arrival of personal journalism, of people who would be traditionally described as readers/viewers/listeners getting on to the Internet to report on what was happening at that point in New York City to families and survivors.
Gillmor says his book is about journalism's transformation from a 20th Century mass-media structure to something profoundly more grassroots and democratic. "It's a story, first, of evolutionary change." What is making the change possible is technology which allows anyone to become a journalist at little cost and, in theory, with global reach. It's there on the Net, you go to a blogging site and learn how to set up your own weblog, which is a personal diary. You also learn how to post on it. And then, if you have the imagination and gumption, you can stop just being at the receiving end of news. The phrase Gillmor loves to use is turning journalism from being a lecture into a conversation. By doing so, grassroots journalists are dismantling Big Media's monopoly on the news, and taking us to a theatre of action where there is no media. The Baghdad Blogger, and all those families in Kosovo who sent out e-mails during that covered-from-outside war demonstrated how valuable such a source can be.
My cousin Raghu has come with a cool project using cell phones and long range controlling..
Just check out this link Daily thanthi