It used to be that newspapers controlled all the content. They decided what was news, what wasn't news; who they would pummel and who they would elevate.
Blogs created an alternate platform that allowed experts working as volunteers to both bypass the gatekeepers and show the absurdity of their coverage. Since most bloggers were more qualified to cover their particular specialties than the jack of all trades reporters who had been trying to cover multiple issues, the blogs eventually became more popular and more trusted than the mainstream media.
Meanwhile, Twitter and Facebook provided platforms in which the masses could respond to both mainstream media and blog stories.
Today, we see the final step. The roles are fully reversed.
The Republic's EJ Montini is commenting on David Schweikert's Facebook post. Think about that for a second. Facebook used to provide Schweikert with a platform to comment on Montini, now newspapers have become so insignificant and Facebook has become so powerful that Montini has to use the Republic as a platform to comment on Schweikert's Facebook posts.
The New York Times is covering the Creativity Conference at Cannes and makes this point.
Google and Facebook have upended the old order by taking ownership of the new one, claiming nearly two-thirds of the $60 billion online advertising market last year and on course to take more this year.
Ironically, the author describes the rise of Facebook and Google and then compares it to the Allied invasion of Normandy. OK, I guess that's fine. After all, the conference is in France. But if Google and Facebook are the Allies who are storming the beaches...then what role does the mainstream media play in this metaphor?
Hmm, that seems a bit odd. I certainly don't describe the mainstream media as entrenched Nazis fighting to hold their positions against the forces of freedom as exemplified by Facebook and Google. Of course, if that's how the New York Times sees it, then who am I to argue.
Meanwhile, hunkered down in an otherwise empty pillbox on Central Avenue, EJ Montini pores over elected officials' Facebook pages in a desperate attempt to appear relevant.