South African President Thabo Mbeki, in a speech about ten minutes ago this morning, referred to the citizen media revolution acknowledging the role of bloggers in South Africa and the world. He referred to bloggers almost interchangeably with journalists in his speech at the WAN conference in Cape Town. This is a newspaper conference mainly for the media, yet the president hinted at the influence and growth of blogging. I think its the first time I have heard him speak about the blogging revolution. And it is significant.
He also insightfully referred to the term “Goodbye Gutenberg”, a term that emphasises how the media industry had changed and was changing in the face of digital media, that has brought about online media and citizen media. Mbeki also noted that much has changed in the digital era. A decade ago “Amazon used to be a river, Yahoo! used to be a bumpkin, and Google used to merely refer to ones and zeros”. How the world has changed since then.
I think it is significant that the president of South Africa, by reference in his speech, has recognised blogging as a force.