Somethings just go together.
Bacon and eggs.
Death and taxes.
Spongebob and Patrick.
Participatory culture and the internet.
The internet is a massive, open source machine containing arguably every piece of information currently known. What’s more is that most of it wasn’t put there by News Corp, Time Warner, Disney etc. Unlike legacy media, the vast majority of content available online comes from the people formerly known as the ‘audience’ – those who consume media content. As more and more online content is created by everyday citizens, the once entrenched divide between ‘audience’ and ‘author’ (those who create media content) is becoming blurred. Those who use the internet are just as like to be participating in it’s continual creation.
The proliferation of smartphone ownership in the last decade has hastened the integration of ‘author’ and ‘audience’. Breaking news these day is more likely to come through your Twitter feed than it is the nightly news bulletin. Furthermore, the participatory nature of smartphone technology enables people to interact and add to other’s content. Reddit, 4chan and most notably, Wikipedia demonstrate this. Smartphones are enabling those once considered the ‘audience’ to also become the ‘author’.