Advantages of online media, such as blogs, include the ability to traverse time and space to reach audiences worldwide at a moment convenient to the consumer rather the time of broadcaster, and thus the broadcaster’s choice. This access enables social media to bypass the traditional gatekeepers and hierarchies of information dissemination and access, such as governments, news media, and even scholarly journals. Online tools make it increasingly easy for online content to ignore not just geography but to break through language barriers as well. Such is the world of social media.
Every now and again I highlight the global reach of www.MountainRunner.us as an example of the potential of social media. The map below captures some of this blog’s visitors for the month of April 2010. It does not capture those who read the posts via email, RSS, in email forwarded by others, or even all of the visitors to the site (I believe it captures perhaps 50% of the site’s visitors). It also does not capture the increasing use of Google translate to render this site’s content in another language.
When I see data like this, it reminds me that audiences are not contained within a single geo-political region, even if the primary topic of discourse is analysis of government activities.