Something just happened online that is highly indicative of where we’re headed in terms of new media. Look at these two stories on VBS.TV and Reddit. They are totally independent from each other and nine months apart, but the two sites are presenting readers with unparalleled access to a fascinating story: how an Oklahoman was inspired by a ’60s-era underwater adventure show, went on to work at NASA to develop self-sustaining habitats, and is now developing an undersea colony off the Florida coast. One did the video and the other is hosting a nearly-live conversation with the NASA engineer right now.
It’s stories like this – stories that would once rate a few feature pages in Discover magazine or Omni (remember Omni?) – that are now percolating through the Internet, to our benefit and to the detriment of old media who can’t keep up. Now we get the real story sans any nonsense graphics, anticlimactic taglines or fluff. It’s the future, everyone.