The Lost Egyptian Cobra Is New Media

So this cobra escapes from the Bronx Zoo the other day.  A dude who works at the Bronx Zoo tweets from their account that they’ve lost the snake.  Someone creates a Twitter account @BronxZoosCobra, and he’s got almost 100,000 followers in less than 3 days.

Let’s for a second look beyond the fact that in and of itself, the fact that the Bronx Zoo lost a king cobra and then decided to tell the public about it on Twitter.

Hilarious.

I have been railing incessantly against old media for not understanding that news and entertainment is moving away from sitting down at certain points of the day to consume content.  People are not reading the morning newspaper at 7AM, they are not watching the evening news on TV at 6:30PM, and they aren’t taking in their entertainment at scheduled times.

Why?

Because content is moving to a 24/7 cycle of interaction where it is in front of your face at all times, and that’s great.  The stream is always there, that is what makes Twitter so amazing, things are not scheduled at certain times for you, they may happen around the same time each day or each week out of habit, but you don’t “tune in” to Twitter.  The stream flows all day, it is ever present, and you can dip in at any time to consume.

It’s not just news, it’s entertainment too, and the cobra story highlights this.  How many people have laughed several times and gotten entertainment value out of following the cobra tweet about New York City?  We didn’t need to tune in at 7PM for this, it was entertaining all day.

I like comedians on Twitter sometimes more than I like them in real life.  @DenisLeary is hilarious on Twitter but I can’t stand his drunken ranting in person.

Just like the news, entertainment will shift from scheduled times to all the time as we are all hooked into the same stream.

Many will lament the fact that we are becoming so hooked into the flow that we will need to take time out each day, each week, or each month to escape it.  I disagree.  Tools will be developed to screen and filter, to mellow the harsh of the torrent of information being thrown at us in an always on world.  You will learn to open and close that filter based on when and where you are.

The fact that the zoo lost this animal is funny, but the cobra’s stream is funnier.

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