History has always been a compilation from people’s memories, a few portraits, photographs, diaries and mostly delicate artifacts that have been left behind after people pass away. We can only gather what little clues we get and build a story from it. Even when there were writers and historians recording events on a daily basis in their journals, we are left with only one version of the truth. Let’s say the writer was honest, but he or she could only be honest as far as their perspective would let them. Perhaps they didn’t see a key event, they missed a word, they heard something wrong or something else went otherwise, so our clues are left corrupted.
We can never be 100% sure of history because well, we weren’t there to witness it. However that might come to an end. We are the first generation of human beings that can record history like never before. Every blog post, tweet, status update, share or any other interaction done online is a definite, exact and accurate clue of what happened, down to the very second it was launched into the web.
Adam Ostrow makes sure to remind people about this in his TED Talk presented on July 2011. He also mentions that of course these clues or entries will long outlive us. Of course this is also true for ancient scripts, monuments and artifacts. But these posts can be shared to the entire world without damaging them. For example, when there is a natural disaster, people tweet about it, share pictures, make videos out of it and what not. They each contribute with a piece of hard rock evidence of what’s going on.
Of course there would be so many publishers and information givers that each will see the event from a different angle, which will give us a more holistic and accurate story from more than just one version of the facts. Not even certified reporters can achieve this. The power of crowd sourcing is greater than any certification, title or authority can achieve. A story told by 750 million Facebook users for example, can never be accurately reached by a single reporter or even blogger like yours truly.
Information has never been richer. We are a collective historian society as every second goes by.We can finally leave a definite, mystery-free record of our existence for generations to come.