We haven't seen such an outpouring of protests and unrest in this country in recent memory.
When the verdict was announced in the beating of Rodney King in the early nineties we watched a similar public reaction, but a more sophisticated digital media has given Ferguson's version something entirely different.
During the turbulent 60's, as it’s frequently referred to, we were limited to news after the fact. Footage from photos, hand held cameras and voice recorders had to be taken to the office and edited for the morning's print or the evening's broadcast. Today Vine, Twitter and Instagram is taking us to the scenes live. Even traditional media has allowed their reporters to individually post immediate updates using the latest digital channels.
While observing the human reaction and the emotional impact, digital technology professionals also appreciate and even marvel at the how media has evolved; it's quite extraordinary. We're watching history unfold here. We saw it in the Arab Spring uprising chronologized on Twitter, as governments sought to shut the social networking service down and we're even witnessing it in Hong Kong as students take to the street in protest.
As traditional media gives way to a groundswell of emerging ways to disseminate vast resources of information instantaneously, we are left with few outlets to make sense or compartmentalize what we're consuming. I guess some would argue, let media consumers filter the information themselves in a free and open society.
#Ferguson unveils a story of two individuals and their personal stories colliding like two freight trains on a national and even world stage. The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, even gave a statement about what is unfolding. We already know that Social Media has outstretched the town square to global proportions.
Matters of a town of roughly 21,000 becomes an uncensored topic of conversation for millions.
Ferguson has presented us with the unique opportunity to develop even more sophisticated social media tools that can take all of the live content, systematically categorize and chronologize it all in real time. After all, technology should not only bombard us with information, it should also provide us with the best means for clarity too.