Technology has had an incredible impact on how we work, communicate and conduct our daily lives.

One of the industries most affected is the media. Remember the days when there were three TV channels, a handful of radio stations and the local paper? They were our pipeline for information. We would form our opinions based on their content, and there was little opportunity for a two-way conversation.

The shift in power began in 1998, when the Web site The Drudge Report broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Ten years later, everything has been turned upside down.

With the ease of creating a Web page or blog, you can be part of the media in less than an hour. Technology has taken the age-old "over the backyard fence" conversation and amplified it worldwide.

Ten years ago, if you had a beef with your local city government, you might attend a city council meeting, speak your piece, and that would be the end of it. But not today.

Locally, you can see this in action. Dave Sanderson loves decorating his yard with holiday lights. Channel 13 covered his lights. The neighbors had not complained. But the city of Ankeny called it a nuisance. In today's wired world, what did the Sandersons do? They launched a Web site that they call http://www.thecitythatstolechristmas.com. There, they told their story and began to influence opinion.

Do not be fooled into thinking this is not relevant to you. The number of "authorities" who can and will now speak about your company, product or service has expanded to just about everyone. Are you ready?