The web has become an informed source – which means that you have, gentle reader. In an AP story about problems with Apple’s iPod mini, the primary citation isn’t to polls or professors, but people on customer web sites:

The diminutive music players, which have been shipping since February, sometimes generate the noise when users touch areas around the headphone jack, according to a handful of reports posted at and Apple’s own discussion forums.

In the obituary of Estee Lauder, a Lauder spokeswoman vies with a new company source for the podium, the Lauder web site:

Estee Lauder Companies was formally launched in 1946, with what the company Web site says was a skin cream developed by her chemist uncle. … Estee Lauder products are now available in more than 100 countries, the Web site says.

I love all the “saying” these sites are doing.
But in today’s world, surveillance is the ultimate sign of success. Forget the A-List. Nothing tops the Watch-List. The web must be getting somewhere if the CIA is paying attention. In Investor’s Business Daily, Doug Tsuruoka tells us:

… some analysts say U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials might be starting to track blogs for important bits of information. This interest is a sign of how far Web media such as blogs have come in reshaping the data-collection habits of intelligence professionals and others …

Thanks to Torri Oats for that link. Pretty soon this will be commonplace. What are the two things we believe the most? The press (despite its hobbled condition) and word of mouth. The aggregation and microjournalism of the web offer the two combined.