Philip Kindred Dick, the deceased author of speculative fiction.
He was a master of taking ordinary characters and placing them in the middle of incredible situations and circumstances and let them see if they had what it took to rise to the task at hand. Some of his characters were heroic, others didn't quite make it, but all were extremely real but not necessarily likable.
So Google that if you're curious to find out more for yourself.
The actual point, beyond introducing those of you who may not have been familiar with his writing, was when I was reading an article where various "insiders" spoke of the future of social media. Some guy (CEO of Newsvine, I don't know what it is either so don't ask me) said the future of news consumption would be that services would learn to filter what you receive so you don't have to sort through a bunch of BS to get to what you really care about.
In various PKD novels and short stories, there was a device called a "homeopape" (homeostatic, news paper). In his vision, it was somewhat like a traditional newspaper, except it would constantly change its own content to keep you updated on the story. Almost like CNN but disposable (I know what you're thinking...EXACTLY like CNN).
With RSS feeds, and Gmail ads based upon our past search history, I guess we're not far from constructing our own version of the homeopape.