Although I am an occasional blogger, I don’t think I interact more deeply with the media than any other average guy. But I still wonder how the evolving media will affect my business, and more importantly, my personal life.
Here are a few expert futuristic notions about what will happen to the media:
- The new media will be “whatever TV becomes.” Just as we got used to the idea that tv shows will be on computer screens, the screen becomes ubiquitous. Computer chips in clothing. Computer screens on COKE cans? Barriers that separate software from real objects are breaking down.
- Content aggregation becomes more important than choking off access points to it. Content finds its own way into the world. Content loses all constraints. Anyone who wants to use content can run with it.
- “Participatory blog type journalism replaces the NY Times.” Some bloggers think that is already happening. Some bloggers even think they are “journalists.” I am not sure about that. I think I would rather get my weather and financial reports from the Star-Tribune than from my next door neighbor geek. Some bloggers live in the blogosphere and think that is the real world. Maybe the rest of the world will follow them into the blogosphere. I am not certain that this would be a good thing. I think the next Blog Action Day should be called “Go Outdoors and Turning off Your Electronic Devices for Just One Day.”
- Multi-tasking with communication modes may actually change brain structure. Even now, teenagers are exhibiting an ability to multi-task that has never seen before. “Empty space” disappears. The challenge will be to find times when you are NOT communicating, and have time for reflection. Resorts may contain “electronic-free” zones where you can rest from the stream of constant input.
- The growth curve of information and new technology becomes so steep that it is almost a straight line pointing upward. The only way for humans to keep up with it is to merge with the technology. This is called the “Singularity” which is sort of a “Rapture” for geeks. Something called a “transhuman” exists on the other side of this event.
- Here is a futuristic video that says “Man is God.” Yes, it actually said that. I hope nothing like that actually comes out of my mouth. Watching this video with my son led to an interesting conversation about the Tower of Babel story. The producer of the video seems self assured, but if technology out-paces the human mind’s abillity to comprehend it, who is to say that something could not go horribly awry with it? The video begins by talking about the growth of social media and the demise of TV, radio, the end of copyright, and similar trends that most of us could easily foresee. Anyone can read anything on plastic paper by about the year 2015. Static articles and images are replaced by information flow. Then, devices that can replicate the senses become available in virtual worlds. Experience becomes reality, and the memories can be shared and sold as any commodity. If this occurs, I wonder if the concept of “media” itself becomes arcane. If the concept of reality is replaced by artificial experience, what is “truth?” Is it whatever Googlezon or YahooSoft decides what it should be? I can’t get my mind around how all of this would affect real estate marketing and disclosure.
Could a person be sued if their experience is based on traded memories?
Well, maybe I am a Luddite in a way. I think sleeping on the couch on a Sunday afternoon with a newspaper over my head is just great. But don’t worry… Luddites don’t have a chance because they would have to master the media technology in order to destroy it. Also, new surveillance technologies will be sure to stop them cold. Reaction will be swift. Even just recently, Elton John made a statement that the internet should be shut down for five years because of his concerns that the web will engender mediocrity in the arts. The comment was met with a firestorm of howling bloggers who were quite ready to make personal attacks on poor old Sir Elton, but could offer little meaningful discussion about what Web 2.0 may or may not be doing to the culture.
What conclusions can I make about emerging media? I can’t find any logical ones to make. I can’t quite get my mind around some of these projections.
What are your thoughts?