Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Differences in modern media

In a podcast from TED, Clay Shirky makes some interesting points about the distinguishing characteristics of modern media...

"The moment we are living through ... is the largest increase in expressive capability in human history"

Four media revolutions in the past 500 years:
  • Printing press
  • Telegraph and telephone
  • Recorded media other than print: photos, sound, movies
  • Radio and television, in which electromagnetic techniques were harnessed allowing to be sent through the air
In each of these, individual communication is separated from group communication. You either get to communicate 1:1 or 1:M. The Internet is the first media that facilitates M:M.

On the Internet, all forms of media exist side-by-side.

The former "audience" can now use the same medium to publish themselves.

Media is now global, social, ubiquitous and cheap.

The "really crazy change" is not that the former audience can speak back to the publishers, but that they can interact with each other.

The key role of this new media is to convene rather than to control communication.

Clay also discusses a great example of how technology usage in Nigeria inspired similar usage in the USA.

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