Thursday, June 5, 2008

An Earth Shattering Moment.

I've spent most of my working life in the IT industry, primarily in television. I have always been a close follower of tech trends and have been watching and participating in the evolution of media via the web over the last ten years. So one would think it would come as no surprise to me that the democratisation of media at the hands of web 2.0 would be the natural progression of human communication.

Surprised? No, but once in a while a fog lifts and a glaring spotlight is turned upon ones thoughts in a way that solidifies and slams you out of your musings in into immediate action.

This article "Gin, Television and Social Surplus" by Clay Shirkyon is one such document and is the catalyst for my decision to turn all my energy to the front of the wave. There is a paradigm shift occurring with how future generations relate to media. Media is no longer passive, and as a content creator, my very survival hinges on my ability to adapt.

Here's the pertinant passage.

"I was having dinner with a group of friends about a month ago, and one of them was talking about sitting with his four-year-old daughter watching a DVD. And in the middle of the movie, apropos nothing, she jumps up off the couch and runs around behind the screen. That seems like a cute moment. Maybe she's going back there to see if Dora is really back there or whatever. But that wasn't what she was doing. She started rooting around in the cables. And her dad said, "What you doing?" And she stuck her head out from behind the screen and said, "Looking for the mouse."

Here's something four-year-olds know: A screen that ships without a mouse ships broken. Here's something four-year-olds know: Media that's targeted at you but doesn't include you may not be worth sitting still for. Those are things that make me believe that this is a one-way change. Because four year olds, the people who are soaking most deeply in the current environment, who won't have to go through the trauma that I have to go through of trying to unlearn a childhood spent watching Gilligan's Island, they just assume that media includes consuming, producing and sharing."

For those of us who have basked in the glow of old media it's time to take heed and shake ourselves into action.

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