Friday, October 14, 2011

Evolution of a Revolution



I had a chance to go to the CCW conference this week again, and update myself and talk to others about content & communication.  I find the conference interesting and I learn a lot by talking to vendors, and other technicians and artists who are in the field of communication.  Many provide content to the web, and that content is spilling over to other traditional media such as cable, and network.  One of the seminars was titled: "So What Comes After File-Based Work Flows?  The Next Generation".   I found it interesting what others are doing, and how they are doing it.  Media is getting faster and that ability to become immediate is changing the landscape of how people consume different types of media.  Maybe it's just the way human beings are.  We think that knowing something immediately will give us an edge or help us.
What I was excited about is that the web has knocked down barriers between countries, people, and governments.  People hear things and see things and it sparks ideas, and even movements.

My dad was a big believer in communication.  He was a short wave radio operator and he loved talking to others around the world.  My dad always felt that he could get to the truth by just asking the people who were there.  Of course now governments, and corporations have seen the power of the web, and do so by influencing others to their way of thought.  It's a double edged sword, and one that can do much harm and great good.  It's up to the user to decide what he or she does with it, and there is some really GOOD things happening.

To get back to the seminar.  I was pretty blown away on how fast people could post their content so quickly.  Using an I-pad to shoot, edit, and upload a video clip we can now have that immediacy quickly, and since it doesn't go through the traditional gatekeepers such as editors, producers, and even politicians we can get a more honest look at the human condition.  People producing their own content as easily as writing or speaking. 

I can only think of once when suddenly media was so drastically changed, and that was when Gutenberg developed the printing press in 1440.  It was then that books could be printed for more then just the aristocracy.  Then in the 19th century when the development of the steam powered rotary presses came along we started to print in an industrial scale where books became cheaper and everyone had access to books, and newspapers.   That's what's happening now with social media.  The proliferation of handheld devices is making it more accessible to everyone, and the language is changing.

Josh Apter demonstrated his I-pad camera, and it was pretty cool to see how fast one could create content and distribute it.  In a way it is already happening with people uploading events on their phones to their YouTube or FaceBook accounts.  Just imagine that on a grand scale, and imagine media providers combing through user based content, and broadcasting them.  Such footage of disasters, wars, revolutions, and events coming to us in real time from a variety of sources.

I can only imagine the problems this can create, but it also provides us with a voice.  An idea, or a concept can be shot through the web, and instantly communicated to thousands if not millions. 

We are in the infancy of a modern day revolution ladies and gentlemen.  Like all thing it has great good, and great evil too.  It's how we decide to use it that will dominate human beings for a long time to come.  It's a brave new world, and some sci-fi authors nightmares, or their utopias are over the next horizon.  Let's hope we all choose well.

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