Thursday, January 03, 2008

The great media paradigm shift

Is that it? What now?

It's a phrase oft-repeated in Hollywood flicks when the lead's heroic act to bring about worldly change falls flat.

In the non celluloid system following a frenetic period of hustle and flow, execs huddling execs, conference attendants lifting open secrets from competitors, scene 45 take one has grind to a monumental halt.


Conclusion: you now know what they know and what they know everyone knows and no one knows anything new, at least as a critical mass utility for the mean time.

I mean where's the fun in that.

If you're a media exec get ready to exhale as you tick of the following: twitter, blog, pod, VJ, multimed,scrobble, ASP apps, flikr, Myface.

Yep, It's Hammer time. How did the track go"

"You can't touch this; you can't touch me".

Five compressed years

In the last five years, two more like it, there's been a shift in thinking.


We use the word paradigm rather liberally, and I am no different over at

But has there really been a change so radical to mirror Gutenberg's Press, which after all wasn't just about producing a printing press per se, but an attitudinal change to new information?



The P word

Paradigm seems such an explosive action: a community believes totally in one set of rules, a few have different ideas and cause the others to shift, abandon their ways entirely.

A new paradigm shift, fundamental thought process stirs a colossal way of life to abandon its belief.

See the earth is round, its round: It's a bloody sphere. You're all wrong. Flat my arse! ~ anon.

Big New thing
No one could deny there hasn't been a round of teutonic changes and frankly the Oxford dictionary should add "the Net" as a synonym for Paradigm.

But what about the way we do things: the media, press, TV?

If we look back on the breakthrough of broadcasting and wireless it was the Irish's 1916 use of a wireless ship broadcast to inform anyone sailing close by to tell the US press of their plight, that is cited as broadcast turning point.

The broadcast pros hadn't yet figured the commercial sense of radio and broadcasting.

And if it hadn't been for that grubby set up between wireless/TV, the electronics industry and some fairly powerful officials, then broadcasting could well have turned out to be a many-to-many exercise - the very thing that has us belly-aching with joy about the Net.

And film?

Well that's still film delivered in a manner which is as old as film.

If the cryogeneticists could hurry up a bit and get Eisenstein back, d'you figure the daddy of film and montage wouldn't chuckle a bit at what he sees?

"Oh yes I am Legend is a bad film and how did you do that?" he might say, "but yes that's a montage, and that's a montage and that's a two shot and that there is my favourite conflict arc".

There's a reason why dye-in-wool media folks can leave their places of employ and still find work, as opposed to those poor monks who had to throw their quills away when the printing press arrived.

Has there been a radical change?

You've got to watch this again. Sublime!

What's the question?
We still largely watch linear TV, which has been lifted hook line and youtube to the web and newspapers still deliver a version of what they do in hard copy coupled with the existing paradigm of what constitute news.

"Ok what we need to know here is what happened, who it is, why it happened, when and"

Every one's now doing news: the actors have changed, perhaps the philosophy, the technology adds some finesse, but the model of the product has more or less stayed the same.

"We bring you the news" dah dah dah
"Ours is the unbellished news" deem dum dee
"When you hear our news, you'll never want to hear what others say". dala dah
"This is tomorrow's news today" de dum de do
"This is the news that you want" dom dom dom

We're still wedded to a powerful model of info flows that has not changed.

And why should it?

Web n+1

Web 2.0's radicalism hasn't usurped a way of life, has it?

It's been incorporated into the body politik of what we do, a bolt on to the status quo.

Perhaps in developed economies it has to be this way.

There's just too many zeros at the end of that market cap to truly entertain something new.

Just as drug enforcers could never quite rid the world of illegal drugs in one fell swoop, even if they could and with all the right resources because of the legitimate economy it supports, web 2.0 has to make do with the here and now.

Could it be so different?


The new new thing
So 40 years on from now about the time when newspapers have been pegged for history's waste paper bin, will that generation look back to 2004-7 and say with alacrity:
"Now that's big, that was a paradigm".

Or what possibly could they be working with that lends them to say the converse.

  • A three D dimensional web as the norm?
  • Could information become so interstitial that it in intelligently gathered around us?
  • And how might we be compositing information e.g. news that's so mind shattering, that its construct leaves you breathless - if you look back on this period in 2050.

    There are no radical changes
    There's a wonderful footnote in paradigms greatest gaffs when some respected figure, a Lord, proclaims physics has reached the end of the road in knowledge.

    Then some bloke called Einstein says something considered weird and wonderful that collapses a good part of Newton's laws.

    I mean the cheek of it!

    So what of these new new things.

    Day dream
    "Oi Gyimah would you stop staring out of that ruddy window"

    I used to get that a lot when I was a kid; I'm doing it now.

    But what would we do without day dreams, cooked up bizarre inventions, oddball moments, cranky thoughts about the moon being made of cheese.

  • Imagine that you only read and viewed information that was so necessary that it really was news you can use.

  • How about a speech recognition device that pinged you anytime someone mentioned your name anywhere in the world.

  • Or that if you needed info on anything it was literally a breath away.

  • Or how about a machines that rendered all other media publishing devices obsolete

    "I wonder what's happening in South Africa with the ANC and how the election will shape".

    Google bot audio super spiders collate key word references (electrical signals in the air - think radio) and decipher priority as an immediate answer to your question and more if you should so need and tell you on the many devices where you can access this.

    Every now and then you get a flashing light on your wrist device; someone's talking about you.

    If it's red a negative word has been detected; if its green a positive word.

    "Would you like to turn of halcyon to negative connotations Dunkley Gyimah", it asks

    Hail the thought police have truly arrived.

    But how far off from these are we?

    A couple of things I have seen point to some of these and tomorrow I'll continue this conversation.
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