29
Dec
10

ify:6 the medium, the message, a mess?

Radio was the original message board. It could reach out and connect peoples across a very wide area. It embellished the newspapers, and the magazines like Life, Look, and Saturday Evening Post. Movies were recorded on film just like the personal cameras of the day. News films were shown prior to movies being played at the theater houses. This film however, was time consuming and expensive to ‘process’. TV was broadcast ‘live’ – in real time – which made for exciting shows!

It didn’t take long to invent video tape which didn’t need ‘processing’ so by 1960 TV was no longer ‘live’ but could be edited and then broadcast to the public at some later time.

Understandably, TV grew in significance but was only the 3 main broadcast channels, NBC, CBS, and ABC. During the summers we began to see the first of the “reruns”, I guess that seeing older content was somehow better than seeing new content????

In the 60’s we were sending broadcast satellites into the heavens and soon cable TV was being wired into our cities. It became obvious the we were going to have many more ways to deliver video to more people around the world. Asking WHO was going to fill all this potential new broadcast space was a perfectly valid question. The sci-fi writers had wondered this question for quite some time, and now others were joining the fray.

Marshall McLuhan - in the early 70's courtesy Wiki

Marshall McLuhan was one of those. He coined the term “global village” and wrote a powerful book on the topic of the exploding communication technology.

The satellite medium, McLuhan states, encloses the Earth in a man-made environment, which “… turns the globe into a repertory theater to be programmed.

‘The Medium is the Message’ is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.

In simpler terms, I think he means that the volume and breadth of content available to us will become at least as important that the individual news items that are broadcast. It sounds reasonable, if we all had TVs strapped to our wrists, and we had 50 different broadcasters sending us ‘information’ who would have to time (or brain-power) to assimilate all of it? would it become omni-present?

How are we going to filter and organize and catalog this content? What’s going to happen if we create the inter-webs and allow common citizens to create and disperse content?

We were used to editors and journalists making publishing decisions about ‘ethics’ and ‘honest-unbiased’ content, what would happen if that were stripped away?

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