December 7, 2008

It’s Not About The Canvass Or The Canvas

It’s everywhere: pontification, prediction, forecasting, and we still have no idea what’s next. And we never will know. The reason we all try our best to look toward the future is because we think that something magical will happen some day that will solve any problems we may be facing today. All we have is now.

Media Media Media

Media is a word lobbed around to give us all the appearance of knowledge and wisdom. It seems to be all about social media, digital media, or mass media.

The word media is used primarily as a technological reference. Whether it is a radio station transmitter, a website mainframe, an outdoor surface, or a television broadcast tower; content transmitted from one source to a desired listener, user, viewer, or community seems to be the reference point.

But as you know, media is simply the plural of medium. Medium is the canvas that content is placed upon, that’s all.

Toys Have Become The Message

What is scary is when the content becomes less important than the thingamajig.

The most successful of the last decade is the iPod. It’s portable, (mostly) user friendly, nimble and cool. Apple has done a remarkable job of creating a need to own their portable mp3 player which has given them more than a 70% share of the market.

It matters not that the battery dies too quickly, the ear buds are uncomfortable, and the sound quality is horrible. Audiophiles need not apply. And it doesn’t matter.

Facebook has an estimated 100 million profiles and growing every day. But the interface is still awkward to navigate and there are very few customizable options – other than adding more applications to the left side of the screen or in a hidden box. It’s not the prettiest website on the planet. And it doesn’t matter.

Radio has been under attack for many years because of their musical safeness, horrifically inaccurate ratings’ system, and lack of deep rich content. Instead of growing bands online and on the street, the response for the most part has been to create even safer environments and hope not to cause “tune out”. The phrase “shut up and play the hits” grew tired decades ago.

Have you ever been watching TV, scrolled through hundreds of channels several times only to find “nothing to watch”?

Have you ever experienced the Google stare? There are an estimated 10 Billion websites available at a click, and you don’t have a clue where you want to go.

And I'm done with the BlackBerry vs iPhone discussion. Pick your favorite, you're both right.

Toys and sites are cool. They are requisite to all of this. But if we don’t continue to work on the stuff that we’re putting on the stuff, we may as well offer the unit in fifty colors. It won’t matter.


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