by Douglas Black, enerficiency On The Road, February 13, 2013
For the 105th time, the Windy City hosts the Best Auto Show in America, and the twitter-sphere is blowing it up! As part of the Social Media Preview (#SMP13), I had the opportunity to feed my experiences straight to the cloud, to be plucked and scooped, copied and pasted by countless car enthusiasts on the receiving end.
And this year I took the newshunter/gatherer thing a step further, dumping the bulky camera equipment and bag. That’s right, I did the whole thing Androidography style.
One handheld device to point and shoot, record audio, produce six second clips, and call ahead for lunch. Photos, quotes and quips from press conferences and roundtable discussions are all beamed straight to the consumer.
This is the future of mass media. It is also a throwback to the origins of content delivery in the media. I’ll explain.
Published continually from 1732 to 1758, the Poor Richard’s Almanack was chiefly the self published work of Benjamin Franklin, with as many as 10,000 annual copies handed around socially, not unlike the way a story goes viral today.
The Almanack contained all manner of content, including calendars, weather forcasts, poems, and astrological information. Franklin also included the occasional mathematical exercise, and the Almanack from 1750 features an early example of demographics.
It is mostly remembered, however, for being a repository of Franklin’s own sayings and proverbs, many of which live on in American English. These maxims typically advise the reader to live with thrift and courtesy, with a little smarkiness for good measure.
Our Man In London
Edward R. Murrow first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in the United States and Canada.
Murrow’s reports, especially during the Blitz, began with what became his signature opening, “This is London,” delivered with his vocal emphasis on the word this, followed by the hint of a pause before the rest of the phrase.
At the end of 1940, with every night’s German bombing raid, Londoners who might not necessarily see each other the next morning often closed their conversations with “good night, and good luck”, the second of Murrow’s famous catch phrases.
These broadcasts were unedited and uncensored, and broadcast live, often from rooftops during air raids, giving listeners all over North America the sense that they had their own man in London, not simply a crafted and sanitized script, read by an Orson Wellsian troupe.
The Information Age is upon us, and as technology advances its capabilities exponentially, so too will the opportunities to inform, entertain, and educate every individual on (and off) the planet escalate.
The single message by scroll gave way to the telegraph; telegraph to multi-message telegram; telegram to multi-channel radio; radio to broadband multimedia. Expect to see user selected content on demand, delivered directly into thoughts.
Howard Stern, the shock jock who continually shows that an established marketplace cannot contain his Howardness, is a modern case in “taking it directly to the people”. When the market proved too small at W4 radio in Detroit, Stern expanded to New York, then syndicated nationwide. But this still involved too many middle men, crushing creativity and Sterns ability to deliver his brand of unique content directly to consumers. Enter the age of satellite radio, the free for all from space.
So this is where we are going, in a big hurry. I predict Sterns next move likely involves porting his cyber-personality directly into your head.
Experience by Proxy, if you choose to subscribe, that is.
About Douglas Black
Douglas Black is a photojournalist and
green technologies analyst out of Chicago,
and is currently Managing Producer for
Earlier Douglas promoted greentech in Detroit as
Senior Marketing Strategist and Architect.
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