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May 20, 2009


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It's the end of the world as we know it and we feel sad.
Media-morphosis is comming.


RE: "And blogs? The end of print journalism
YouTube? The end of television
Twitter? The end of mediation."

If I'm following this correctly, the oral culture fell away because of the written form, which is to say individual(& therefore collective)memory got shut into ink and paper monuments of sorts. Yet the written form was also an attempt to not forget the oral traditions(despite their being forgotten.

The same shape in a way shows up in all three of your examples, yet there's something different about the final three as well. The collective oral tradition moves to books which are controlled and published by people who, if sympathetic to the common-peoples, have their own intentions, usually financial and they're an elite group at that. But the move from an established form controlled by the few---Print Journalism, Television, Media---back to the collective tradition as the real authority(authenticity even?)---blogs, youtube, twitter---seems to be the exact inverse of that shape. While it's an movement from the few to the many, all three of these forms still depend entirely upon their previous forms for sustenance. W/o print blogs are just op-ed, etc. w/o tv youtube wouldn't have been able to bring users to the site. w/o media twitter is just narcissism. It is only with the original foundations that these forms become significant, if we see those foundations eroding, the new forms need to adjust, or perhaps they become something entirely unrecognizably different after the dust settles.

[noted issue w/ the fact that considering those who have internet access representative of the social consciousness fails to recognize how even this group is an elite class when compared to a global population.]


thanks for the comment--really helpful and interesting; following your suggestions, it would seem the current conjuncture is the one of erosion (or, to use a term from Jameson, one of vanishing mediators, where vanish doesn't mean disappear completely but means a change in function/meaning/agency)

on elite: US data shows the internet as a mass medium with something like 93-98 percent of teenagers using regularly. on the global level: what I'd like to know more about is mobile phone penetration (I think I read recently that it's very dense in India and Indonesia, to throw in two examples) and extensions/intensifications of mobile phone use are correlating to uptakes in internet use--are folks with mobiles using them to go online? so, is internet access less and less a question of computers?


The teenage use stat is quite interesting; my question might be what are they doing with it(myspace, facebook, yahoo headlines: vs newspaper homepages, or things that are supposed to actually have some integrity/merit). Or is it all entertainment differences, like my entertainment is this, blogs like you, vs minor interactions with other things I'd associate w/ my teen-counterparts.

Need to read more Jameson, this summer hopefully.

re: cell phones, the interesting thing, having a brother in Beijing/S.Korea is that most use their phones more for txting than any other form. Although usage might show an uptick I'd question whether that usage is actual talk time(although as this gets less expensive in other countries via infrastructure, we can expect it to increase as well). So I might question the penetration vs full utility of the devices: $5/month + unlimited TXT, vs. $100/month for 1000 anytime minutes. And from there internet access is also a premium option on top of that and the User Interface of common(read, Free/cheap phones) "cell-net" connections is painstaking in my experience. If that's their only net experience... also interesting(they'd be more patient, yeah?).

Also as ex phone sales man, impressed w/ what you were able to accomplish w/ ATT recently; small applause/congrats.


thanks--I was both proud and ashamed of my ATT accomplishments; proud that I got them to replace the phone for free; ashamed that I spend 90 minutes doing it.

Your point about texting and the multiplicity of cell phone uses is good (almost makes me wonder about the txt-itization of the internet via twitter). Teens in US: most of the use is myspace, then facebook (slight gender difference in uploads of new material; boys upload more vids, girls more images); also, generally speaking, kids use multiple media--phones, computers, television--rather than one or another. I think of it as sociality as entertainment (the stats I'm invoking are from a Pew internet study that came out last year).

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