Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Scheming up new media ideas

Five O'Clock Shadow 82

Originally uploaded by evo_terra

Today the value of social media came up in a few conversational threads I'm following. I'm not here to justify your usage of one social media site over another. Nor am I here to try and convince you that you should follow lock step behind me as I play with latest shiny thing. I figure you can make you own decisions, and that you look to me and others (and we're all honored, I can assure you) for occasional commentary on the latest meme. I'm here to help.

But tonight I want to talk to you about the true power of social and new media. It's about the real opportunities involvement in a community can bring. Please understand that "opportunities" means many different things to many different people. For some, it's simply about extending friendship. For others, it's about developing real "offline" relationships. Many are trying to build their professional credentials. And a few of us are just playing around to stay ahead of the curve.

I'm all of those things. In fact, my involvement with new and social media has allowed me -- just in the past few days -- to start scheming up some pretty cool things with some pretty cool people. Steve Eley and I are talking about ways of making Escape Pod and Podiobooks.com work closer together. Kris Smith and I are playing with the idea of 'friendship'. C.C. Chapman and I are pondering the definition of 'perfection'. I wouldn't have met these guys were it not for social media.

So am I an evangelist? You bet. Because that's just the tip of the iceberg. And all of us involved in this destination-less wave of new and social media are just getting started.


  1. Interesting, that could be many people all wanting different things from you or one person looking at you and others for all of those needs you mentioned.

    Personally I don't know you very well, I don't know Chris Brogan very well, or Kris Smith, or Michael Geohagen, Rob Walsh, Steve Ely, Michael Dean, Paul Colligan, Craig Severson, Greg Cangialosi, Matt Snodgrass, to name a few, but they all talked to me like a regular person and were engaging and interesting and excited about the whole gamut of social media possibilites and that excitement is infectious.

    And to catch up i have been intently listening to all the podcasts i can get my hands on by industry leaders, because simply put, it is very interesting and in a developmental stage, and it is going to effect everything, TV, media, communication, a sense of belonging in a connected world and I want to be involved, in what way I'm not sure, i am a witness and a participant. I can tell you i am excited about it and it is life changing. It will change my career. I will probably stop being a feelance video editor, it is not very exciting compared to this new media, new social network stuff.

    Just by talking with any one of you about an idea I may have or question or any kind of social interaction, anybody big or small could have the Ray Bradbury effect, which is to say who knows, I was there when it was happening and it was exciting. I did it because it was fun. I met interesting people. Who knows where will that lead ? love, travel, new career, fountain of youth, self knowledge... I dunno do you?

    At one point in my life i wanted to be a jazz musician, and I loved reading about the jazz greats starting out from Louis Armstrong to Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson. Even met up with a few in person and more. and the last interview Rob did with Quincey Jones put it all in perspective for me, even experience a few tingles down my back. I remember as a kid playing the Moog synth, and listening to Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, and others, and trying to play along with them, Return to Forever solos on my rented Moog.

    Quincey has this great quote about how he had Bob Moog in his house and the first synth, and then someone else tried it, it started out real simple and look what happened, who would have imagined that it had the colossal impact it did and today, this is where it would lead us, with all this amazing technology in music and it is still going on. And listening to Robs podcast, I felt that somehow I belonged, i understood, i played the piano, i learned from them, i was part of the whole regardless of any lack of influence or age handicap i had, or the fact that i grew up a science geek in a small town, and these guys were big city dudes. I understood Quincey, i understood the story, i felt the emotion, and i went back for more. then i moved on.

    What is happening now is very clear and powerful. I have had many wonderful experiences since i began getting involved with online forums and social media, not just the last PNME 2007 ( my first ).

    I started a blog then deleted it, started another one and not really sure about it... I have strong opinions and not a lot of experience here so, i know I'm in for a b#$% slapping. leaving comments is my way of getting started.

  2. Welcome to the party, Scott. Commenting is a great way to get started.

    And I think you'll find your experiences much the same with almost all of us on the front of the social media movement, whatever the hell that means. We don't know where it's going, but we're happy to take any interested party along for the ride!

  3. Interesting post. Love the illustration too.

    Lately I've been reading (and listening to) boom-era, pop-computer-science/futurism literature like Nicholas Negroponte's BEING DIGITAL, Bruce Sterling's THE HACKER CRACKDOWN and the ubiquitous CLUE TRAIN MANIFESTO. It's interesting to look one click back and see what they got right, and get perspective on what is happening now.

    One unifying idea that emerges from those three books is that the net is more about telecommunications than publishing. It's truest, most useful form is not as a means for 'publishing content' but instead as a way to communicate with people. Granted, you can communicate in book or movie sized packets but the basic experience is closer in nature to that of picking up the receiver of a phone than curling up with a book or zoning into a movie. When it comes to web media it certainly seems that starting a conversation is far more important than being awesome. Being interesting is far more important than being awesome.

    One hangover from old-school telecommunications is the fact that the web is an amazing way to communicate but kind of a shitty way to introduce yourself... just like the phone. It's possible to do but it has to be handled exactly right. The flip side of that is that if you introduce yourself in the right way you can own the web.


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