Thursday, February 11, 2010

beyourdigitalbest: new media isn't new

Repost from Dave Trott's Blog


We read endless articles and interviews about how new media has changed the world overnight.

Everything is totally different all of a sudden.

Those who don’t accept it are dinosaurs.

And like the dinosaurs, they’ll disappear.

Personally, I think this is herd mentality.

Insecure people feel safer when they group together.

So these people are looking for a group to join.

It’s not as nasty as racism, sexism, ageism, nationalism, classism, or religious-fundamentalism.

But it is based on a similar need to be part of a larger group.

Not far short of playground behaviour.

On your own you’re vulnerable.

As part of a group you’re more secure.

You can’t get picked on as you could when you were an individual.

And you can safely insult anyone who isn’t in your group.

Sort of football supporter behaviour.

Our group’s great, and if you’re not in it you’re crap.

It’s like that with a lot of new-media name calling.

But, if you accept Rogers Technology Adaptation bell-curve, new-media evangelists are a small part of the real world.

Which may be why they feel the need to group together.

According to Rogers, Innovators make up 2.5% of the total.

Early Adopters make up 13.5%.

Then everyone else (the rest of us) make up 84%.

So how does the world of constantly evolving media look to the rest of us?

Are we counting down to the second the latest innovation is going to be released at a silicone valley press conference?

Strangely enough, no.

What we’re doing is getting on with our lives.

Media is just a way stuff gets delivered to us.

Mainly, we’re not even aware of media.

Certainly we don’t think about it.

I heard a man the other day saying he’d just had an unsettling experience in a motorway service station.

He’d pulled into the rest area to use the toilet.

He went into a cubicle and locked the door.

Then he took his trousers and underpants down.

Then he sat down.

After a while, he heard someone enter the cubicle next to him.

They locked the door and sat down.

Then they said, “How you doing mate, alright?”

He was a bit embarrassed, but he didn’t want to appear rude.

So he replied, “Er, yes thanks.”

He hoped that would be the end of it.

But the man next door said, “What’s new then, everything going okay?”

He didn’t quite know how to answer.

So he said, “Er, yes, everything’s fine thank you.”

Then the man said, “The wife, the kids, work, everything ticking over?”

By now he was getting irritated, he said curtly, “As I said, fine thank you.”

Then the man said, “So apart from all that, what are you up to you old bugger?”

He thought this was starting to get a bit personal.

So he said, louder, “Exactly the same thing as you are I imagine.”

Then the man said, “Hang on a bit Chris. I’ll have to put the mobile down for a sec, the bloke in the next cubicle keeps trying to talk to me.”

Some people adapt to changes in media faster than others.

Seth Godin, the new media guru, says we don’t know where any of this is going to end.

We can’t see the future until it gets here.

So anyone who predicts the death of anything is pretending to a knowledge they don’t have.

All we know is stuff changes.

Always has, always will.

And we’ll absorb it into our lives.

Always have, always will.

*This blog is the newest addition to my RSS, in the folder labeled “First”. If I can’t read any of the dozens of other feeds, this is one of those that I absolutely, have to, gotta read regularly.

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