May 11, 2003
New Media and the Internet

School's not quite over yet, but I just had to point out this article from today's NY Times by Steve Lohr, "'New Media': Ready for the Dustbin of History?" (htm) where he talks about how the Internet has only succeeded in shopping and searching (Amazon and Google), and how Nicholas Negroponte (a futurologist/technologist at MIT) was wrong in predicting in 1995 that "all would be digitized."

"In the early days, in the 1990's, we thought that media was the big application on the Web," said Michael Kinsley, who founded the online magazine Slate in 1996. "But it turned out to be e-commerce." About Slate, he says, "The multimedia component is our biggest failure, but it is a failure we share with everyone else."

I'm not sure what the former editor of Slate means here, but between blogging (both the writing as well as the reading) as a new media, the napsterization of all sorts of media industries and the advent of iTunes and other media downloading services, to the kind of political organizating that does (raising huge sums, getting the word out, organizing people to act), to flows of information from the and such, to students applying for college, finding class information and posting assignments, to the ability for citizens to monitor their government and attend public meetings via webcast, to the paradigm shift for finance and banking (see this story about George Soros' former aide going to Brazil in 1999 to save their currency as an example of how deeply the internet and financial trading have been influenced by the web, with the implication that investors get instanteous financial information via new media and react accordingly, to how understanding money movement via networks is totally different than before, and that nation-states have very little control over the huge flows of currencies and the digital information flows that investors use to make decisions) not to mention stock and other financial instrument trading, to the complete shift in communications via email and P2P, to the granular segmenting of data and information sharing for and between people and companies that engage in it, all of which are dependent on many differnt forms of digitized media, the Internet has changed everything. To say the only success of the Internet and media is shopping and searching is absolutely ridiculous.

Posted by Mary Hodder at May 11, 2003 10:12 PM | TrackBack

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