Where is Everyone?

Where is Everyone

Artigo Where is Everyone? do Baekdal.com mostra a evolução das relações sociais através dos meios de comunicação. Vejam o gráfico e alguns trechos do didático e objetivo paper (via Giselle Beiguelman no Facebook).

O artigo faz uma sintética história das mídias e da nossa relação com o consumo, produção e distribuição de informação e também das formas de relação social emergentes com as diversas formas de comunicação no tempo. O texto aponta para o que venho chamando de “funções pós-massivas” das atuas mídias eletrônicas em rede, e para as mídias locativas, principalmente em relação à produção e consumo de informações jornalísticas. Aponta também para o que chamei de 3 princípios maiores da cibercultura (“liberação da emissão, conexão e reconfiguração”). O autor aponta para um futuro onde as mídias traducionais vão desaparecer ou mudar completamente. Neste ponto devemos efetivamente desconfiar de alguns prognósticos.

(…) In this article, we are going to take a little tour through the history of information – or more specifically where to focus efforts if you want get in touch with other people. It is really exciting time, because we are currently in the middle of the most drastic change since the invention of the newspaper.

We are seeing an entirely new way for people to interact. One that makes all traditional ways seem silly. It is a fundamental shift, and it will completely change the world as we know it. And the best thing about it is that you get to help make it happen.

(…) In the 1800, the only way you could really interact with other people was to go out and meet them. It was all about face-to-face communication. If you wanted to sell a product, you would go to the local marketplace, where you would setup a stand. But this also meant that the only way for you to get information – or to give information back – was to be at the right place at the right time. You didn’t really know what happened in another part of the city, nor could you sell your products to people in another place.

(…) By the year 1900, the newspapers and magazine had revolutionized how we communicated. Now we could get news from places we have never been. We could communicate our ideas to people we had never seen. And we could sell our products to people far away.

You still had to go out to talk other people, but you could stay on top of things, without leaving the city. It was amazing. It was the first real revolution of information. The world was opening up to everyone.

(…) During the next 60 years the newspapers dominated our lives. If you wanted to get the latest news, or tell people about your product, you would turn to the newspapers. It seemed like newspapers would surely be the dominant source of information for all time to come.

Except that during the 1920s a new information source started to attract people’s attention – the Radio. Suddenly you could listen to another person’s voice 100 of miles away. But most importantly, you could get the latest information LIVE. It was another tremendous evolution is the history of information. By 1960’s the two dominant sources of information was LIVE news from the Radio and the more detailed news via newspapers and magazines.

(…) During the next 40 years a new technical revolution, the television, was introduced. It started to real get public interest in the 1950s, and by the year 1990 it was huge. It had surpassed the newspapers and magazines, and it was slowly obliterating the radio. Now people could not only hear information, they could also see it.

The 1970s-1990s was also the time where the newspaper executives were realizing that something was going terrible wrong with their market. They have had many problems with competing with radio, but the TV was in a different league.

(…) Only 8 years later, television is ruling the world, radio is almost reduced to ‘a place where you listen to free music’ and newspapers are doing everything they can to stay relevant. But the constant evolution of technology plows ahead with never before seen determination. A new phenomenon is looming in the shadows – the Internet.

1998 was the year when the internet changed from being a geeky place that had little relevance, to ‘every company needs to have a website’. The revolution had started 3 years earlier, but in 1998 it reached critical mass and caught everyone’s attention.

(…) People also started to realize that the internet was more than just information. You could give something back. You could join the conversation. You could be a part of the experience instead of just a spectator. And most importantly, you could choose what you wanted to do, when you wanted to do it – a concept that hadn’t been possible since the 1800. The possibilities of the internet were just mindboggling.

(…) In 2004 everyone was making new websites. People were exploring the world of web applications, and online workflows. People could do an incredible amount of things, and participate in so many areas, that a new concept appeared – information overload. For the first time in our lives we were being exposed to more information than we could consume. In the age of newspapers we had to choose what we wanted to see. But in 2004 we had to choose what we didn’t want to see.

This had a devastating effect on the traditional forms of information. In the past, you could get people’s attention simply by making something. People wanted more choices, so you simply had to give them another choice. But in 2004 this changed. People started to have enough, and now you actually had to make something better. It was not enough that it was different.

2004 was also year when a new phenomenon started to take off – Social Networking. The concept had been slowly gaining ground with the concept of blogs. It was an easy, simple and affordable way for everyone to share their ideas. And you could post a comment. For the first time, everyone could create their own sphere of information without doing ‘technical things’.

(…) (2007) Everyone wanted to create their own little world, and connect it with their friends. But 2007 was also the turning point for the traditional websites. It was once the most important change, but now people compared the traditional websites to newspapers – a static and passive form of information. We wanted active information. We wanted to be a part of it, not just looking at it.

The blogs also started to get in trouble. Just as TV had eliminated radio (because it was better and richer way to give people LIVE information) so are social networks eliminating blogs. A social profile is a more active way for people to share what they care about. Social networks are simply the best tool for the job, and the blogs could not keep up.

(…) 2 years later, today, the new internet is completely dominating our world. The newspapers are dead in the water, and people are watching less TV than ever. The new king of information is everyone, using social networking tools to connect and communicate. Even the traditional website is dying from the relentless force of the constant stream of rich information from the social networks.

In the past 210 years we have seen an amazing evolution of information. We could:

  1. Get information from distant places
  2. Get it LIVE
  3. See it LIVE
  4. Get to decide when to see something, and what to see
  5. Allow us to take part, and comment.
  6. Publish our own information
  7. …and in 2009… be the information.

But 2009 is also going to be the start of the next revolution. Because everything we know is about to change.

The Future

The first and most dramatic change is the concept of Social News. Social news is quickly taking over our need for staying up-to-date with what goes on in the world. News is no longer being reported by journalists, now it comes from everyone. And it is being reported directly from the source to you – bypassing the traditional media channels.

(…) And a new concept in the form of targeted information is slowly emerging. We are already seeing an increasing number of services on mobile phones, where you can get information for the area that you are in. E.g. instead of showing all the restaurants in the world, you will only get a list of the restaurants in your area. This is something that is going to explode into in the years to come. In the world where we have access to more information that we can consume, getting only the relevant parts is going to be a very important element. And, this will expand far beyond the simple geo-targeting that we see today.

2020 Traditional is Dead

In the next 5-10 years, the world of information will change quite a bit. All the traditional forms of information are essentially dead. The traditional printed newspapers no longer exists, television in the form of preset channels is replaced by single shows that you can watch whenever you like. Radio shows is replaced podcasts and vodcasts.

The websites have a much lesser role, as their primary function will be to serve as a hub for all the activities that you do elsewhere. It is the place where people get the raw material for use in other places. And the websites and social networks will merge into one. Your website and blog is your social profile.

Social news, as described previously, is going to be the most important way that people communicate. The traditional journalistic reporting is by now completely replaced getting information directly from the source. Everyone is a potential reporter, but new advances in targeting will eliminate most of the noise. The journalists will turn into editors who, instead of reporting the news, bring it together to give us a bigger picture.

The news stream of the future will be personalized to each individual person, and is constantly adjusting what you see – much the same way as Last.fm is doing today with music.

Everything will incorporate some form of targeting. You will be in control over every single bit of information that flows your way.

In 2010, two new concepts will start to emerge. One of them is intelligent information, where information streams can combine bits from many different news sources. Not just by pulling data, but summarizing it, breaking it apart and extracting the valuable parts.

(…) The world information is also going to be available almost everywhere. The concept of having to get the paper, sit in front of your TV, or look at your computer, will be long gone. Information will not be something you have to get. It comes to you, wherever you are, in whatever situation you happen to be in. The static and controlled forms of information that we see today will soon be a thing of the past.”