I peeked this TED Talk today and was pretty impressed. Shirky does many things really well in this presentation, but most notably:
- He smartly and succinctly summarizes the entire “transforming media landscape” X “social / digital media is important and why” meme we have all come to know and love over the past 5 years.
- He clearly illustrates the best example of social media in a China to date – better than any of us so-called Chinese digital experts have done. [Hail the power of online video and good public speaking skills!]
- He says this, “on the Internet, every medium (i.e. TV, magazines, telephone, books, etc.) is right next door to every other medium, put another way, media is increasingly less just a source of information, and increasingly a site of coordination.”
- he also puts forth this brilliant nugget of wisdom, “the media landscape that we knew, as familiar as it was and as easy as it was conceptually to deal with the idea that professionals broadcast messages to amateurs is increasingly slipping away. In a world where media is global, social, ubiquitous, and cheap; in a world of media in which the former audience are increasingly full participants – in that world [i.e. today], media is less and less often about crafting a single message to be consumed by individuals, it’s more and more often a way of creating an environment for convening and supporting groups [i.e. conversation and community-based interaction]. The choice anyone who has a message that they want to have heard anywhere in the world faces, isn’t whether that’s the media environment we’ve want to operate in, that’s the media environment we’ve got. The question now is, how to we make the best of that medium even though that means changing the way we have always done it.” [Halle-fucking-lujah! Shirky, you killed it with that closer – bravo!]
The last point is what I have spent a good chunk of my professional life trying to get others to understand (and pay for). It has vast implications for “media people,” (who is everyone now-a-days) as well as the communications, PR, marketing, advertising, etc. industries. The next time your client (or colleague, or your mom) just doesn’t get it, play them this video. If English is not their first language, get a professional to translate it into the appropriate language. It will save you a lot of time / effort / money in the long run.