Futurist Paul Saffo: The new personal media order

Summary:Prior to the Churchill Club event, "The Next Wave of Technology: Iterative or Incendiary? ," I spoke with panel moderator Paul Saffo, who is director and Roy Amara Fellow at the Institute for the Future.

Podcast Prior to the Churchill Club event, "The Next Wave of Technology: Iterative or Incendiary? ," I spoke with panel moderator Paul Saffo, who is director and Roy Amara Fellow at the Institute for the Future. In the audio interview (which is available as an MP3 that can be downloaded or, if you’re already subscribed to ZDNet’s IT Matters series of audio podcasts, it will show up on your system or MP3 player automatically. See ZDNet’s podcasts: How to tune in), Saffo identified collapsing old world orders--rather than breakthrough (incendiary) innovatons like Netscape's introduction of the brower--as the big change reshaping industries.

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"The information revolution is over…we are in full swing of a media revolution," Saffo said. "We are going through this period of a shift from the mass media order to personal media order....We are seeing one industry after another flip from mass to personal and from information to media." He described media as informaiton that is intimate, ubiquitious and immersive all around us. Whereas PCs, laptops, e-mail and spreadsheets typified the information revolution, wikis, blogs and instant messaging are empowering the personal media revolution. However, the media revolution doesn't mean that mainstream media will be overthrown by the hordes of people armed with blogging software. "This is like the end of the days of the independent PC builders or the little desktop publishers in the late 1980s. Little blogger babies will get hosed by the mainstream," Saffo said.

It's not that all little blogger babies will become inconsequential--those that rise to the top will become part of a new mainstream media that will be more personal (just as Web experiences will become more personalized) but nonetheless mainstream as the new world order emerges...

Topics: PCs, Hardware, Laptops

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