“If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead,” is the simple consistent message of a new book, SPREADABLE MEDIA: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture, that maps the changes taking place in our media environment. For all their consolidation, concentration, and money, corporations can no longer control media distribution. Millions are now directly involved in the creation and circulation of content.
“Stickiness” – focusing attention in centralized places — has been the measure of success in the broadcast era. No more. “Spreadability” – dispersing content through formal and informal networks, with and without permission – is the new goal.
What does this mean for media? For information? For culture? For the distribution of power? And how can you take advantage of the new realities to have greater impact and influence?
I’ll be talking about all of that this week with one of the book’s authors, HENRY JENKINS. He coined the term “participatory culture” and he’s been paying attention for decades to the crowd on the other side of the camera, the microphone, and the screen.
How much technology do you use? Email, texting, facebook, twitter, second life, etc. How's it working for you? Has it freed you up, given you more time, or has it added new demands to your life that actually make you feel you have less time? If you're using social media regularly, do you feel more connected with your friends and family or less?
Clinical psychologist SHERRY TURKLE has been studying our relationship with technology for most of her career, and has written several books about what she's experienced and learned. Of her newest, ALONE TOGETHER, she has said, "This is a book of repentance. I have been studying computers and people for thirty years. I didn't see several important things. I got some important things wrong." I was already interested in talking to her, but that really grabbed my attention. I'm interested in people, maybe especially experts, who are willing to change their minds.
Turkle writes: "Technology promises to let us do anything from anywhere with anyone. But it also drains us as we try to do everything everywhere. We begin to feel overwhelmed and depleted by the lives technology makes possible. We may be free to work from anywhere, but we are also prone to being lonely everywhere. In a surprising twist, relentless connection leads to a new solitude. We turn to new technology to fill the void,but as technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down."http://www.alonetogetherbook.com/