After many years of blogging, and consistent with my desire to move toward retirement, we have ended the Insights blog. Thanks to Doug Bedell for his years of blog support.

A Young Lady Shows Where We’re Headed – But Where?

Posted on October 20, 2011
Filed Under Technology | Leave a Comment

We’re not at all inclined to write about baby pictures – usually. But take a look at this remarkable, really, video on Mashable under the heading “A Magazine is an iPad That Does Not Work.” It shows a baby girl playfully fingering an iPad screen and making it (the content) move, and then having a frustrating time trying to make the pages of a paper magazine behave in the same way. Note how much she enjoys the one over the other.

What a revelation! Is this how kids will be expecting content to behave in the future? Probably so, and what does that augur for the fate of media as we know it? We don’t really want to contemplate that, because we don’t know yet how to do so. Lance Ulanoff, who provides the Mashable post, writes, “Isn’t it cute the way the baby keeps trying to touch, swipe and otherwise engage with the dead-tree magazine pages? Each tap might as well be a knife in traditional media’s heart.” And so it might!

Where, indeed, is content heading? This isn’t a question that will be solved, nor needs to be solved, quickly. But the answer is evolving, for we’re living in evolutionary media times. Media, of course, are the bearers of meaning. So will meaning be coming in the future merely, or mainly, from unassisted eyeballs, or will it need to be manipulated as we read? It’s hard even to frame the question as we again watch the baby and her encounter with first, moveable, and the, unmoveable, media. She’s frustrated by the latter. So, are we headed for an iPad future? In a key way, it appears, probably so. But spend lot’s of the time ahead of you figuring out what that means.

My wife, a retired teacher, isn’t quite as bowled over by this as I’ve been. “A baby has to learn,” she feels, “that this is one thing, and that’s another.” Well, with attention-arresting content, I’d say, good luck with that.

The content of our times is a changin’. Take this young lady’s word for it. (A possible clue – Johannes Gutenberg invented moveable type. Steve Jobs and his Apple associates came up with moveable content.) – Doug Bedell


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