The Future of Media, MIT-Style

The Future of Media, MIT-Style

“Maeda took us first to the Physical Language Workshop, where researchers are working on ‘tools for creating digital content in a networked environment, and the means by which the content can be leveraged.’ Their primary areas of focus are ‘general digital media service architectures, global e-commerce, distance education, and visual information display systems.’ We previewed a number of projects, ranging from ‘simple’ applets to make sharing digital images easier, to more complex systems that would make organizing, searching, and sharing all digital information (video, audio, data, etc.) quicker, easier, and more intuitive. I knew I was looking at the next generation of search and digital asset management tools.”

Tripod and the early days of Blogging

Ethan Zuckerman’s Weblog : Ethan’s Weblog – My blog is in Cambridge, but my heart’s in Accra
: “Increasingly I wonder whether Tripod was five years too early, instead of just six months premature. Tripod was interesting to Lycos as an acquisition target because it had a lot of traffic – about 15 million people looked at Tripod web pages every day when I left the company. But Tripod was interesting to me – and to most, though not all, of my colleagues – because it demonstrated that the most interesting things on the Internet might be put up by individual users, not by corporations.

Weblogs have gone a long way towards proving this point. And while they’re a damn sight more sophisticated than the pages we offered users in 1996, the basic, radical idea that individuals should have a space where they could express themselves on the net without needing to know how to administer a server is one that Tripod and others helped pioneer almost a decade ago.”

Internet Enabled-Radio in Mali

Ethan Zuckerman’s Weblog : Ethan’s Weblog – My blog is in Cambridge, but my heart’s in Accra

A description of a project in Mali linking community radio broadcasters with an internet connection that would allow them to expand the scope of their news offerings include regional, national and international offerings. During a presenatation by Promethues Radio in Lowell, MA (which is very far from receiving a low-power FM frequency and not like these countries in Mali) we discussed coupling legal extremely low watt fequenceis (10-100 watts) with high-speed internet access to link a number of very, very local (neighborhood / housing) entities into a city-wide radio station that is also streamed on the Internet. It will take some time to see if we could put such a system in place.

Blog Discussion on C-Span

Watching a C-SPAN discussion with Jeff Jarvis (, Geraldine Sealy (, Daniel Radosh ( and moderator Brian Keener (, discussing the role of blogs in the political sphere. A couple of points made by Jeff Jarvis are important:

– blogging is about discussion, dialogue, and conversation – a back and forth
– the ownership aspect of blogs guarantee a saner, more controlled dialogue aobut real issues (unlike forums)
– the main crux of blogging is about controll and ownership
– the need to understand audience in a new way

All of these things will have relecance as video and audio are added to the blogsphere and should be considered. These are considerations for a world of distributed distribtuion and decentralized politics as well. One thing to remember is that just because the tools are accessible and easy now they may not always be. While the infrastructure (the Internet) is decentralized in its control, the pipes and wires it runs on are not and controlled by commercial interests and concerns.

Home Brew Media

the new media musing’s blog had a run down of a lot of online media sharing venues that are popping up around the web. Clearly this and recent interest in video blogging are mvoing the field forward fast technologically. However, what happens when the systems and technology develoipment outstripe community connection developments. It is important that all developments relating to community communications keep in mind the need to bring people along with the technology. Otherwise we are left wih lots of meaningless tools.