May 24, 2011 by T.M. Camp
I was excited to hear the news today that WIRED Magazine had finally figured out subscription-based delivery for their iPad edition — and not just because I'm a longtime WIRED reader and an utter Apple-iPad-Mac-Steve-Jobs-is-God-Incarnate cultist.
The evolution of the Analog to the Digital is fascinating to me. In fact, any technological evolution fascinates me. In his excellent "What Technology Wants", Kevin Kelley (WIRED Editor and one of my own personal technological shamans) talks at length about this evolution. It's a great book and well worth the read.
With any new advance in technology, the Media spends a fair amount of time chronicling (and, some might say, fostering) the predictably tiresome reaction of "Gasp! The [analog media or technology] is DEAD! And it's all [digital media/technology]'s fault!"
In Kelley's book, he makes a startling observation: Technology rarely, if ever, becomes extinct.
Technology always evolves. Although there were some missteps along the way, the so-called "Industry" — be it books or magazines or television or even music or newspapers — is finally starting to adapt and evolve into these new digital habitats. And, based on what I'm seeing, it looks like these nearly-extinct media are starting to develop into some new and exciting lifeforms.
We've got a long ways to go, of course. Once upon a time, I used to compare the Web to cave painting; the point being that we were in the very early stages of something, working by candlelight with inferior materials. Fortunately, we don't have to worry about being hunted by saber toothed tigers while we do it — at least, not yet.
Obligatory connection to Marketing/Advertising: From the Agency point of view, this is an incredible time to be working with clients. From the web to mobile devices, brand new methods are opening up nearly every day, allowing us to connect with people in ways that only science fiction writers would have dreamed of.
It's an exciting time.