playing by the old rules in a new game

An interesting look at actual web usage of news papers. I like how the author takes abstract numbers and puts them in a meaningful context.

Newspapers used to run things. They used to be everywhere. In Paris a couple of weeks ago I realized at some point that we had not seen anybody reading a paper. Even books were rare. It was not only a sudden but also a complete change of habits.

I think we have no actual idea what this means and will mean for the future. Technology develops in a certain pace determined by the problems to be solved and the momentum and financial interests behind it. Peoples use and application thereof is a completely different story.

In hindsight things seem to make sense. But actually only if you choose to ignore facts that don’t fit the pattern. Texting for instance, now a billion dollar revenue stream for cellphone carriers, was never intended to be used by people. It was considered a byproduct of some engineering mode for cell phones.

The invention of the Kinetoscope preceded the existence of movies as we know them by more than a decade.

Technology for pre - internet media was unable to adopt. It took great efforts to shoe-horn color into black and white TV signals. 35mm was the dominantly width in use of film strips used in movies as long as movies existed, and before they became digital.

The internet connects mostly computers with each other. This simple fact puts it into its own league as far as media technology is concerned. MySpace goes and Twitter comes at break neck speed. Limited only by peoples imagination and their willingness to adopt.

Trying to apply mechanisms and rules from ‘old media’ in the Internet space will be as successful as the applications of lessons learned from WW1 was helpful to France when they felt save behind the Maginot line.

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