It certainly seems we’re awash in new media or social media options. And we are. There’s more than any one person could productively engage. But trust the free enterprise system. The invisible hand of quality, work ethic, self-interest, and consumer choice will eventually clear away lesser competitors.
Remember Atari and Commodore? They came along about the same time as Apple. Where are they now? Remember VHS vs Betamax. What person under 30 years of age knows what Betamax is? Remember MySpace vs Facebook? Both are still around, but Facebook is fast conquering the world.
Remember YouTube vs Vimeo? Both are active. Both have their avid supporters divided in camps like Republicans and Democrats. YouTube reaches a vast audience. Vimeo is available to all as well, if they sign up, but Vimeo prides itself in offering “higher quality” service for a “certain kind of people.” YouTube is blue collar. Vimeo is blue blood. Both might survive and thrive, like PC and Apple, but then again, one might go bye the bye.
Then there’re umpteen more social media sites where you can blog or vlog, “tweet,” post pictures or text friends, fans, or followers worldwide, all for free. Amazing.
I find this all quite fascinating because it’s about more than technological tools and toys. It’s about personal space and a sense of validation. It’s about authenticity and immediacy, social interaction yet social independence. It’s about freedom in the most individual yet communal way. It’s about freedom at its most expansive.
And integration propels the march of progress. Communications, computers, cellphones, cameras, and cyberspace are converging. And throw in social media and television, actually all video and audio, along with them.
Social media is a culture-changing phenomenon, and I get to both witness and participate in it. So where am I in all this? I hope, I plan, right in the middle of it.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011
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