I just watched this quick 20 minute video of Clay Shirky from TED. It’s a talk he gave titled “How social media can make history“. Or how it already has made history.
TED is doing an awesome job with their video presentation (in a technical sense). I love that there’s a transcript to the video on the video page! Even better, it’s interactive! You can click on a phrase to jump to that spot in the video. Very very neat.
The video itself also has subtitles. You can click the “view subtitles” link in the embedded video player to see it in action. Again, very cool.
Watch the video below or click here for the video page.
Couple of interesting points I want to remember, so I’m writing it down here.
1. Only five bona-fide revolutions in media.
- printing press: allowed mass dissemination of information.
- telegraph / phone: instant voice communication.
- music / movies: recording of audio/visual for mass distribution.
- radio / television: control of the air waves. Instant mass distribution of audio/visual media.
- Internet: mass distribution and instant feedback/communication.
2. Boring technology.
It’s not the cool tech that’s changing the world. It’s the tech that has already become boring. In Africa, instant communication isn’t happening on Facebook or on Twitter. It’s via SMS. Everybody has text messaging, but not everyone has an Internet connection.
It’s humans that make changes. So the tech isn’t useful until it’s commonplace and is accessible to the masses.