From: firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Apr 10 12:12:10 1998
To: Jordan Green <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: communications theory
I believe in conversation as powerful tool for human connection and positive change. A true conversation is like many-to-many communication. There no gatekeepers and anybody can get their word in.
The more a medium embraces the many-to-many model, the more I like it. The web excels at this. While only a small percent have the internet in their home, a good deal more people can get FREE access from the library or elsewhere, and from there they can get a FREE email account that they can check from anywhere the web is, and even build a FREE homepage with FREE tools.
Many people can put up a webpage that the whole (online) world can see. I think the lack of knowledge of this FREEness of the web is a greater inhibitor to people getting online than home access.
I believe the government will mandate universal access, just like they did for the telephone.
The medium that comes next in line to meeting the many-to-many model is print. With the Kinko's/DTP revolution, distributing a 'zine locally is feasible for many people (especially with copies stolen from work). Many of the strongest communication channels here are one-to-many as you know.
Going back to the web for minute-- Web publishing does not mean instant worldwide distribution. Advertising bucks and the power to promote still draw an audience there. The difference is that a low budget non-profit person or group can attract a MASSIVE audience without advertising, while that is almost impossible in the print medium.
TV and Radio have the rare many-to-many public access channels, but for the most part the mediums are one-to-many. You don't get what you want, you get what they are playing.
Like you, I like media that you can take with you, a book, a radio. We are in the last years that the internet will be excluded from this. People won't realize it's even the internet anymore, because the wires will be gone, and it won't look like Netscape. Yesterday, I saw Windoze95 on a Seiko wrist watch. WTF? Already someone has visited my website from a cellphone. There are no barriers to prevent this-- it's already happening. The new language is called XML, of which HTML is a subset, and XML goes anywhere.
Just like past technologies-- Cars, TVs, radios, telephones-- the internet will affordable by most. The shift to a many-to-many medium for the people will be revolutionary, and I'm excited.
Already systems that use existing TVs as monitors sell for $200 to $300 and get people on the internet.
There is another positive movement underway within 'net culture that is little known (because it has no marketing budget) but very important. This is the freeware movement. The philosophy behind it is that all the tools you need should be free. The progress so far has been amazing. As it turns out, freeware turns out to often be the BEST software because the way in which it is developed-- by keeping the source code of the software open for all it to see, t pulls on the talent pool of the world's best and brightest, and I do mean the WORLD's, not a small team who can't tell their company secrets to anyone.
Witness the success: Linux, the premier freeware operating system, is widely regarded a first-rate, stable OS. Flavors of Linux run a standard PC or Macintosh. Apache, a freeware webserver, holds over 50% of it's marketshare, ad it's growing. Perl, a freeware programming language is the runaway choose for web programming. The GIMP, freeware Photoshop, currently is more powerful in many ways than Photo shop, and it hasn't even hit version 1!
As the economy shifts towards communication, information and ideas, it will be interesting to see how the burgeoning freeware culture affects in.
It will continue to be true: To reach as many people as possible we must embrace all mediums.
geared to go,