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December 19, 2006


David Cushman

There is a definite difference in attitude to local print media the further north you go. Local dailies are still cherished by older sections of the community.
It's almost as if where the 3G footprint has landed the future is faster. Where it has not, voice (ahead of text or email) leads for significant portions of the population - who I guess is the group the trinity 'strategy' is aimed at.
But I agree Alan, it's a ludicrously short-term, in fact blind-folded view.
I was in rural Cumbria at the weekend, no 3G footprint where I was, but in a room of 16 adults and kids there was a whole lot of blue-toothing going on. I saw a really clear example of both co-creation of content and participatory culture - enabled by a convergent mobile device.
These truths are consistent whatever the tools and whereever the community.

Michael Foulds

Alan, I thoroughly agree with your final comment: "Lets say blogging existed back in 1903, of course it would have been used". While I realise this isn't an academic forum, you may be interested in a couple of additional historical references.

Gabriel Tarde was, arguably, the first sociologist. He saw the mass media (newspapers at the time) as a trigger for private conversations, which in turn he believed were reflected in the mass media. This micro-macro process shaped public opinion. Back then, mass media was a fascination because of the way it could trigger conversations:

“We shall never know and can never imagine to what degree newspapers have transformed, both enriched and leveled, unified in space and diversified in time, the conversations of individuals, even those who do not read papers but who, talking to those who do, are forced to follow the group of their borrowed thoughts. One pen suffices to set off a million tongues” (Tarde, 1898 p304)

Moreno, the inventor of sociometry, or social network analysis, writing forty years later, seems to echo Tarde's views of mass media (although by then radio was the hot new thing):

"There is, however, one important beneficial effect which our modern radio systems have upon the psycho-social networks [of individuals - MF]. At one stroke they can bring thousands of independent psycho-social networks in different parts of the country into a confluence which could not have been produced by a mouth-to-mouth transfer of news or opinion, except after a long period of time." (Moreno, 1941 p30)

However, since he was primarily concerned with social connections between individuals, he had some fairly serious concerns about the impact of mass media technologies, particularly their suppression of spontaneity of human interaction:

"The technological devices which aroused man’s deepest suspicion were the products of the printing press, the motion picture industry and, later, the radio ... Man, as an individual creator, was outwitted by the products of his own brain--his books, his films, his radio voice. He saw himself being more and more replaced by them. He began to look upon himself as a negligible, archaic entity." (Moreno, 1941 p18)

Moreno argued that focus on the mass media had overlooked the underlying social interactions between individuals, which he considered the fundamental basis for society:

"Can the foundations of human society be reached and, perhaps, uncovered if we do not begin with that aspect of human interrelations which all types of human society, from the most primitive pattern of the past to the most complex pattern of the future, must have in common--the patterns of relationships which human beings form with one another and which persist underground, regardless of what religious, social, political and technological structure is superimposed upon
them and rules on the surface?" (Moreno, 1941 p18)

The new communications technologies (mobile phones, blogging, etc) are taking back the high ground from mass media after a century of dominance. Mass media is no longer required to trigger conversations, since conversations can be disseminated efficiently and without mediation; public opinion is arguably replaced by community opinion.

Moreno, J. L. (1941) Foundations of Sociometry: An Introduction, Sociometry, 4, 15-35.

Tarde, G. (1898) Opinion and Conversation in Gabriel Tarde on Communication and Social Influence (1969), (Ed, Clark, T.) University of Chicago Press, Chicago pp297-318

alan moore

I find both sets of comments incredibly valuable.

Thank you David and Michael.

My favourite quote at the moment is by John Stuart Mill in writng On Liberty

"Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing."

And we are returning to the conversations, we had pre-mass media, and the creation of culture pre-mass media.

And this is why organisations get their knickers in a twist - becuase they are no longer in control of anything.

Yet Newsprint, news organisations, do still matter, but must be premised as you so rightly point out Michael on human inter-relationships.

Thanks for posting :-)

And happy christmas

Alan Moore


Some time before, I did need to buy a house for my corporation but I did not earn enough money and couldn't order something. Thank heaven my father adviced to try to get the loans at banks. Hence, I did so and was satisfied with my secured loan.





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I like ANMJ on FB & just subscribed to the email feed! :)

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