Friday 28 March 2008

telephone meets tv

'For the last 50 years', writes Clay Shirky in Here Comes Everybody, 'the two most important communications media in most people's lives were the telephone and the television: different media with different functions.'

The telephone was used for one-to-one communication. The TV used content generated by a small group and broadcast it to a very large group (sort of, one-to-many).

These two now overlap. The one-to-one content of the telephone can easily turn into the many-to-many content of emails, blogs, MySpace and Facebook.

'Community now shades into audience; it's as if your phone could turn into a radio station at the turn of a knob.'

The impact of this 'shading' has led to a collapse of confidence within newspapers (well-chronicled in this week's New Yorker). What exactly the impact of blogs, YouTube and what's termed 'former audiences' will have on the theatre has yet to be written up.

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