Saturday, April 18, 2009

The medium is the message.

Hello Everyone,
Long time no hear.

Recently I've been watching the Ashton Kutcher vs CNN twitter battle. It keeps bringing to mind the PBS short of Marshall McLuhan's quote "The Medium is the message". I have pondered the meaning of this phrase many time's but I have never found it as easy to understand than in this instance.
Twitter is a message service that will transmit brief messages, up to 140 characters, to a list of other users who are listed as your "friends". These messages can be composed and read on cell phones, blackberry's and through any Internet connection really. It was designed for such uses as "I'm at the mall meet me at McD's", useful enough really.
We are now firmly entrenched in a new generation of communication, the United States of America has its first truly technological president and at this moment political pundits are planning the next election on and using Twitter. Our world is changing, or media is changing, our attention span is changing. Years ago it was argued that our attention span as consumers failed to exceed a 45 second commercial, now we have apparently downgraded to 140 character's.
Right now on eBay I can purchase a hand written letter from Albert Einstein, I can look at the words his hand wrote and gaze upon his signature, I can ponder the mind to create these words. In twenty years you may be able to find a email Stephen Hawkins sent to someone, you can look at the screen and fondle your computer keys, one's like the keyboard he used, Am I being a romantic or is the magic not the same?
Ashton Kutcher has 1,000,000 friends that he can send a message to (of 140 characters, good thing, I think that is all the words he knows), In the next U.S. election this will pale to the messages being flooded through the air, maybe you'll be able to buy a service upgrade and double your message size by then, all these speech's condensed to 140 characters, sound bites will rule the world.

Indulge me while I review some of the greatest speeches of all time, as Twitterized.

"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score "
Martin Luther King
I have a dream -1963

"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taugh"
Sermon on the Mount
Jesus Christ

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition th"
Abraham Lincoln
Gettysburg Address


"On Friday evening last I received from His Majesty the mission to form a new administration. It was the evident will of' Parliament and the nation that this should"
Winston Churchill
Blood, sweat and Tears.

Amazing how a great speech makes the heart goes thump a little louder.

"The medium is the message" and apparently the message is that content should be kept to a sentence or two, nothing more. Its Sad really.

Take Care

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