What is media? What is social media? What is mesh?

My favourite brainiac MBA, Tom Purves, has been doing some great Mcluhanesque thinking on media that is very relevant for this moment. Here’s his latest piece of distilled genius:

Media is simply about leveraging scarcity of human place, time and context…And with social media it’s not just leveraging my own scarcities of time and context, but that of my buddies, and that of the “networkâ€? of all of us…

Leave aside the MBA-word “leveraging”, and unpack Tom’s thought for a moment. We are not over-saturated in media, we are under-saturated. We have a limitless desire for more meaning. Our challenge is to innovate new forms of media that enable us to create more meaning under the constraints of scarce place, time and context.

Why Facebook?
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Why Facebook? Why the poke? Why blog? Why Twitter? Why IM instead of email? Why does LinkedIn suck? Why is broadcast dead? Why is Net Neutrality the most important cultural and creative freedom issue of our age?

Why? Because human beings are evolving through their technology and media, expanding our capacity for meaning-making and sense-making. This is ultimately one of the most potent and powerful creative forces to be unleashed since the printing press. Technology is enabling this transformation, but the technology itself is ultimately disappearing from view and what we are left with is us.

This is nothing short of a revolution that will help us create a world according to our hopes, dreams, aspirations and values. This should be a topic for discussion, we need to advance the dialogue, move ideas forward. Will the mesh conference provide such an opportunity? Lift started to take it on, with Stowe and Cerveny and Bleecker. Can “Canada’s premier Web conference” be as relevant, or even more so? Or are we teaching Canadian CEOs how to blog and think we’ve made progress?

That’s our challenge…not just the meshies (they have day jobs, btw!), but the BarCamp community and others who claim to building the future of the web. What is the nature of this massive shift and what are its implications?

What is Next?

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3 thoughts on “What is media? What is social media? What is mesh?”

  1. Well observed – on your part and Tom’s – and may I dare add that this is just the beginning.

    Greatly enjoyed our skype IM today. IM appeals to the side of me that has ADD as it allows me to do other things and interact with a real live human on the other side – you do not have a killer app posing as your clone on skype, do you? – while multitasking.

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