The range of choices for communication is expanding. Up to now, if I had a message for a small number of people, I could send them an email. Recently, it has become possible to send voice files and video files as email. I can also post such messages in a low traffic public space, like a blog.
Another option is becoming real: to produce limited edition dvds for those one wants to talk to. On the face of it, that's a worse option than email or sending a file, since it takes more work and involves the transport of an object to people's offices or mailboxes. However, for some very important purposes, this is the right choice of media. One has control of the way such a product will be used, in ways that one does not have with anything one sends by email. (A dvd will either be viewed entire or discarded. It won't be skimmed.) Further, the vast amount of information contained in tone and body language comes across on a full screen image. Sending a dvd is like meeting with a person, in some ways better than meeting with a person (because the dvd can be replayed and shared). And one can get a small run of dvds out very quickly.
I think there is vast potential for using quickly produced, small edition dvds to prepare for face-to-face meetings. This has implications for political negotiations, for intense intellectual dialogue, and especially for teaching. I can imagine, for example, a teacher doing a general dvd of comments after a writing assignment, giving everyone a copy, and then scheduling individual appointments as followup.
Astonishing things happen as consumers become producers.Posted by shea0017 at April 8, 2005 10:24 AM