Welcome to my blog. Pick through posts for my latest ramblings, case studies, and video about the online media world. You’ll discover pretty quickly that I am passionate about helping people produce their own stories. Especially young people. Producing visual media is not just a nice “extra” skill today. As the 21 century unfolds it will become core literacy for persuasion, education, and active citizenship.
In the past, reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills are what we and our parents, and their parents, considered literacy.
Today’s kids have been called “screenagers” for a good reason. They get more information from screens than they do books. Most educators are missing a massive opportunity by not teaching them how to express their own visual voice.
Increasingly, as we ignore this kind of education it is like teaching kids to learn how to read, but offering no writing instruction.
We teach them to be aware of, cautious of, and skeptical of the mass media, but we do not give them the skills or make them aware of the impact they can have by producing their OWN messages, telling their OWN stories, influencing, persuading and COMMUNICATING with the tools that now have at their fingertips. Indeed becoming literate in truest modern sense of the word.
Think about it. As instantly as we’ve consumed media in the past, we can create it now, with no barriers. Storage Space is essentially free, (for more on “free”, see this) Sharing media is free. The tsunami of content which has swelled since 2005 with Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and all the other networked world has created a generation of young distributors, broadcasters, producers, and directors.
I call this blog “Seven Billion Channels” because the technology may reach almost every nation by the time the world reaches seven billion people. The we will all “be” media channels if the current trends hold.
Think about that.
The idea of a channel comes from 20th Century television and radio culture. With the USA, first there were only the big three; ABC, CBS, and NBC, plus VHF and PBS. Then with cable television, twenty channels, then fifty, then one hundred. Then the dish! With satellite, over five hundred channels. Then the refrain, “500 channels and nothing to watch” popped into popular culture.
And many complain that with 500 channels, there is nothing good to watch!
If you feel that way, watch less TV and make your own channel. Almost anyone can. You don’t have to be a webmaster or a coder thanks to WordPress and platforms like Twitter, Youtube, Myspace, Facebook, etc.. We all can have our own channel. We can have our own radio shows (podcasts), newspaper columns (blogs) wire services (twitter) and film distribution outlets. (Youtube, etc.) Young people are developing audiences, as well as their own media outlets.
We see the media world as accessible and do-able for almost anybody. Learn how to make your channels more relevant, and be more persuasive with your tribal kin-people.
Having our own channels also makes all of us marketers, animators, copywriters, producers, distributors, editors, public speakers, and visual thinkers. Hopefully this blog will serve to further your skills in these areas in which you might be interested. I’m walking right along side you. This is going to be a great journey. I’ll be sharing my expertise in creating meaningful content, and looking at case studies of others who “get it”.
I’ve had a chance to work with, interview, and observe some of the greatest communicators of our day.
I’ve been in advertising, software development, broadband content creation, television, film and new media for 20 years, and I’m more excited now than I’ve ever been. I see kids, young people and their educators “getting it” when it comes to producing and distributing their voice across the networked worlds in which they are participants.
I have personally overseen the creation of over 450 short animated films by young people.
I know they can do it, and I know this kind of education and communication is the future.
I’ve learned some hard lessons and aim to save you time and headache as you create your own media channel. So I’ll pass these ideas along on this blog.