I hope you’ll forgive my absence in your inbox lately. The last few months have been tremendously transformative for me: I married the love of my life! I can’t express in mere pixels the deep fulfillment and joy that brings me, and it has also emboldened me to make some big changes in my work as well. Let me explain.
For the past ten years, I’ve been fascinated with the way in which the media landscape sculpts the stories that surround us and how we discover and interact with the world:
- In 2007, Twitter introduced a little thing called “Tracking” that would eventually mutate into the #hashtag. Today, the President’s communications team struggles to speak for him and he eschews the “Fake News Media” to talk directly to his 35 million Twitter followers (half of whom are allegedly fake!)
- In 2007, print and other “traditional” media outlets were cautiously eyeing a future in which they’d slowly become irrelevant. Today, major national media outlets and local papers alike are consolidating or shutting down entirely as people take to social network news feeds or syndicators like Google instead of their morning paper.
- In 2007, a little company called Livestream was formed. Today, teens “go live” on Facebook from their iPhones, the President created a Facebook Live channel with millions of nightly viewers during the election campaign, and my own company broadcast the first full-length feature film on Facebook Live last year to an audience of over 3 million, the equivalent of 10,000 packed movie theaters.
How is technology changing the way we share and receive news and entertainment? To help spark this conversation, I’m re-launching my weekly ‘Dispatch from Detroit’ e-blast with a new bent: each dispatch will feature a case study from my freelance or company work on an innovative use of technology and the trends it indicates, with a goal of partly answering the question: Where do we go from here?
I hope you’ll chime in by responding with your thoughts on what’s going on here. The changing media landscape isn’t all good news, and many people are rightfully concerned about how these shifts will affect the impartiality and quality of journalism, the diversity of entertainment, even the very existence of good local investigative reporting. Yet, change is inevitable and it’s better to embrace it and help direct it than to live in denial, right? What do you think?