Monday, January 14, 2008

Rich media? Think about enabling conversation

In previous posts I've wittered on about the how the 'rich media' fantasy of video leads us all too often back to being petit broadcasters - complete with a nasty dose of TV envy.
And I've bemoaned the fact that there is nothing available in video so far which replicates the ease of ability for all to contribute, with the low technical barriers that blog or forum-style postings allow.
I'm coming to the conclusion that the most helpful definition of your digital trickery is not how 'rich' it is but how conversation enabling.
Twitter seems the most conversation-enabling network we're currently witnessing.
No coincidence that it's heavily and robustly text based (though you can point to video, images, sound and all that 'rich' goodness of course).
Seesmic (which I have only just signed up for) appears to be the best stab yet at the video equivalent. That was my initial thought - and one which Ivan Pope - a longer time user - confirms. "It is like Twitter with video, has its own community feel, very addictive generally. See you there!"
What I like about this is that it enables real-time conversation, through video. It has its issues, not least of which is the fact that no-one dare leave it on for long for fear of burning out their harddrives - which means an inevitable lean towards asynchronous communication (ie not real-time and same-time). Early days.

Anyway. Just to crystalise this easy (technical low barriers) -hard (technically high barriers), broadcast-conversation landscape, here's a very simple (and terribly drawn) graph (see above).

I reckon the closer to the top right corner, the better the fit with the networked world.

A traditional TV channels would sit in the bottom left corner. Twitter is quite close to the top right - as are all the best social networks.

Where would you place your favourites or what you are working on?

Bonus: Ivan Pope on how 'everything is falling apart' and coming together again. Apologies for the out-of-synch sound. Think it's part of the joy of mp4 on my N73!

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?