Personal media versus mass media

Shigeru Miyagawa, Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, discusses “Personal Media” on 17 minute streaming video [link updated] in part one of a series entitled “Media, Education, and the Marketplace.” Professor Miyagawa’s insights are fascinating and dovetail with the role that the founders of pingV have envisioned.

Professor Miyagawa speaks of “story telling,” which is a pingV pillar. He speaks to how learning is changing and how the role of mass media is central.

He makes an interesting point. There is “mass media” and “personal media.” Like most of us, he is part of a generation raised on a diet of mass media. His insight is into a new paradigm, not limited to children, but people adapting to personal media.

Mass media is passive, as we all know. Personal media is interactive. And he goes on to suggest there are those who produce media and those who create it. Mass media is produced to be consumed. It is produced by people who bring a point of view.

Personal media is created through interactivity. People find a point of view based on browsing. They appropriate a point of view. They appropriate things to create. They create their own stories based on what they discover in the stories told by others. These new stories are expressed as personal media.

Professor Miyagawa says that younger people are more media savvy. I would say this is not limited to children, but they are a touchstone and easier to observe. They are content conscious and more discerning. In Japan, as well as elsewhere, internet phone (i-mode) is changing how younger people learn and interact. For example, a Japanese child will spend $50 to $200 each month on i-mode. Since disposable income is limited, young Japanese consumers are spending less on mass media comic books (manga), a big industry, and more on all personal media.

I ask, is that why Hollywood is getting worried about squeezing out every nickel, because people are less likely to pay for content that isn’t up to snuff?

As we control personal media more, mass media will have to produce better content and be more interactive.

That is where I think pingV is on-point for where trends are headed.

I enjoyed the short introductory presentation and only touched on a few points. I recommend Professor Miyagawa’s short talk to all people interested in where personal media might be headed.

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