Monday 3 December 2007

‘Tell Me The Future’ Guardian Piece Leaves Out Publishers

Vint CerfThe Media Guardian asked Vint Cerf, the godfather of the internet, to guest edit the MediaGuardian.

Vint Cerf's editorial describes how traditional media has always been vulnerable to new technology:

It is not often that a technological innovation changes fundamentally the way people communicate. In the 15th century the printing press made it possible to distribute the written word. In the 19th century, the telegraph enabled rapid point-to-point communication over long distances. Then there was the telephone. And we're still coming to terms with the social effects of radio and television.

It takes decades if not generations to fully understand the impact of such inventions. We are barely two decades into the commercial availability of the internet, but it has already changed the world. It has fostered self-expression and freed information from the constraints of physical location, opening up the world's information to people everywhere.

For the MediaGuardian's opening piece: Tell Me the Future Cerf selected a panel of commentators who can best tell us where technology is going.

Cerf's choices included Chris de Wolf of MySpace, Chad Hurley of YouTube, Peter Norvig, director of Google Research, and Biz Stone of Twitter. The presence of these social networking luminaries comes as no surprise.

Unfortunately, it also comes as no surprise that none of the seven experts he picked to predict the future came from the publishing industry.

Does traditional publishing have nothing to contribute to a discussion about the future of media?

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