Jeff Jarvis writes:
When you think about it, media are the artificial inventions of their means of distribution: Books begat authors; fast and cheap presses enabled reporters and press barons; TV bore anchors. But there is nothing to say that these media are preordained as the best methods of sharing knowledge and getting things done in society. They were the convenient ways. Emphasis on the past tense.
The natural means of interaction and of sharing information is, of course, conversation, through the ability to ask and answer questions, to impart and collect knowledge. Im not one to make allusions to primitive life as if that describes the natural state of man, but I will in this case: When you listened to the tribe storyteller, you could remix before passing on; when you heard from the town crier, you could stick your head out the window and ask for details; when you set the price of a good or service, you got to haggle with the seller. This is why Socrates said that education is a conversation, and why Luther said that prayer is a conversation, and why Cluetrain says that markets are conversations, and why I say that news is a conversation. That is the natural order of things.
Media changed that. Media made society one-way.
But now the internet drains the one-way pipes of media and pours us all in the same pond together. The internet enables conversation.
The internet is not a medium. It is the thing that challenges media.