Digital Media

Monday, October 23, 2006

Technologies of the Third Mediamorphosis
Roger Fidler
Pine Forge Press 1997

When I visited my grandparents as a child, I would stand outside my grandpa’s office door and listen as he said into his radio, "N7DKY, this is N7DKY, do you read me?" My grandpa was a "ham," an amateur radio enthusiast. I remember staring up in awe at the tower in the backyard, thinking how amazing it was that my grandpa could talk to people so far away because of that tower.

Even before the Internet, people had a curiosity about people in other states and in other countries. They wanted to be able to have conversations with people in other places. Radio technology provided a medium of instant communication that cut across time and space. It’s not too surprising, then, that ham radio has persisted as a hobby for nearly a century. Only when the Internet came along was communication so efficient and economical. The Internet also allowed users to meet new people. Phones are primarily used for contacting acquaintances so ham radio remained viable for social reasons.

Fidler also makes a good point that people often confuse the surprise of new technology with its speed. I was surprised to learn that the first color television was available in 1947, but that the technology was not widely used until 1965 because of the delay by RCA. And the Internet was being developed in 1969, but was not widely used until about 1992. It gives me a little more hope that maybe I can keep up with existing trends.


  • I like your story about your grandpa! i still remember in the old days my father loved to share his experiences he went to moives with my grandpa. It was the age of black and white movies with 16mm films. Also my mother told me that all children went to village head's house to see thefirst cartoon through the only TV in the village.

    These are the ages that I have no chance to experient. Children in our age got used to fancy multimedia. In the other hand, with the view of content providers, people in this age might hard to please. Maybe we just lose the ability to feel the wonderful but slow progress in our lives.

    By Blogger belle, at 10/25/2006 11:16 AM  

  • Hmm... so that means something that is already created now, but not well used should be the next big thing! What's funny is its so hard to see what that is. It's around us already but its so hard to predict.

    My guess is it will be something to do with oil. We cannot sustain our use. We'll have to use something else. Everyone knows we will run out soon, so hopefully they are working on something. We'll I think that something will be the next big thing. Great post Kristina =)

    By Blogger Nika, at 10/27/2006 6:04 PM  

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