The first means of communication in the history of humankind
The Internet is the first means of communication in the history of mankind. The rest of the media we know, press, radio, TV, cinema, etc. are vehicles of distribution, they do not qualify as means of communication. The Internet is the first one since men developed the spoken language in order to communicate.
The Internet is the first media because it possess the six “I’s”, no other means of communication in history has them. Having this six “I’s” is what makes the Internet the most powerful vehicle for transmitting knowledge ever devised by the humans. That is why the Internet commands a new era in the history of mankind unlike any other we have witnessed in the past:
The six “I’s” of the Internet are:
Interactivity – Two way super highway
Press, radio, TV, Cinema… are all one-way communication, from the communicator to the recipient. Sure, recipients can call and vote for a song to be played or write letters to the editor and hope to be published or attend a show as audience and cheer or boo the participants, but on the Internet, they can fully interact with anyone on the other side of the net. They can interact with one person or with a group of people, they can do it with any type of media of their choosing, text, audio, video; traditional media is a one way street, the Internet is a two way super freeway.
Immediate – Right here, right now
With the Internet, there is no need to wait for the ten o’clock news to find out what is going on in the world nor to the morning shows to learn recipes or to prime time to watch a series or comedy show. On the Internet, content is available immediately after it’s published and increasingly, it gets published as events happen. It is now possible to view live how tornadoes destroy cars, how surfers ride waves or how athletes break records. Traditional media offer content after events take place, the Internet is right here, right now.
International – The world at everyones fingertips
Previously, all media was local, as it evolved, some newspapers or TV channels became international and had world wide reach, such as CNN. But the Internet is truly international. When this article I am writing is published on the Internet, it will be available immediately in Korea and in Russia, in Argentina and in Australia, all with the click or a mouse. My ideas can be viewed anywhere, anytime from any computer or mobile device connected to the Internet. Traditional media has geographical barriers, franchises, frequencies, physical boundaries. The Internet puts the world at everyone’s fingertips and puts everyones fingertips anywhere in the world.
Innovative – Black Swans
Press, give or take some colors, is the same it has been since Gutemberg invented it. Radio, give or take sound quality and different bands, is the same as it was 100 years ago when Marconi invented it. Television, give or take a few camera tricks, is the same it was years ago. The Internet gets invented and reinvented on a daily basis, it started with texts, evolved to pictures and sounds, now its video, augmented reality, online shopping, you name it. New technologies are applied constantly and they keep reshaping the Internet almost on daily basis and disrupting the way people went about their daily lives. Ask Kodak or Xerox or JCPenney’s and Sears can testify, Amazon and Adobe have reshaped the markets where they thrived for decades, even centuries. Black swans are reproducing everywhere and creating new habits of consumption, of interactions, of going about our daily lives.
Intelligent – Individuals empowered
Take twenty people, put them in a room with twenty computers connected to the Internet and give them a task, say, do a paper on Coffee. Each will produce a completely different result based on their interest, their information, their intuition, their inquietude. I remember back in School and even College, back in the 70’s and 80’s how all the homework and papers made by me and my fellow classmates where strikingly similar, today, they are all radically different between them, each has the power and the vision of a true individual.
Indexed – The power of “I” compound
Finally, all the above can be searched and located using key words in what has become the biggest database or encyclopedia ever compiled. With the proper tools nothing is hidden, all the information ever produced by mankind is available and will be thousands of years from now. Once uploaded, it’s there and will remain there forever, indexed. All these compound into one big intelligent network called the Internet.
For all the above reasons, it is fair to say that there has never been a media of communication until now and that we are witnessing a revolution in human knowledge unlike anyone we have seen in the past. Some call it the age of information, others the age of Internet. I call it the age of “I” and after entering this new age in the history of mankind, the world will never be the same.