Why Search is a Waste of Time and Social Media allows us to Gain Time

“No matter how fast it seems, most search is a waste of time. In a way, we are using time (i.e., the time-based structure) to gain time.”

This quote is from a recent opinion blog in Wired Magazine online and it hits the target in clarifying what I have been trying to say to my clients for years now about the difference between Search and Social Media.

Yes they are two different animals. Why? because Social Media is Time Based and Search is not. The issue of time based vs non time based media is one dear to my heart as I studied Classical Animation. Animation is a time based media as is performance art, dance, music, new media, and some visual arts. “Usually time-based media are video, slide, film, audio or computer based and part of what it means to experience the art is to watch it unfold over time according to the temporal logic of the medium as it is played back.”

I know this to be true because of all the social media platforms, I have always loved Twitter the most. I knew that it’s “real time” communications and it’s dynamic quality were key factors in my love affair. David Gelernter goes on to state that this time based quality — which is inherent in New Media— creates new way of structuring time on the internet. This new structure re defines time on the internet, taking it from static websites and search results to the “streams” of data arising from your curated interests that constantly add into your feeds. As seen from the author’s sketch below we are at the intersection of the “now” and the “new”. We are now fully engaged and informed by Social Media.

“Instead of doing an endless series of separate searches, we tune the knobs on our stream-browser to continuously feed us just the information we need.”

Image

Unlike Search which brings up pages for you to review, having your social network set up to monitor people, topics and issues that are of interest, allows you or your business to always be in the moment and in the now of the conversation. This is the Zen state of being.

“But it’s about time: “Bring me what I want” is almost always more useful than “Let me rummage around and see what I can find.”

The other awesome point that he makes on this paradigm shift in communications is that this state allows for an abundance of creativity. Again for those of us who love to create content on the fly this is the best place to be as it allows for constant inspiration, insight and interpretation.  This is the state of artistic perception that McLuahn referred to in his definition of an artist as being one who “updates consciousness “. The Artist is one who lives in the moment and not in the past or the future.

“Yet it took us more than 20 years in computing to get here. The field has finally moved from conserving resources ingeniously to squandering them creatively.”

How true. I have been engage with new media studies for 20 years now and remember the MIT article that I zeroed and keep in my files up until today that speaks of the coming convergence of computers, video and telecommunications. Today we have the net, you Tube and smart phones. What matters most are not the devices themselves but the new real time communication channels of Social media that run across our devices via the internet and deliver great content to us. This in turn allow you to place that information, be it text, image or video, in a context that is relevant to your business – thereby adding value each and every day to your personal life or your business. Over time that value becomes enormous as your networks grow in influence and reach.

Culture is our Business and Social Media is the Method of Communicating It.

It’s been a while since my last blog post. Let’s just call is year end and holidays shall we? I must admit I have also been busy observing the effect of social media on Canadian Culture through the lens of #idlenomore. As a social media specialist I would have to be living under a rock not to see the hash tag trending many times over the last 42 days, and yet, oddly enough, I see very few of my “fellow” social media” peers in Calgary, Vancouver or Toronto mentioning it at all in any way, shape or form. I find it a bit odd but then again I often wonder what they think it is to be engaged in social media communications as an “expert” for businesses. For now, I have to assume that like the status quo of Canada, they choose to ignore Idle No More, thinking that it will soon go away. For now, anyhow, it’s  just business as usual.

Which makes me laugh as that idea of Business as  Usual has already been shattered by Brian Solis in his book “NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL”. This title makes clear the effect of Social Media on the culture of Business.

Image

I was educated in Canada’s finest Art Colleges and then did what I consider to be my Masters of Business Imagination by hanging out at the McLuhan Centre for CULTURE and Technology at the University of Toronto for several years in 1993-94 while working at the Art College as a Corporate Fundraiser, as part of team that raised one million dollars, to create the First New Media Lab at OCA — so I am attuned to not only Canadian Social media and business but Canadian Art and Culture.

As McLuhan said “Culture is Our Business”. For all those so called social media specialists in Alberta, Toronto and Vancouver who have not mentioned or weighed in on this movement, which is now a part of  Canadian “pop” culture – here is some advice —go back to school and study McLuahn, his Laws of Media along with studies in art and culture. These provide a foundation for critical thinking.

For those who think that culture is not our Business and who instead think that the business of the white European Settler, of our grandparents, including my family who settled in PEI from Scotland four generations, that is over 100 years ago along with the fathers of confederation and who signed those treaties with the First Nations of Canada. Those fathers included men from the British Crown, the Scots and the Irish. If you think for one minute that they were not focused on their own self interest in the form of European philosophy and culture over that of the diametrically opposed collective culture of First NATIONS  — please do me a favor and update your consciousness as soon as possible. There is a reason that McLuhan chose the pirate eye patch to be worn by the white business man on the cover of his book Culture is our Business.

Image

While the effect of Idle No More has yet to be felt in the Canadian business community per say —it’s effect on Canadian Culture will be with us for decades to come. As First Nations move steadfastly towards updating Canadian Culture on the importance of their inherent treaty and collective rights —- business, aka the corporate body—- in Canada remains, at present, cool, calculating and unchanged. Ironically it is social media that has now imposed the elephant that will dominate the board rooms for decades to come. Lucky me I happen to work through this new communications channel and have my ear to the ground, it affords me to remain informed on the new and the NOW.

One day, many moons from now, I look forward to an open conversation with my peers on this matter, until then I will keep my left eye and ear open to the winds of change and try not to get blown away down here in Lethbridge, Alberta by the total lack of media & cultural literacy that has faced me every day since my return home to Alberta from the “big smoke” of Toronto over one year ago. Even though I was born and raised in Alberta the only word that comes to mind with respect to this attitude is one I learnt in art school. The word is “provincial“. A dangerous place to be for more reasons than one.

Re-Imagine. The Power of the Personal Brand.

Let me begin by saying that I love the new WordPress blog interface that I accessed via the new home page. Sweet. Looks and feels alot like Tumblr and yet I am glad I do not have to post only in that totally crazy mad world of the Creatives – I can still remain respectable and hire-able by posting to Word Press. 🙂 Thanks WordPress for being cool and creative and for still seeing the creative writing on the wall!

It has been a busy summer. mostly doing websites and managing some social media properties. As of late I have been away on yet another one of those client journey’s. It was the classic scenario. To begin they love that I am so creative and want to know what I think—even went so far to claim that they are “obsessed” by me. Not a good sign as obsession leads no good… but hey for the first few weeks I felt like I had just won a shot at the Olympic good metal round in Fencing, my favorite sport, and that someone was actually listening to what I had to say!  Then suddenly the honey moon was over and I am assigned to what feels like the position of “employee” as all my creative ideas are swiftly, with no explanation, swept under the carpet and we return to BUSINESS AS USUAL — even though we have not signed anything to that effect and I have from the start been no other then what my Twitter Profile states.

In an effort to cheer myself up I set about to read some good inspirational stuff on my iPad about what I do best  –which is communications. Early this am I came across a post that lead to an app for a guy who claims to be a MEDIA Futurist. Excited not so much by what he had to say, I am sure I have heard it all before after all I have been in this game for a hell of a long time now, both on the technology, creative and sales side and adore McLuhan but rather by the his method of engaging me I proceed to the Apple Store for a download. For me McLuhan, is still my main media man for 100 years after his birth he is one of the few intellectuals who gave credit to artists saying “I learnt everything I know from the Poets and the Painters”.   AMEN.

Anyhow, I downloaded Gerd’s app onto my ipad so I could experience my first personal brand app, that was the coolest part and I made mental note to blog about it later as it had the same mind blowing effect as a good cranial adjustment — waking up some nerve endings which have fallen asleep in the race to please offer appeasement.

So the guy is named Gerd Leonard — not an American as one would expect but a European – as all white people are anyhow…..a German actually – who lives in Europe, who of course, lived for some time in the United States and advocates – god forbid, some green solutions– probably a fan of that guy who wrote the book called The Solar Economy back in the day.  Thankfully, in the video I watch on my ipad app Gerd talks only about Media Ecology so I don’t have to worry about the thought police knocking at my door…

Alas I am trapped in Canada, a nation of bean counters, who simple don’t get what it is to be Creative when it comes to business —-even though they do try on occasion, which typically means paying lip service to some tired old ad agency in Toronto who still advocates a mix of media even as Gerd speaks to me via his personal app loaded onto my ipad in a You Tube Video posted at his channel about “The Future of Technology”.  He is cool school and apparently advises large fortune 500’s in Europe about change and employs 25 “Change Agents”. While I do feel a connection with him thanks to social media my ipad craps out half way through his talk due to a bad Bell connection.  While feeling uplifted I am quickly forced to go back to the reality of the day, one spent in a country where the dominant network does not know the works of Marshall McLuhan little lone some dude named Gerd who has his own ipad app and recommend that we all  “RE-IMAGINE”. One can only re-imagine what that means for the Future of Canada,eh?

UPDATE: Just went to like Gerd on FB and see that three of my Facebook Friends also like him. Surprise, one is Canadian – Don Tapscott, whose own writings are greatly influenced by McLuhan.

4 Sectors Ready To Be Disrupted In The Post-PC Era – Forbes

I would list Content creation as number one due to the fact that now ” that tablets are getting cameras, microphones and more powerful processing, we’ll start creating things on the device, too.”

I can’t wait for the new painting app Psykopaint to be made available on my ipad!

www.psykopaint.com

Via www.forbes.com

Is it any wonder that 2.5 Million Laptops Later, One Laptop Per Child Doesn’t Improve Test Scores [STUDY]

“A new study suggests that 2.5 million laptops deployed in classrooms across 42 countries don’t have any effect on academic performance.”

Ahh…huhh…so…. DUH —it’s not the kids, or the tools, let me guess? that leaves the Curriculum (i.e. Eurocentric, totally rational, with out of dated concepts of rational linear non creative, com·pet·i·tive, dog eat dog dominate ruling class, racist thinking) Yes, that must be it! it’s the way that these kids are taught which, last time I checked was based in Prussian Horse training…breaking the spirit of the child so they DO NOT question Authority.  Is it any wonder that there is no change happening in these classrooms. Was it not McLuhan who said back in the 1950’s – we need “classrooms without Walls”

Via mashable.com

How Web 2.0’s Ceaseless Image Stream Is Changing the Way We See, Create, and Communicate – ARTINFO.com

Via Scoop.itMILE HIGH Social Media

“Life in the stream of images has its advantages”…writes the author of this linked blog…   “The current pace of visual transmission online is such that trading pictures has become a form of real-time conversation, a dialogue in which the aggregate exchange is more important than any single component or any individual image”   The linked blog is a great in depth article on the effect of the new way of consuming images. This change in how we percieve images is occuring at the same time as legal battles on copyright and appropriation of images by artists, photographers, curators and galleries continue in the courts. It raises the question of how relevant those are if we no longer spend any length of time contemplating a single image but are, rather are immersed in a stream of images…What do you think? When as the last you fell in love with a single image and wanted to purchase it to hang on your wall? The best most artists can hope for is that their image will be shared and at the end of the day is that not the role that “galleries” used to play…a space in which you could walk around and look at alot of art? Is that not the social aspect of the new media called “Social media”?
Show original

Social Media at its best is a communications model of Mutual Understanding

Visualizing New Media (ART & Telecos) Meta Data from 2 decades ago —- still relevant today!

Last night I was offline going thru old papers in storage when I came across a saved article from 1991. Back then Artists interested in technology were reading about New Media from the likes of MIT’s magazine called Leonardo. We were contemplating what the future would hold with the inevitable convergence of Computers, Telecommunications and Video and we were not sure what the new model of communications would look and feel like once they came together…

In my sorting I found an xeroxed copy of a 5 page article entitled: Art and Telecommunications – 10 Years On. I immediately stopped, got my ipad and googled the title and author with this question in my mind – Would the article I held in my hand have been relevant enough to be mentioned 20 years later?

Not only was it mentioned it is archived and for sale online for $16.00 USD!

I began to re -read the article for relevancy sake, curious to see how the caliber of thought around the issues of Art and Telecommunications two decades ago would hold up in the light of Social Media. This is a knee jerk reaction due to the fact that I am constantly told that I bring nothing to the table as an Artist – except some crazy notions about design…and while I try to argue differently I see eyes glaze over when I mention media theory. What people fail to realize is that it is the artists who inform the great thinkers on communications and thereby contribute greatly to the thought leadership that trickles down to the scientific community, hackers, IT and Marketing consultants and eventually into popular culture. McLuhan said that everything he knew about Media was informed by the poets and the painters.

I learnt alot about Social media 2 decades ago from the Artists who were exploring technology and communications and writing on it. My mind is well prepared for the quantum shift we see today in business, technology and culture.

The biggest take aways? The adoption of the convergence Model of communications AKA – Social Media and the Call to Artists of the urgent necessity to “enter into a dialogue with, as well as a critique of, our technological culture”:

“to avoid embracing contemporary technology is to opt for voluntary cultural fossilization: an an art practice that becomes quaint and irrelvent to all but a “cultured” few. To embrace technology is to live and work in the real world, to grapple with the forces that are shaping our world, perhaps to some productive end”