Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Just Like Back In The Day

Back in 1994, I worked as an online content producer for the Prodigy Service, one of the "Big Three" online services at that point which also included Compuserve and, of course, America Online. MSN had still yet to debut as the "fourth network" and the web hadn't been quite commercialized yet; there was no instant messaging or chatrooms. Just a bunch of bulletin boards.

There were so many bulletin boards that, like web sites, you could easily spend all day leaping from place to place in order to write and exchange experiences with the other subscribers. Then along came a piece of software called the BB Newsreader or something like that. With one push of a button, it would go to all the boards you frequented, download the latest notes and threads, bring them back to you and you went to town replying and writing. All in one spot. You can see why it was immensely popular and the concept of it is very similar to the bits of software that you use to collect blogs and podcasts (which are basically audioblogs). As news aggregators and podcast receivers begin to receive healthy mention, it might be a good idea to examine the wave as it begins to crest over us. That's the way it is with technology. Some advances are swells and everyone sort of rises with them at the same time. Breakthroughs produce competition-style waves, with everyone fighting for space; the users fight to master the hardware and/or software while the developers fall all over themselves trying to create the most ergnonomic platform with which to surf the wave. (Why isn't there just one type of browser?)

I know. What the flip does this have to do with Nowhere, or the band, or even fiddlesticks in China?

Well, as I've been going about the promotion for clear blue trickling, it's become clear to me that the wave of the future, one that will be easily surfable by just about anybody, has to do with how we receive our media. The phone's been morphing into the t.v. which has been morphing into the home computer which has been morphing into thin air and morphing with eyeglasses, for crying out loud. We are assuming more and more control over our environment, over what we listen to and when and how. Personal systems appeal to the individual in us all, the one that is increasingly trying to get within itself. I mention all of this because we're living in a very intense time. It's a time of great stress, of re-awakening, of waking from a dream and realizing that your pants are on fire and that everything you know is wrong. In the mud but never of the mud.

People are rejecting all that's been forced upon them by corporate culture and are seeking the underground, especially through their media. And people are tired of paying good money for crap, basically. They know that there's a lot of real music out there, all they have to do is look hard enough and they'll find it, call it theirs, join the countercultural revolution. And for the moment, that revolution is the MP3.

So I'm sending them out like a nutcase, and learning a lot about the nature of the techno-forest. It's a trip, I tell you. It's a trip.

No comments: