Bill Snyder and David Brain on Our Digital Coming of Age


I was so excited to see the comments on my recent post …

David Brain’s Sixty Second Sound Bites From Edelman’s New Media Academic Summit 2007

that I am giving them center stage here. Many thanks to communications experts and social media mavens Bill Snyder and David Brain for your insight. This kind of rich conversation is why I love my work. This made my day.

Bill and David discuss the following quote: “It took 35 years for TV to reach 25 million people and earn $1 billion in revenues. It took the internet just three years. We have now reached a point where if you are an old media company and you are not deeply engaged in new media, you are a dead media company.” Pat Mitchell, President and CEO, Paley Centre for Media.

·         1. Bill Snyder  |  September 18, 2007 at 4:24 am

I always have to wince a little when i see a comment like Pat Mitchell’s. Yes, i agree with the conclusion — granted, with reservations, as “new media” is a pretty broad term. The reason I wince, though, is that those of us who are passionate about the internet, the web, and social media, often hit a note of hyperbole. It didn’t take the internet three years to reach 25 million people and $1 billion in revenue. ARPANET (which evolved into the internet) launched in 1969. It may have taken only three years for the internet to move from obscurity to 25 million people, but it took more then two decades of groundwork to make that possible. As we look back and try to understand where we are, and where we are going, it’s important that we don’t forget the groundwork that made the “immediate” gratification possible.

·         2. David Brain  |  September 18, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Bill makes a good point. Another perspective on this growth is the uptick it is about to take in one aspect at least. My daughter, who is now nine first started using the net (club penguin and when she was five. If the net became a consumer-useful service in say 95 (to be conservative) then the first generation who have always had the net were born around 1990 . . which means they are now going to college and starting into the workforce. Combine the arrival in large numbers of this generation with the movement of 2.0 stuff to the mobile and the opening up of the big BRIC type markets with broadband and you have a quantity and quality expansion that is exponential. interesting times.

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·         3. Bill  |  September 18, 2007 at 9:11 pm

Combine the arrival in large numbers of this generation with the movement of 2.0 stuff to the mobile

This is critical. Its interesting. As the decade turned, people were starting to refer to the web and the internet synonymously. It was inaccurate to do so, but when users thought of the using the internet, they thought about the linking of browser-based documents that is the WWW. APIs, the combination of information from the … um … OK, I’ll say it, “cloud” and thick or rich application, the ability to make a cell phone call over a WIFI network or surf the web over a cell phone network all of this is really changing our whole concept of what the web is.


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