Today I spoke at Bar Camp Media City in Salford, Manchester. Part of the appeal was getting to see the new Media City home of the BBC. You get the tram from the train station – there’s something about getting on trams that makes me feel like I’ve left the real world and slipped into a theatre set where everything is just pretending. I quite like that. It’s because of the monorail at Chesington World of Adventures I think.
I’m glad the security gards that checked my computer cables, validated my photo ID and escorted me to the 5th floor of the BBC Quay House building didn’t find anything suspicious. They wouldn’t have hesitated to do a cavity search. You’d think the Queen was giving a presentation.
Who called it Media City? Accountancy consultants? They’re probably signing off the plans for Content Hamlet and Return On Investmentshire right now.
Anyway, I was just going to post something quick explaining the talk I gave. Forgive me if this isn’t watertight, and apologies that it’s been written in haste – hopefully it will clarify what I said for anyone who’s interested.
The Internet is not a medium
TV, radio, the novel, the Internet. It sort of makes sense. OK, the Internet is perhaps a broader category than radio, but we often think of the Internet as just another type of media. I’m going to argue that it isn’t and that thinking it is has negative consequences
Definition of a medium, No 1
A medium is a method of transmitting messages where all the messages transmitted by that medium have similar features. Some of those features ar conventions – for example that newspaper article have bylines, lead paragraphs explaining the facts and are written in a particular style. Other features that distinguish a medium are matters of technological expediency – there are no moving pictures in newspaper articles.
Mediums can nest, as illustrated below.Google+