To Seoul in May for WMEMC

Am pleased to have been invited by the Scientific Committee of the World Media Economics and Management Conference to present my latest paper, 𝐷𝑖𝑑 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘’π‘€π‘ π‘π‘Žπ‘π‘’π‘Ÿ πΌπ‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘ π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘¦β€™π‘  20π‘‘β„Ž πΆπ‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘¦ 𝐸π‘₯π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘’π‘›π‘π‘’π‘  π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘‰π‘–π‘‘π‘’π‘œπ‘‘π‘’π‘₯𝑑 πΏπ‘’π‘Žπ‘‘ 𝑖𝑑𝑠 21𝑠𝑑 πΆπ‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘¦ 𝐡𝑒𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠 π‘€π‘œπ‘‘π‘’π‘™ π΄π‘ π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘¦?, at WMEMC’s next biennial meeting this May in Seoul, South Korea.

πΌπ‘›π‘‘π‘–π‘£π‘–π‘‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘€π‘’π‘‘π‘–π‘Ž 𝑖𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ πΌπ‘›π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘šπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘›π‘Žπ‘™ πΈπ‘Ÿπ‘Ž, the previous paper I presented to WMEMC during 2021 when their conference met in Rome, Italy, was subsequently published in the π½π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘›π‘Žπ‘™ π‘œπ‘“ π‘†π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘”π‘–π‘ πΌπ‘›π‘›π‘œπ‘£π‘Žπ‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘› π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘†π‘’π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘–π‘›π‘Žπ‘π‘–π‘™π‘–π‘‘π‘¦. That paper described how, thanks to the ever-increasing available powers of computers and of delivery bandwidths, it became possible for computer-mediated technologies to produce and deliver to consumers ever more highly-customized (and ideally towards individuated) feeds of news, entertainment, and other information, aggregated from all possible sources. That is now, of course, what New Media companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Vkontakte, Sina Weibo, etc., do in general and that Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, Douyin, Kuaishou, etc., do in specific genres of contents such as music or video.

Billions of consumers worldwide have clearly demonstrated that they prefer to receive such individuated feeds–which can better match each individual consumer’s own unique mix of needs, interests, and tastes, than can the non-individuated, Industrial Era legacy products and services, which during the Industrial Era became colloquially known as Mass Media (newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations and networks, etc).

This is why in only 20 years’ time Individuated Media products and services has become the predominant means by which the majority of people worldwide under the age of 50 nowadays obtain news, entertainment, and other information; why companies that produce Individuated Media products and services now dominated the online advertising;, and commensurately why the viewership, listenerships, readerships, fortunes and future of Mass Media companies have become grave.

My new paper focuses on the myopic folly of why Mass Media companies failed to perceive the truly epochal capabililties of computer-mediated technologies and instead utilized such technologies as wired-mediated (plus nowadays also wirelessly-mediated) means of electronically delivering to cvonsumers the Industrial Era packages of contents that are otherwise printed or broadcast over-the-air to consumers.

The new paper describes how during the closing years of the previous century Mass Media companies shortsightedly became fixated almost solely on the wired delivery capabilities of computer-mediated technologies (colloquially known as ‘digital’); still are today; and thus (ironically despite Mass Media executives’ and journalists anecdotal fascination with computer dynamics such as ‘Moore’s Law’) abjectly failed to perceive, comprehend, or utilize what has become the truly epochal advancement that these technologies begot. The advancement is the ability to go beyond just Mass Media’s reach by adding am entirely new dimension in media: the simultaneous mass production, mass distribution, and mass π‘π‘’π‘ π‘‘π‘œπ‘šπ‘–π‘§π‘Žπ‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘› of media products and services. That new dimension in media is impossible with the Industrial Era’s analog printing presses or analog electromagnet waveform transmitters. This new dimension in media is the true definition of ‘New Media’.

[Now during the advent of Artificial Intelligence, how particularly antediluvian of the Mass Media industries during the past 20 years to have not forseen that the power of the mediating computer, not of the mediating wire or wireless, is the ultimate dominion of ‘digital’!]

Both of my recent papers solicited by the World Media Economics and Management Conference, as well as another presented during 2019 at the International Media Management Academics Association conference in Qatar and subsequently published in the Nordic Journal of Media Management, are the ‘after’ bookends to the ‘before’ article I published during 2002 in the University of Southern California’s 𝑂𝑛𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒 π½π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘›π‘Žπ‘™π‘–π‘ π‘š 𝑅𝑒𝑣𝑖𝑒𝑀, an article entitled π‘Šβ„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘π‘’π‘€π‘ π‘π‘Žπ‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘  𝐴𝑛𝑑 π‘‡β„Žπ‘’π‘–π‘Ÿ π‘Šπ‘’π‘ 𝑆𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑠 𝑀𝑒𝑠𝑑 π·π‘œ π‘‡π‘œ π‘†π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘£π‘–π‘£π‘’. During the subsequent 20 years, newspapers didn’t do, and haven’t done, what they must have done to survive.

They and other Mass Media industries, any or all of which could have utilized the new dimension in media, didn’t. More than two deacdes ago, they instead blindered themselves into thinking that ‘digital’ meant simply wire-delivered rather than computer-π‘Žπ‘”π‘”π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘”π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘‘, -π‘Žπ‘›π‘Žπ‘™π‘¦π‘§π‘’π‘‘, -π‘–π‘›π‘‘π‘–π‘£π‘–π‘‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘‘, and wire-delivered: the full capabilities of New Media. They instead let startup companies–notably search engines (original purpose: sales of internal search software to corporations) and social media (original purpose: social linking and commentary)–stumble into tapping the latent demand by consumers for Individuated Media; companies that then recognizing it then utilized the full capabilities of New Media to deliver it.

WMEMC conferences aren’t televised or recorded, but I’ll post a link to my presentation deck afterwards.

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