Uploaded to the cloud

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Language is a fluid thing.
Sometimes we make up new terms for things to make them seem cooler, nicer or more modern.
At other times, slang terms are created or annexed, to describe existing activities.

What we knew in one way even just a few years ago, becomes known in an entirely different way after a very short time.
“Cloud” is a good example of this. In a very short amount of time, the word that once made us initially think of fluffy white things in the sky, can now make is think first about data storage.

Another word that has morphed in understanding in recent times, is “hack”. This used to make us think of chopping away at something, but now makes us think of someone shady breaking into top secret computer databases.

I am sure there are many more examples of this out there, but I won’t discuss them here because I don’t like to talk about what has already happened.
Instead, I like to live on the cutting edge and make up my own new words.
And then when I use them, I make fun of other people who don’t know what they mean, often calling them crawfaxes or ziglabats.

That really confuses them.
People are such crimglassons sometimes….

Who is to blame?

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Very recently, I was lucky enough to be able to have lunch with Larry Katzman.
Larry (or as he is known professionally – “Kaz”) is the world’s leading cartoonist of medical humor. His Nurse Nellie cartoons have appeared in newspapers and magazines in 21 countries and were awarded the highest prize in international cartooning at the 19th International Salon of Humor in Bordighera, Italy. His book collections have sold over three million copies.

Kaz was active during the “golden age” of cartoonists when they were able to live pretty much a Rockstar life selling cartoons to publications such as the New Yorker. During this era, he was hanging out with other cartoonists such as Mort Walker, Milton Caniff, Will Eisner and Peter Arno.

Among the many interesting stories he told during lunch, one thing he said really caught me.
Kaz was talking about the gradual decline of the glory days of cartooning. He told how at first, gag cartoons would earn their creators the equivalent of around $100 per comic. (About $800 per comic in today’s terms). Soon, though, the magazines that were buying the cartoons started to reduce page count and began folding.

The reason for this was blamed on the Television being invented & eventually being available in every home.
The magazine, which was once a main source of information & entertainment, was neglected and languished in an unread pile, as the household began to instead crowd around a screen to get their information updates.
Soon, subscription rates and reader numbers declined and advertising revenue was diverted to the new media of Television.
This then forced magazines to close their doors as they became unsustainable.

Does any of that sound familiar?
When I heard it, I though immediately of the present situation that book stores and newspapers are going through.
They have been trumped by the ‘new media’ of the online platforms and have found themselves in hard times.
The situation is a direct copy of the one faced by magazines during the 50’s.

And I am sure the cycle will not stop there. At some point in the near future, even online media will face a decline in usage, as a new ‘new media’ presents itself and takes hold. And the media platform that replaces it will be blamed for the death of online.
It is just a matter of time, so rather than complain about it and try to claw people back to an ‘older’ media, businesses should spend some time to stop and look at new media platforms. Spend more than a week trying to understand  them, and begin looking to see how they can expand what they offer to keep consumers as they begin the slow transition across.


This has been another “agent-x”atorial



Birth of New Media

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The invention of New Media has finally been discovered!

New media is a term meant to encompass the emergence of digital or networked information and communication technologies in the later part of the 20th century. Most technologies described as “new media” are digital. Eg: the Internet, websites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMS, etc.
Television programs, feature films, magazines, books, or paper-based publications are not classed as New Media.

But they were new at some point, way back in history.

I have visions of the village storyteller and the town crier banding together to denounce the evils of printed books & news.
Warning that the new ways of writing things down are evil and will only be a short lived fad, enjoyed by the dimwitted, gullible & young.
At the same time, I picture marketers pitching ideas to storekeepers, about ways they can harness the new promotional powers that writing could bring.

Perhaps there were even Nigerian Princes penning long heartfelt letters requesting assistance, and sending them to the common masses with promises of riches, if they simply wrote back and printed their bank account information in a letter…..

I do not fear technology and new methods of communication. I understand that these new ways simply need to be tried, understood and given their proper place in the scheme of things.

Anyway, I must go now. I have just won 1 Million Pounds in the Spanish Lottery and must send them my bank details straight away, so I can get my winnings!
(So strange that I do not remember entering that lottery……)