The New Media

Still at the New Media/Virtual worlds conference in Melbourne. I heard some amazing brains of ‘life on the other side’ – second life. I spoke about second life, new media etc too, but my talk was more of an exploration of the psychology of living in another – second life. Will write about that, but here is a sound byte interview that I did here, that I want to share with everyone. Not too deep, As I said – sound bytes.

What will you be presenting at the upcoming Digital Worlds event in Melbourne?
For the past five years all our predictions on the relationship between the New/Digital Media and communication has been from the perspective of the Old Media and that too largely in terms of financial and business models. That is no longer true. The is no relationship between old and new media any more. And there is no possible business model for what we call web 2.0. This about an upheaval in social behaviour patterns so fundamental that even structures as protective as nation states may not be able to withstand the winds of change. It’s a new world out there, but how brave it is remains to be seen.
How should Australian digital media content companies be preparing for the future?
I believe Australia has lost it’s Asian identity in the last few years. I have no idea why. Australian Digital Media Companies must see themselves as Asian Digital Media Companies now. Or they will lose out on the incredible opportunity that Asia offers.
What excites and interests you about digital worlds?
Change always excites me as it presents new challenges that give rise to new creative action. Chaos excites me as it confuses and destroys old structures and gives birth to fresh and new ones. Democratization of voices, and of people’s expression excites me. The individual has more power now.
You are obviously a very busy person with many projects, why do you blog?
It’s like sharing a morning cup of tea with the world. And I don’t really speak to the world. I am in conversations with myself, and share that with the world. That is what is so addictive about blogging for me.
Do you think film will be the world’s most popular medium for telling stories in the foreseeable future?
I doubt that. Other content delivery platforms will compete for audience attention. And being shorter and interactive, they will become far more preferable to the reducing attention span of the consumer. I think story telling will always survive though in whatever form. . But the 2 hour experience in the cinema may soon be an artistic choice rather than a popular one.
You’re producing comic heroes for the digital age with Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation. Do you also have an interest in interactive entertainment, letting people experience first-hand what it feels like to be a superhero?
Oh yes. That’s where we are heading. Where the only limit to the interactive experience is your own imagination. Kind of strange that all technology will do is land up where we started with story telling. The exploration of our imagination. The interactivity will become less and less physical, with interactive games hooked up more to the electrical impulses of your mind. That will give us the ultimate experience. The visualization of our own imagination.
Do you have a preference for computer-generated or traditional hand-drawn animation?
The physical and nerve impulse relationship between the creative part of our brain and the complex movements of our hand is extremely important to our psychology. Whether we draw with a burnt stick on cave walls, or we draw with a high tech pen on a computer screen, the constant interactive relationship between the mind and the hand cannot be superseded by technology. It can only be enhanced. So hand drawn key drawings will always be better than computer generated ones.
You are very passionate about improving the plight of the world’s poor, how do you think technology can play a role?
Technology is our only chance of survival on this planet. And of continuing growth. Here are just two of the many examples :
In India, for example, there is a great poverty divide between rural and urban India. Caused by lack of decent primary education and job opportunities in rural India. Broadband penetration will allow interactive classrooms that give the same platform and quality of education all over the country. Also if, for example, an urban person can work for an international company, broadband extends that facility to the rural worker too.
In other great disaster that we are being faced with is severe water shortages. I am hoping that nanotechnology (a fast growing field) will provide us with filters where nano-particles are small enough to trap all salt crystals (for example), but let the water molecules through. That would be a cheaper way to turn sea water into drinkable water.
What do you think about the One Laptop per Child initiative?
What can I say, but that it is the great leveller of opportunity. I just hope we can do it fast enough because the gap between the rich and the poor is expanding extremely fast. Gross GDP figures in India and China hide the fact that the gap is increasing.
What personal technology items have made the biggest impact on your life and what technology items do you rely upon most in your daily life today?
Freedom is a word that I would use to evaluate technology. The first portable music systems freed me from having to sit in a room to listen to music. On the other hand I am not sure if the cell phone has actually increased enjoyment of my life, so I would not put the cell phone in that category. It has both freed me but also impinged upon my life.
I would say the laptop has made a huge difference to my life as I can carry my work and access it wherever I need it. I would also say the Internet is something I rely upon daily. Like my blog. My e mail etc.

8 thoughts on “The New Media

  1. Thanks for sharing it Shekhar,
    having a laptop..$1500,(not exact)
    getting on the internet…$30(not exact)
    Blogging on the internet $.00
    But, conversations with… priceless
    Goodluck with Goldenage!

  2. Hi Shekhar,
    It was great bumping into you at the Red Pepper Indian dhaba for students(I am the guy in the suit who works in IT and does a radio program for last 10+ .. 15 to be exact ..years).
    I haven’t kept up with your work but am fascinated to see your site and what you have been up to.
    We would have enjoyed each other having conversations with ourselves – the best company is when both parties are comfortable in their solitude and can share it. Lot in common here .. gender identity, poetry, digital media … !
    If you see this and are still in Melbourne, would love to have you on my radio show this Saturday or could catch up existence, feeling it and expressing it and everything in between.

  3. huun.
    As deep as can be…i.e. technologically speaking.
    But Cinema, if I may add, will be more than just an artistic choice.It too will be a great equalizer.The great creative global-mass-infotainment programm.
    I mean certain saas bahus my watch a certain serial.Certain technowizies may watch certain You-tube thingie.etc.etc.etc…But can you imagine the quantum of people accross continents watching a film on a British Queen made by an India Director.Or a film on the extinct dinasours for that matter.
    In future top notch Cinema will still be the great common binder for humanity on Earth – and also surely one of the top-grossing businesses.
    The Cinema experience just cannot be bartered for cell phones or internet or TV or even Home theatre.Its another matter that such all-entertaining films may come infrequently as they do..

  4. Dear Shekhar,
    I am a founder of a New Media company based in Singapore that is gear to revolunalise the global media space. I dont really know how to reach you to discuss the new ideas that I have which has already got heads nodding in the Tiny Island of Singapore.
    I understand that you might be in Singapore week of 27th Nov.
    Any chance of catching up. Please write to my email address and I will respond and show you more when we meet.

  5. Dear Shekhar,
    You always convey right thoughts!
    Yes! Newmedia and nano techology can change the destiny of the downtrodden.
    yours sincerely,
    ashish dimri

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