Sunday, 15 July 2012

An Introduction to Mediacise by Mike Downes


In this post, I will introduce the term mediacise, contrast it with the ostracism while paving a way for future discussion.

The Setup: I've listened to people in the media business, tried to understand their thinking and asked if they have any idea what's going on with the changes in their industry. 

I've watched countless presentations from current media professionals, chatted to them and posted. Many of them are stuck in the dark ages.

The Aim: To introduce the term, mediacise. If you wish to search for this word, you will see it has little use (and is not in any dictionary, until now). Let's see who picks it up. This may lead to people and companies taking an interest in becoming mediacised.

Media [mee-dee-uh]
This extends to far outside of the media business. For example, I've heard people say they are not a media company, but have a media arm. Some well placed gurus are saying everyone needs to be a media company - not just the media (themselves).

The Background: From Ostracism, we have a procedure to expel a citizen from Athens, Greece for 10 years. This was used to diffuse an argument [with rival politicians] through neutralization.  A modern usage could be a form of social rejection defined as, ' …any behaviour in which a group or individual excludes and ignores another group or individual'. Ostracism seems to have been used as a way to decide between radically opposed policies.

There is a link to Petalism: a form of banishment where names of those considered are written on leaves. Athens asks the Q: Do you wish to hold a OstracismVotes cast must be at least 6,000 in Athens. Thereafter, the winner is the person nominated who had ten days to leave the city (should they return, they face death). However, they can be called back early.

The Objective: Bring people, groups and business up to speed. Make them story tellers using our new found digital tools.

Dictionary definition [future] 2012/13
What is to Mediacise?

Ostracism is the banishment for 10 years, where Mediacism is the inclusion for the last ten years. Where were you in 2002? And what may you have missed? To Mediacise may be similar to modernise. 

A non-mediacised person or group, in extreme cases, is someone who is not aware of any digital changes at all. A milder case, is someone who is aware but scoffs or belittles those people who use the latest technologies. These non-mediacised people may be said to be living in the past.

This may apply to people working in the media industry or extended professions. An example maybe a print journalist who is forced to now publish online or to open a twitter, facebook or Google Plus account. Although many have embraced the new ways, it is no excuse that many have not. One swallow doesn't make a summer.

Another example is the small business owner who knows having a website, a blog and a social media presence may benefit them, but ignoring is a whole lot easier than consciously making steps towards mediacising. As I've said, every company needs to have a media arm in this fast changing digital age. As a reminder ..

Archive notes from Mike Downes
What have we seen in the last ten years? 
2002, Multi Media Messaging and Blackberry
2003: Wordpress and MySpace
2004: facebook and flickr
2005: YouTube and Windows Live
2006: Twitter
2007: Kindle
2010 Pinterest, iPad and Instagram and 
2011 Google Plus (And remember, Google was only founded September 1998, 14 years ago).

As we move towards a realtime digital world with the ever present video as a means of easy face to face communication, geography is all but forgotten. Global is now local. 

Media is the middle ground. The dictionary tells us it's a wall between two areas - it need not be.

So, Do you wish to hold a Mediacism? From my exploits in the news business, it seems there are many who are badly in need of being shocked into the reality of 2012. The avoidance shows itself in some very strange ways.

If you've ever experienced a raised eyebrow or being scoffed at when you mention Twitter, facebook or Google Plus or someone you know spends ten minutes walking to the shops for a newspaper (then spends three days reading it) .. and if you say.. what you're reading is kinda out of date .. and then you are given a look that makes you feel like you're the odd one out .. as you are the one with a laptop wickedly spending time online each day, then you may know what I mean.

Or the time you phone a business as they have no email or website and you are told the seller has no time for all that nonsense.. they are far too busy .. you may know what I mean. Or the time a major news organisation holds back on reporting some news for five hours.. when you read it on twitter 37 seconds after it happened .. you may just know what I mean (and yes I know we can argue over this one, and believe me I will).

The Ancient Greeks had a solution 2,500 years ago, Ostracism. What I'm looking to do is a flip, it's Mediacism (Mediacise).

For it's now late 2012 and these are the post modern times. Make sense of what's happening in the digital world. Find me and the people like me (who are media disruptors) to Mediacise yourself or your business before it's another ten years - ten years too late.

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