We PhDs (especially those of us who DIDN’T have a fascination with Marshall McLuhan in our youth) tend to miss changes in media. After all, we get scored on how well we can dress up our opinions to look like they are from 1895, when paper and print were expensive and time was cheap. This tends to make us the opposite of media savvy. Since I DID have McLuhan fixation in my youth, and since I AM obsessed with new media, perhaps my observations will be perspicacious, even though I’m rather old for a blogger.
Anyway. It seems to me that we believe that formal communication is written, semi-formal communication is oral, and video and movies are distractions, purely emotional, incapable of conveying information. Informational graphics can be used to support an argument but not to carry it, and are not expected to make a lot of sense.
When we confront the generation we most want to reach, we sense a certain lack of seriousness of purpose. This may be a real problem, but it may be perceptual, in part. This is because young people think of text as the LEAST formal method of communication, cheaper and more common and more casual than speech. Indeed, it may well seem that if you can’t get it together to make a compelling video, you can’t possibly be serious.
Nobody is telling the story of global change very effectively. Not us, and not our opposition. Those of us who literally lie awake at night trying to puzzle out how to lay out the story have compelling movies in our heads. We need to commit them to bitstreams. We need to make people see.
A good start is collecting the data, like this:
But it’s only a start