Sunday, July 06, 2008

Twittering Dante

Is medium sacred or could any content be served up in any medium? As vast content libraries are increasingly available on the web, content consumption should take whatever form is convenient and preferable to the user.

There is user-generated content and user-specified content is the next logical step. The amount of content available in multiple forms is growing, some examples are Audible books, and talks and interviews presented as transcripts, podcasts and videos.

User-specified content
In a robust platform, users could select content topic, format, level, detail tier and social dimension. Content topic is the main parameter chosen at present. Delivery formats could range from the text formats of book, academic paper, article, blog post and tweet to the multimedia formats of audio, video, slidecast, video game, etc. The level of content could be most basically popular vs. expert. The detail tier could be summary, outline, article, full detail and annotated version. Social dimension would include comments and reviews by others. These could all be drop-down menus at the top of Wikipedia.

Medium purists will insist that the only way to view the Mona Lisa is to hike up to the humid corridor at the Louvre and squeeze in to peer at the small canvas with the rest of the crowd but others are moving with the times. Who will be the first entrepreneur to do a twelevator pitch - twitter a business plan - to a VC, which VC will be the first to request twelevator pitches? If you can't explain your business in 140 characters or less, fahgetaboutit!

New literacy content and medium synesthesia
The new literacy is that the educated person of today is able to express ideas in a variety of media – in some combination of the traditional reading and writing AND in computer programs, 3d virtual worlds, synthetic biology, video games, 3d printing and visual storytelling. Does the new literacy mean that there could be a representation of all content in all media? Is there an opera of Cornell fab@home objects? What does an Indiana Jones movie look like in synthetic biology? What is a kinesthetic experience of protein folding?

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