The world revolves around me. It really does. Everything I do involves me. It doesn’t matter who I eat dinner with, I’m always there. It doesn’t matter where I go. I’m there!
Intellectually, I know that there are other people in the world but most of them don’t matter to me. For instance, right now, there are people chatting in a cafe in Venice. Someone is photographing the Grand Tetons from the exact same spot where I was last summer. But none of that concerns me in the least. I live in a sphere that basically extends as far as my senses will reach. Beyond that… well, it’s not my concern.
I know what you’re thinking, this guy is shallow and insensitive, but you and I aren’t so different. We all want to believe that we’re tuned into the world but the fact is, you care more about what you’re going to eat for dinner tonight than what I am going to eat for dinner.
When we talk about emerging media, a lot of what we are talking about is finding ways to extend our senses.
Imagine the day that the first person read the first newspaper. That person read about pillaging in the next village and maybe for the first time in that person’s life, they thought about what was going on over the hill. Fast forward to World War II. What was it like for people to watch newsreels of the war? To actually see the war that was going on 5,000 miles away? Now days, we see things in real time. I remember the night the Berlin Wall came down. Of course the morning the Twin Towers came down. Real time news coverage means that everyone can watch and experience the same emotions at the same time.
But that’s news. What about the mundane? What about the guy photographing the Tetons or chatting in that Venetian cafe. It’s one thing when a moment is broadcast to everyone because everyone cares, but what about the other stuff?
A couple of weeks ago, a new app appeared for smartphones that lets anyone broadcast anything in real time. The app is called Meerkat.
As a Meerkat user, I can share my sphere with you and you with me. I think that’s pretty powerful. Right now, someone is walking down a street in Dublin. Before Meerkat, I would have been completely unaware of that person. Now, I can experience that street in Dublin right along with the person running Meerkat on their iPhone.
I think Meerkat represents a big shift in media. It turns everyone into a real time broadcaster. The everyday events that we didn’t even know about can now be made important and interesting.
To learn more about Meerkat, click here.