Spread the Word: New Media Rocks!

Jun 24, 2008  •  Post A Comment

On a flight home to San Francisco from Austin last week, the woman sitting next to me asked if I thought a computer would be an appropriate gift for her nine-year-old nephew. I was an easy target for the question. I had my usual toys with me–Blackberry, video iPod, laptop, iPod for a child, GameBoy for another child.
Not knowing her nephew, I gave a broad reason why a laptop is a good gift: After most children have mastered handwriting, the majority of school assignments are done on computers.
Then she wanted to know more about my iPod, how it works, how you get one, what you can buy in the iTunes store. “Does it have both country and rock songs?” she wanted to know. I gave her a basic explanation of the iPod hardware and the iTunes software.
Then I said, almost sheepishly, “I like technology.”
In my house we have five computers, four iPods, two working cell phones with cameras (not to mention the vast collection of cell phones my husband has amassed but doesn’t use), an Apple TV, a digital video recorder, a Tivo, cable service, a Nintendo Wii, an Xbox and a Gameboy.
When the plane landed, I said “goodbye.” I certainly don’t know if she will buy either a computer for her nephew or an iPod for herself. But as I was walking off the plane, something clicked. I love new media for me, but I also believe new media enthusiasts should spread the gospel.
Look, I’m not equating new media usage with world peace, but I do believe that enthusiasts have the opportunity to be stewards of new media, online video, Apple TV, podcasting, and so on.
Because early adopters are not just the first stage in the adoption of a product; they’re instrumental in pushing that product into the all-important mainstream. “The Early Adopter has the eyes and ears of the subsequent adoption segments and the power to influence what becomes a success in the marketplace,” writes Bill Tancer in his book “Click,” due from Hyperion in September.
The power to influence what becomes a success.
Consider our habits, after all. For starters, about 15 percent of households are enthusiasts for new technology, according to research firm Marquest Media & Entertainment. These so-called “SuperTrons” usually watch their TV on a time-shifted basis, are 14 times more likely to have the capability to watch Web video on the TV set, are six times more likely to have a mobile phone that can play video, and are 10 times more likely to subscribe to such a service on their mobile phones.
That is a lot of power and a lot of potential influence. So remember what Spiderman’s uncle Ben told him: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Don’t keep new media to yourself. Go forth and spread the good word. Show your dad how to use an iPod, introduce your brother to streaming video on Hulu, teach your best friend how to make a video from her cell phone.
And when all this good stuff becomes mainstream, we can all make more money!
(See, I’m not that altruistic or corny. I’m still a mercenary at heart.)


  1. This must be one of the most boring articles ever written. Thought it would improve, but it didn’t. Not one interesting comment.

  2. Good point Daisy, although we also must test new products thoroughly ourselves before pushing them to others, less we ruin our reputations as valued techno gurus to our friends! 😉
    I helped a tiny bit, this past Father’s Day I got my dad upgraded to a new cell phone, his was 4 years old! He’ll never use the camera, though.
    (By the way, I’m way jealous, I still am operating off a 2001 Windows 2000 system with 512 RAM and a 40G drive! Argh!)
    jimmyolsen on twitter

  3. We want our children to be compeititve, we need to give them the tools to do it. Its up to us to make everyone comfortable with how new media can work for them–and then make it easy for them to sample.

  4. Now if we can just pry them away from the electronic managerie and on their bikes or walking the dumb ass dog once in a while…
    Peter Bright

  5. Halleluja, sister!
    There are few experiences more satisfying than introducing someone to a new way to consume information and entertainment.
    Every time I turn someone on to Hulu or recruit a new member of the Vaynerchuk army, I feel like I’ve done my good deed for the day.
    That said, new media is not for everyone. My grandma is perfectly happy watching The Young and the Restless at its scheduled time. Investing in and learning to use a TiVo would be a lot of effort for her to solve a problem she never realized existed.
    However, if ‘Y&R’ was on Hulu…

  6. I totally agree Daisy! I sometimes think I end up boring my ‘un’techy friends but hey, if not me who else? I believe everyone should take control of their media and especially how they consume it.
    So, buy the gadgets, sync those pods… it’s all in an effort to make media more accessible for everyone and there’s nothing wrong with that.
    Now for all of you who need a reminder – go out and sync or charge up something…

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  10. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

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  13. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

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