Shift Happens: Facebook Is Just The Tip of the Iceberg of Change

Social networks are reaching more people more quickly than any communication technology ever has. Consider how long it takes to reach an audience of 50 million people:

  • Radio – 38 years
  • TV – 13 years
  • Internet – 4 years
  • iPod – 3 years
  • Facebook – 2 years

from Did You Know 3.0

Since we’re here in Facebook land, it’s interesting to note that according to the founder

More than 175 million people use Facebook. If it were a country, it would be the sixth most populated country in the world.

Social networks like Facebook are more than media, they are virtual locations, places where people gather and interact. There’s something much bigger going on here than communication. We’re interacting with each other on many levels here and we’re also interacting with increasingly sophisticated computer programs that are learning about our likes and interests. How we produce and consume media is changing. At the same time the networks expand out into mobile devices, cars and buildings, they are also reaching inward, merging with our biology. In my comments on an early YouTube version of “Did you know?”, I raised broad social questions about this. On a personal level, I suppose the big question is are you ready move beyond a strictly biological physical existence? In a decade, concerns about privacy/terms of service are gonna seem pretty easy.

Updates 03/09/09:
Here’s a long but excellent account of the history and evolution of Did You Know? from the original author.

Previously on The MJ, a link to a narrated version


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