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Come with me back in time through the magic of PowerPoint physics … back to the late 1970s, when a book by Douglas Adams captured the imagination of just about everyone– Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.So – how many of you have read it? Love it? Hate it?I ask this because I was awed by the idea of babelfish – those helpful critters that you put in your ear for real-time translation.(click)
Very cool. But impossible. Real-time translation? In your ear? Yeah. Better settle down and put years in studying another language – and hope no one speaks in a dialect. (click)So you can imagine my unalloyed, indescribable joy when I read Scobleizer last week and came upon this – translate on your iPhone in real-time.Oh, my God! It’s a babelfish, right? So more than 30 years ago, Douglas Adams foresaw iPhones … sort of.My point: Our wildest, most outrageous dreams are the future.Bucknell’s plan for the future contains exciting words: Passion. Innovation. Ethics. Justice. Diversity. Collaboration. All of these apply to social media and how we use it, and I’d like you to listen for those words throughout my presentation.One of my charges today was to look five years into the future of social media. Best way to do that? Well, I thought back to 2006 …
In 2006, I was sitting in the newsroom of the Casper Star-Tribune. The younger people in the newsroom kept telling me I needed to get on myspace. It was huge. Everyone was on it. There was this upstart called Facebook, but it was only for college students. Nothing would ever topple myspace.But now it’s 2011 … (click)Back in 2006, there was no iPhone. (click)But now it’s 2011 … (click)
The future will open up opportunities we have yet to dream of. With those opportunities will come challenges. Rather than talking about future platforms, I thought I’d share some concepts I envision changing the way we look at the world.The first is the real versus the ideal. Just yesterday, I saw an article about AimiEguchi, a popular singer for the Japanese band AKB48. But Aimi … doesn’t exist. She’s computer generated. But while she looks amazingly human, she’s still in that Uncanny Valley of androids and computer-generated characters that we feel uncomfortable around. They look human, but there’s something not quite right …In five years, computer generated characters may no longer have that uncanny quality. We could create the perfect student to be in a university video – someone who looked racially and ethnically ambiguous, was attractive to men and women, and wasn’t prone to youthful misjudgment.But would it be ethical?The latest version of Photoshop now offers us the ability to remove part of a photograph without leaving a trace. The camera may not lie, but the software sure does. We could create a campus without electrical lines, traffic signs, or wastebaskets. But is it ethical? Five years from now, the technology will be even better – but will we have had time to consider the moral and ethical ramifications of tweaking reality? In social media, the ideal situation would be to have control of everything we post, tweet, or Google – that wonderful concept of privacy. In real life,Google and Facebook own us – and follow us. It happens – but is it ethical? When I worked in Philadelphia, one of my co-workers, a photographer, had these words posted on his cubicle: The world speaks in 1993 languages, but it sees in one. We’re on the cusp of an enormous change in how we learn, gather information, and see the world – and it’s through images, rather than words. One of those jaw-dropping statistics: More video is uploaded to YouTube every 60 days than the three major US television networks produced in 60 years. Most cell phones now have not only built-in cameras, but built-in video cameras, some capable of taking high-definition video.For us, it’s a great opportunity – our fans and followers can post photos and videos of their volunteer work, their pets, their families, their trips. What better way to connect alumni with other alumni and with current students? What better way to start conversations among everyone with an interest in Bucknell?The challenge is the temptation to use these images for enforcement. We want to encourage personal growth, we want to engage students, alumni, and friends – but we don’t want to encourage behavior that might reflect poorly on the university. In five years, I see us moving away from the separate concepts of painting, drawing, audio, video, text, and photography and into a world of mashups – of synthesis. It’s an incredible time to be creative and innovative. It also calls into question the idea of intellectual property – can we create and own simultaneously?Education itself will change as gaming becomes a way to learn. Already some students are learning foreign languages idiomatically by playing World of Warcraft with foreign players. Flight simulators teach people how to fly without ever leaving the ground – and without the possibility of a truly fatal error. Innovative? Yes. But how do we channel that passion and creativity into a workday world that may not share the same values?
But perhaps one of our biggest future challenges may be the filter bubble – the algorithms that, more and more, show us only what we’re comfortable seeing, only the people who share our views. It’s like looking into a mirror that reflects a mirror that reflects a mirror … an endless gallery of “me.” It’s the antithesis of diversity. We need to develop tricks to break through this bubble and to learn more about the world outside.
That said, what can we do now to stay a step ahead of the social media game? Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind,” believes that we need to stop relying on one side of our brains. Instead, he suggests, we need to use both sides of our brain – our whole brain, if you will, a synthesis of right and left.In a way, we’ll be going back to the days when we looked at a tree limb and saw a tool. We’ll need to look at everything with new eyes – a beginner’s mind. Right now, we need to propose scenarios for the future – and think through the ethics involved. We need to develop true visual literacy – not just recognizing objects, but understanding what they mean in context, the way we distinguish now between propaganda and balanced writing. We need to build our creative muscles in every area so we can run with the future, not just chase after it.Innovation, passion, engagement, personal growth, ethical responsibility, collaboration, and diversity. Those are the qualities we need to carry into the future.
But that’s all in the future. What can we do to advance our mission now?We can seek out emerging platforms and begin to play with them, learn their strengths and weaknesses, find out who uses them and why. Social media is much more than Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. We need to seek out diversity.We can target specific content to specific platforms, just as we’ve targeted media outlets in the past, and going beyond rewriting information for Facebook and Twitter.We can become open to collaboration not just between students or within units, but between students, faculty, and staff and across departments, disciplines, and the entire university.We can engage our fans and followers by asking questions and encouraging them to tell their stories, to stoke the passion for education and for Bucknell.Finally, we can listen to what our fans and followers are saying and use that to inform our decisions about what we present and how we present it.I watched Bucknell’s video of physicist Brian Greene, who said, “It’s not enough to search for the solution. We have to think about the questions.”The more questions we ask ourselves and our communities today, the more answers we listen to, the more we work together, the easier it will be to advance our mission now and in the future.
Back to the Future<br />Laurie Creasy<br />September 19, 2011<br />
The first iPhone was unveiled by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007. -- Wikipedia<br />WASHINGTON, Wednesday, August 24, 2011 — Americans are relying more and more on social media, mobile technology and online news outlets to learn about ongoing disasters, seek help and share information about their well-being after emergencies, according to two new surveys conducted by the American Red Cross.<br />
the future<br />real vs ideal<br />Technology and ethics<br />visual vs text<br />mashupvs discrete<br />YouTube stats<br />gaming vs lecture<br />AimiEguchi<br />