This title of this post was inspired by C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It has nothing to do with the book or the movie, but I just liked the “jingle” of it.
Well to me there isn’t just one race happening. There are too many to count, but a couple of the main races I see involve replacing the old order of things. Newspapers, TV advertising and basically any old way of trying to grab attention are all going by the way side. Lots of things are trying to take their place.
I’m shocked by all the new ventures popping up. The local directories, the news aggregators and the organizational taxonomies are trying to replace local media outlets. This race seems very sloppy to me because the race is into the unknown.
When I worked in financial services they always used the buggy whip analogy. The mass production of automobiles changed the buggy whip industry forever. Those who stayed in the old model perished, while those who adapted and changed won- until now at least.
Well somebody still has to get all the attention that used to go to TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and the like. Who will it be? To me it seems much more natural for the social media tools and communities to take the place of the old media, but only the future will tell.
Usually the term gap is more commonly used. There is a “gap” in where we are versus where we want to be. Gap is far too weak to describe what we’re entering now. I would call it a chasm. A technical training and digital information chasm. Much of the population is on one side and a smaller percentage is on the other. I still meet people who are on dial up. I know people who don’t use ATM or debit cards. I have friends and family members that don’t have a cell phone much less an iphone or blackberry. I know people who aren’t comfortable using the computer or Internet much less cloud based tools or social media applications.
The problem is that they will have no choice soon. What happens when they just stop developing film at Walmart or Walgreens? What happens when desktop software is virtually non existent? (When’s the last time that you physically bought software on a CD?) What happens when the local newspaper goes digital or even worse goes under? I think about my grandmother and other family members. If you sneeze on many local papers they would disintegrate.
This huge gap in training presents massive challenges. If the news is coming to us via Twitter, through blogs and within online communities; what about those who are not there yet? These mediums are cheaper, faster and more efficient at capturing attention and disseminating information, therefore I don’t believe they’re going away. So what happens to all those on the wrong side of the chasm. How do we get them to the other side? It won’t be much fun if they’re not involved. It won’t be very effective for companies and organizations trying to communicate with them either. This leads to my last point.
So there is the huge chasm in techical training, digital coaching and delivery systems. What do we do? I don’t think sending a whole country of baby boomers, grandparents and even some generation xer’s back to school is the answer. It has to be much quicker than that.
The speed of progress is so fast. Even if you’re in it and understand, it still makes your head spin. Imagine if a computer, a digital camera, a cell phone and getting online frighten you to death, how much more intimidating to get on Twitter?
If you come up with a great idea, product, service or cause; you might want to put at least half your focus on equipping the masses to use it. I don’t know many good examples but the Apple store comes to mind.