Convergence is happening. That is the future of convergence. It has been happening since man figured out how to get the cave drawings off the wall and on to paper so they could bring their images on the road during their nomadic wanderings. Media is just how humans interact with each other. It has been an evolutionary process that has been accelerated at lightning speed in the last fifty years.
Jenkins credits ‘media prophet’ Ithiel de Sola Pool for having an understanding of that convergence entails, beyond the inevitability of change, transition and an attempt to find a natural level like water.
“Convergence does not mean ultimate stability or unity. It operates as a constant force for unification but always in dynamic tension with change. There is no immutable law of growing convergence; the process is more complicated than that.
Looking towards the next fifty years, it’s important to consider which formats will survive and thrive. Newspapers, radio, telephone, film, television, cable/satellite tv, cell phone, the internet, world wide web, all of these are inventions of the last 200 years. Each takes an element of its predecessor and builds on it, moves things a little further down the line. A physical newspaper will someday be an anomaly if not a flat out memory.
Eventually it was the availability of information on the internet that will do to newspapers what they feared from radio, movies and television. News organizations will survive. By habit they still will be referred to as newspapers long after the physical newspaper is gone. The best thing they can do to adapt to the changing times is to hire a talented reporter like myself. Look back at the power of newspapers over the last 200 years and consider that everything is now upside down. What will knock the internet off its perch in 200 years. Will it even last that long?
Clearly the politicians and their supporters have gotten in the game. This example shows how both sides can co-opt what is probably one of the more popular phrases associated with social media.
The only key to survival is adaptability. Newspapers television stations, entertainment companies have all failed and in many cases, technology had nothing to do with it. People can and will still fail on their own merit. But all we need is a good idea. Pair that with someone else's good idea and you're like Thomas Edison makin' dem lightbulbs!