Tuesday, December 13, 2011

People Planet Me!

So, back in the summer time, I was contacted by a journalist, Lynn Ginsburg, about doing an interview about Marshall McLuhan, which I agreed to (a fact that probably would not surprise you, unless you are new to Blog Time Passing).

So, it turns out that Lynn was launching a new, online magazine called PeoplePlanet.me, which is also a URL, PeoplePlanet.me (and yeah, you can click on it and go take a look, and if you're that impatient, you can do it now, or wait until I'm done, I won't be too long).  This is one of the first examples I've come across of someone using the ".me" domain name, which is relatively new.  Over on http://www.domain.me they write

why .me?

Because it is useful, meaningful and memorable, but most importantly .Me represents untapped resource of branding power and you want your online presence personalized ASAP

But I digress.  We were talking about PeoplePlanet.me magazine, and here's a sneak preview of what it looks like (assuming you haven't already clicked on the link and gone to see for yourself):

And here's something of how they describe themselves from their About page:

PeoplePlanet.me is a magazine devoted to exploring the next Wave of the Web: P2P and Social Networking. PeoplePlanet’s aim is to entertain, discover and inform how the technology and applications of social networking and P2P are rapidly and radically changing global society in the 21stcentury. While most magazines that cover these topics are dedicated to the technology behind it, or news about specific file sharing or social media sites, we’re fascinated with something entirely different: examining the impact the new medium is having on our identities, and our day to day lives. Our audience is both P2P and social networking devotees, as well as anyone intrigued with where this next iteration of the Web is taking us. We intend to explore the organic changes springing from the technology of P2P and social networking that are already shaping our lives, such as:

How is it affecting social interactions, both on and offline? How is it affecting globalization, in terms of cultures, friendships, economies, governments, etc.? Can P2P and social networking serve as a catalyst to successfully provoke political change in oppressive governments? How do P2P economies work, and how do they mesh with real world economies? Is P2P actually good for those who depend on copyright law, and is it superior for the content providers than old media models? Does social networking create new global affiliations and loyalties that transcend borders? How will nation states react when those borders in some sense become irrelevant in a virtual environment?

Sounds pretty promising, don't you think?

And here's the opening of the Welcome page for the first issue, as written by Lynn Ginsburg, who by the way is listed as the Editor-In-Chief of PeoplePlanet.me magazine:

Welcome to the inaugural issue of PeoplePlanet.me Magazine. We’ll be bringing you entertainment features, thought pieces, and news and views with each issue that covers how the relatively new technologies of P2P and Social Networking are changing our planet.

In this first issue, perhaps one of the keys to understanding how this new technology will have a profound impact on our day to day lives is in our article on Marshall McLuhan. McLuhan was a visionary who not only predicted the creation of the world wide web, but also future iterations of it, including technologies such as P2P and social networking. His predictions continue to unfold as to what exactly that will mean to each of us as individuals. 

From here, she goes on to talk about the other articles included in this issue, and of course you can read all about it over there. But of course, the McLuhan article is of particular interest here at Blog Time Passing, as you no doubt have already surmised...

So, let's just scroll down and look at the beginning of the article, shall we?   It's by Lynn Ginsburg again, and it starts out like this:

Marshall McLuhan had both the fortune and misfortune of being born 40 years too early—he never got to surf the Web he predicted 30 years before its creation. McLuhan was once a controversial figure for his writings and predictions about the future of communications. But he is now fairly widely acknowledged as a prescient genius, who among other things accurately predicted the rise of what would become the Internet, and the effect that media would have on globalization.

And most importantly, he predicted that the effect of the technology itself—not the content the medium carried—would have the greater impact on worldwide society. His most famous saying was “The Medium is the Message,” which to many of his contemporaries sounded like a catchy meaningless jingle. Whereas to anyone living in the modern world, and familiar with the rise of the Internet and its constantly evolving iterations, it sounds like a prophecy continuing to unfold before us.

 Now, you may be saying, that's very nice, but I heard it all before, to which I would respond with, but wait, there's more!

McLuhan’s many “prophecies” of this sort were always difficult to unravel–even among his contemporary peers–more like Zen koans than a widely accessible theory. So for insight into McLuhan’s almost eerie prediction of the future—today, and yet to come–we spoke with one of the foremost experts on McLuhan and his works, Lance Strate, Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, and author of several books on McLuhan’s theories,as well as co-editor of several anthologies, including The Legacy of McLuhan and Communication and Cyberspace: Social Interaction in an Electronic Environment.

So, now you know what the point off all this has been (after all, this blog is all about .me).  And I'll just leave off with that introduction.  I know you're used to me pasting in the entire article here so you don't have to read it over there, but don't you think maybe you're getting a little spoiled, hmmm?  And in any event, this time I'd like you to go on over to PeoplePlanet.me and read it there, if you wouldn't mind.  Here, here's the link:  It's the Medium Stupid!  And maybe you could leave a comment, there already are a few, but the more the merrier! 

Will PeoplePlanet.me become the next big online periodical, along the lines of Salon, or Slate, or Wired, or CNET?  It's hard to say, but if they do, you can say you were there when it all began!

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