I'm tag-teaming today, as I did yesterday, with my partner in crime (and husband) Ethan Zuckerman to liveblog the 2009 iteration of the fabulous Pop!Tech conference in Camden, Maine. You can read about today's events at the Pop!Tech blog, or via the Pop!Tech 2009 tag at Ethan's blog and via the Pop!Tech 2009 category here on this blog.
If you're new to Velveteen Rabbi, welcome. Here's some information about me, and here's my comments policy. Enjoy the conference posts -- not my usual fare, but hopefully interesting. (And to longtime readers: never fear, I'll return to my usual subject matter in a few days.)
"He's a deep thinker about the future of media," says Andrew Zolli. "We thought it would be potentially worthwhile for you to see just how far we've come, in terms of the media and the internet, so we'd like to show you an actual early report from the early 1980s -- one of the first experiments in the space."
We're shown a video in which a news reporter posits that someday we might sit down to read our morning paper on the computer -- "it's not as far-fetched as it might seem," the anchorwoman says, and the whole room laughs. We see someone dialing an old-fashioned rotary telephone hooked up to a modem, and the voiceover explains how the newspaper (without pictures, ads, or comics) can be sent through the phone lines into someone's television set! "We're not in it to make money," says someone from the SF Chronicle (which draws some knowing laughter from the room.)
"This is only the first step in newspapers over computer," says the voiceover -- someday, he predicts, we might get all of our news via computer! "It takes over two hours to receive the entire text edition of the paper," adds the anchorwoman. Ah, the 1980s.