One medium, several media, and no! McLuhan is not at all obsolete, it is quite the contrary! It is not too late for the so-called experts to revisit it (this is a practice in Canada). Communications (plural) is a recent discipline of the 20th century that has not been deepened and this should be done now.
The art of communicating between individuals … However, this applies to different scales online, « on the web », because this interaction may be private but online; or public and online; or public and very open with tags and its associated keywords that give the interaction a certain its power and direction, sometimes desired but sometimes unwanted. We can therefore be pleasantly surprised or disappointed, or we can use strategy to « web-social-network » with efficiency, and communicate our message. If the set of communications is consistent and can penetrate a universe that has a real story, online and in real life, to discover progressively while contributing according to our desire, then we arrive at a transmedia communication that has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with the power of communication and the proper use of its multiple tools.
This dialectic formula seems more appropriate, with the phrase « online présence » there are all scales including interpersonal communication as well as marketing and public interactions, just being there « on the web » to be caught by any of us at any time, then abandoned, listed, commented and sometimes remixed.
The social web.
The formula that I started using two years ago (* 2011) still seems to be the most appropriate for my personal and professional opinion, regardless of academic research. By focusing on R&D and transdisciplinary, this formula takes into account the sociological aspects, semantics, semiotics, communications, media, technology, etc.
This expression seems to be the ideal formula for a classical point of view, but it reminds me of corporate communications and led to its square side. Online communication interaction can be a « push » when a company markets a product to consumers, or when a « ruling class » addresses a group in a paternalistic manner, or under the formulation of a BtoB campaign – business to business – it remains too professional and not very accessible to the general public.
Web and networks, a new « synchrony »
Yes, I use a lot of quotation marks! In the articles I am submitting to you readers, it helps to manage our language and mediate the online communication I am reaching out to you on the social web! With a target for online presence, and concern for self-expression and shared knowledge. This social and digital positioning is very much in line with current activism, and participatory democracy in its infancy. It spreads and restructures each time with entry points on online actions, which are used for experimentation in the “open culture”. Since the web is now more accessible to all, the practice of individuals is useful and applies to the entire population. we already know that my practice of « AR&D » , Applied Research and Development (?), is very useful to the new global economy. And here I use the term “international” instead of “global” on purpose and specifically to refer to international cooperation.
This term came to me with lively discussions with actors (comedians, « acteurs de théâtre ») in the vein of the practice of Stanislawsky which I enjoyed studying at Hunter College, City University of New York in 1986, with polish Professor Bogdan Trukan, who was amusingly speaking French while I was there to improve my English. The idea of synchronicity has pursued me until I read the work of Jean-François Vézina, Canadian psychologist and author, and this of course led me to read Jung. Vézina is approaching psychology with the artistic discipline of cinema, and this is a useful tip I have been using a lot! These two disciplines together, film and psychology, have served me extremely in my approach to digital communication. Imagine adding the discipline of music … I quickly found the term synchronicity with the web pioneers to finally have the pleasure of reading the last book by Daniel Goleman which fortunately makes it a little more formal for the discipline of emotional intelligence and social intelligence. I am interested in those two parallel and complementary disciplines: the practice of online social networks in terms of technology,
and that of the point of view of human communications,
creating two forms of synchronicity, one from computer programming and the other from human expression and perception.
Regarding the term perception, I stand strong with it because it is a term I got from the theory of communications which seems more appropriate than the term « reception » used by French researchers for the reception of artistic works by the public. Having also studied cultural mediation, I make a difference between perception and reception as I distinguish between the synchrony of computer codes and the synchrony of human thoughts expressed in an online conversation and social networks.
Do not be afraid of vocabulary!
The purpose of this dialectic is to have fun with words to defeat the fears about the practice of transdisciplinarity, an inescapable (unavoidable) practice. We did not take for granted the warnings from the great Edgar Morin… My approach is a reaction to the far too many bad practices, especially in France, for which we will never have enough time to explain and analyze. My analysis is based on very long-term observations, as in medical research, and practical experiments, such as in medical research laboratories. This is my « AR&D » in my Think&Do Tank. I talk about the pharmaceutical discipline on purpose because this topic will be developed and it is very much a current trendy topic in innovation. It includes the approach of transhumanism and the use of technological tools in biotech, and the development of certain (“de pointe”) economic sectors (this is written in 2011…).
To conclude with dialectics and « AR&D »…
Academic researchers are very separated from the business world, especially in France. People are teaching new disciplines with no materials and references, most of the time researchers have not been having a career or a professional role, and do not put their hands in the dirt (I have happily found some exceptions confirming this rule with its rarety). This addresses another societal issue. We knew this would happen but I have found that the formal and informal rules of academia make this obscure and poor, bringing poorly documented work and unverified knowledge to an unemployed population who do not know where to find labels of quality.
Analyzing bad practices is the only current solution in transmedia communication and the social web, to analyze and create methodologies and make recommendations. Analyzing one’s mistakes has always been the way of progress for human beings.
Labeling the quality is probably the next niche. Startuppers and politicians, on your marks!
My champions for this article: Edgar Morin – Brian Clark – Stuart Ewen