Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Theory of Traditional and "Social" Media

Media has always been social. People have an instinctive need for shared narratives and experiences at a broader societal level than they can get from directly shared experience. Media has filled those instinctive needs since the dawn of history [1], from the Great Flood (mediated by the Bible) to the non-flood of New York City during Hurricane Irene [2]. Before writing we had storytelling and cave drawings, minstrels and town criers.

Somewhere along the line large media companies arose, and confused creating and distributing experiences with creating and distributing content [3].

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Importance of the MPG UI Paradigm

It makes computing accessible. It appeals to our intuitive senses. Where in the real world have you ever seen a WIMP interface? Maybe in your file cabinet, at best. WIMP is like doing everything with buttons and levers whose experience is disconnected from their effects. MPG is like manipulating the world directly. This is why kids get it so quickly, why it's so much more enjoyable than WIMP.

Apple realized this breakthrough, not just with the iPhone but with the iPod, whose controls were already gesture based (albeit with only two gestures). Previous to the iPhone, touch screen phone UIs were just WIMP based interfaces in which a stylus or finger replaced the mouse as pointer.