Listening and Watching: The Future of Media

Computer History Museum
Ever since I stumbled on Faith Popcorn's book, The Popcorn Report, I realized I enjoy watching trends. I’ve read her other books and check in on her company, BrainReserve. (Be sure to check out trends for 2011, especially This Holiday Season Watch Your Digital Diet for current trend information.) I am looking forward to her forthcoming book, The ARK: The Ten Commandments of the New Marketing and Popcornography, a Futurist's View, Backward and Forward.

After my husband and I visited the Computer History Museum this past summer, I’ve been thinking about how fast media content delivery is changing.  Having listened to podcasts for years, I’ve seen improvements in the ease of getting audio content onto portable devices. However, it still seems cumbersome and time consuming to download content into iTunes and then sync it to an iPod or MP3 player.  The good news is now you can listen right on your computer. I’ve convinced a few friends and colleagues to give the experience a try. When I first started listening to MP3s on my old iRiver, I always wished I could sync content directly to my car. Hey look… the new 2012 Fords include your own Wifi hot spot. We are getting closer!

I have to admit that instead of syncing my iPhone to my computer to load content through iTunes, I’ve been using an app called InstaCast to automatically stream content. It works effortlessly and I can opt to download too. If I’m listening to a program, it even remembers where I stopped. It is possible to stream through iTunes as well, but it does not remember my place.

Small Internet broadcasting networks are beginning to take hold. Individuals are starting their own networks without the help of traditional media. Check out Leo Laport’s TWIT Network, Dan Benjamin’s 5By5, and Revision3 to name a few. I thought it interesting that Revision 3 posted an article about audience viewing habits, trends, and predictions: IPTV Research for 2011.

Content…content everywhere! The following are some of my recommended picks for listening:  Leo Laport and Tom Merrit on Triangulation interviewed Daniel Kottke who is known for being one of the earliest employees of Apple. Daniel Kottke added an interesting point of view while I was listening to Steve Job’s biography. The interview with Gordon Bell, engineer and Microsoft researcher, is also worth a listen. Interestingly, he was instrumental in starting the Computer History Museum

Apple I signed by Steve Wozniak
David Sparks and Katie Floyd, hosts of  Mac Power Users, have recently joined the 5by5 Network founded in 2009 by Dan Benjamin. Mac Power Users is a show for all you Mac geeks as it gets pretty techy. I enjoyed their interview with Michael Lopp, author of Rands in Repose, where they discuss the Apple technology he uses for his day job as well as his writing strategies.

In addition, Martha Stewart talks tech and was interviewed at Google by Marissa Mayer. (Did you notice Marissa is speaking January 12th at the Computer History Museum? KQED Radio will stream it on February 23rd, at 8:00pm PST). Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is now publishing magazines for the iPad, and the content available online is amazing. See her pictures from the interview here.

Happy trend watching and listening in 2012!


  1. Kacey,

    Here's a site related to your post called World Future Society http://www.wfs.org/

    The Goal Book site https://goalbookapp.com/ is another site worth checking out. I read about it in an ed/tech trend article. It reminds me of one of Bit By Bit's predictions about a year ago that we'd see a lot more inidividualized learning goals online and ways teachers could track them. I added it to the "Ed Sites" under "Additional Teacher Resources".


  2. Is it too much though? Technology is good, but it seems to be taking over our lives.

  3. Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for the comment. You ask a great question. I personally continue to try to strike this balance in both teaching and my personal life. We address this question in part in our upcoming post. For me, it's about knowing the tech that is available and then picking and choosing the tools that work for me at any given time. Sometimes it is high tech. Other times, it is no tech. Kevin Kelly's "What Technology Wants" is a great read that looks at this issue as well.

    Again, your comment and views are welcome here!