It’s not quite 1984 yet, in an Orwellian sense, not chronologically speaking, but technology is certainly advancing to a degree where the term science faction is permeating the development of some of the gadgets and gizmos that are out on the market. In this category you could expect to find a spherical hardwood wireless computer mouse, a photo frame that is a printer and stereo in one and a mobile phone that costs a grand and a half that functions as a computer, sat nav, camera, and lo and behold – as a telephone.
To keep up with the latest offerings from the science faction factory, we are turning to high tech technology for world news and product reviews. For any of you that are familiar with Warren Ellis’s Transmetropolitan, we are living in a similar eerie era of semi science fiction. Information is no longer reaching the general public in the pages of a broadsheet, or even over the airwaves of a British Broadcasting Corporation channel. Today’s news, views and reviews are being received by satellite and cable technology that outputs RSS newsfeeds and podcasts through mobile phone technology and the internet.
Video reviews are currently the favoured format for advertising and marketing as well as being used to full effect in online social networking. This choice of presentation has the advantage of being up loadable to mobile phones, media players and computers for a quick hit at home or on the move. The medium of video reviews is suited to a throwaway infomercial style of presentation, and the beauty of it is that being able to produce one is within the reach of anyone that can press a button.
Mobile phones for example are capable of recording video footage, and although the quality is generally pretty low, it is good enough to upload to a blog or you tube account. Often the content is the filmmaker’s commentary or opinion on a subject or an event. A quick scan of the search pages on the internet will invariably provide video footage as a way of presenting whatever information it is you are after. The reason for this is the accessibility of the medium of video recording and the flexibility of platforms for presentation through digital netwrorks.
Video reviews on topics as diverse as how to cook the perfect pancake to what a person really thinks of the latest x-box release are available to the information hungry public. Often, the video format is used to spread news of a natural disaster or a compromising political situation. In this light, the ability to create a video review means that everyone that owns a mobile phone is a potential journalist or filmmaker.
This has invariably had a knock on effect in the publishing industry and journalism in particular. In an era that is now rapidly coming to a close, the average reporter or journalist was privy to information that others could not seek out, and the definite advantage was in the way the information would be presented. A journalist would have to be either employed by a newspaper to be able to publish material, or have access to a broadcast team to appear on the television. The new era we find ourselves in has taken the upper hand away from the professionals, and it seems that the public enjoy a more accessible and varied view of the world on every topic through the medium of video news and reviews.