I’d like to step way back and look at the big picture of where we are today. To use a cliché, this isn't a "30,000-foot view". Rather it's more like the view from the moon.
Johannes Gutenberg invention of mechanical movable type printing in about 1439 was the most important communications breakthrough in history. It meant books could be mass produced, rather than painstakingly copied by hand. It meant ordinary people could refer to things in books, like laws, that used to have to be committed to memory.
The printing press created the first communications revolution by freeing people from memorizing information which allowed them to use brainpower to create things instead. At the same time, this first communications revolution (which took many decades) meant that large numbers of people became literate, raising living standards along the way.
The second most important communication revolution in history
556 years later, in 1995, the second most important communications revolution took off. I choose 1995 because it was the year Netscape went public on the success of Netscape Navigator the first popular product to allow people easy Internet connections and Web browsing.
I talk about it in this short clip. My friend Chris Brogan pointed out that I ended the clip abruptly. True. The clip was taken from my new speaking highlight reel. The entire video is about 8 minutes and is here if you want to check it out: Marketing and Leadership Speaker David Meerman Scott.
We're fortunate to be living in this time in history. We're actually living through an important revolution.
I figure we're about half way through this second communications revolution. The first 17 years or so were fast paced and things changed very quickly. Adoption went from a few million people online to billions. But things are still changing, as many organizations aren't truly communicating in real-time yet.
You are what you publish
The next few decades will see continuation of the revolution. Are you a supporter of the revolution? Or do you support the old regime?