We tend to take most things in life on face value. The earth is round, the universe is expanding, the internet is slow, but improving. This slow progression and acceptance of our ‘realities’ also tends to stop us from seeing what’s just around the corner. An example:
Imagine if television in the 1950′s evolved the same way that the internet has. What if TV in its infancy was little more than radio with text – much like the early stages of the web. What if television started with many, many channels but they all offered slow text, perhaps a few graphics. Over time, maybe ten years or more the television broadcast networks evolved to allow some blinking graphics, then motion graphics via flash files that allowed you to see moving images accompanied with text. How powerful a medium would TV have been up to that point. Would it have consumed our lives the way it has? Would it become the focal point of our entertainment, our advertising, our news consumption?
With the Internet today we are close (but not quite there) to where television started over fifty years ago. Video is widely viewable today online around the world but the experience varies considerably. That will change over the next few years as good or great quality video will be delivered to any screen you want it on (tv, computer, mobile devise). When that happens this will have a profound effect on how business communicate and evolve. Like the frog in the slowly warming pot of water, many businesses won’t even notice the change.
What makes the impact that much more significant is that all of the televisions are connected, everyone is creating their own television shows and you can watch what you want, wherever and whenever you want. Context is everything and the companies that win in this game will be the companies that can produce contextually relevant video products for their audiences. Content that has real value (not commercials), content that people want to share and content that changes how people see and do things.
No, text isn’t going away (in spite of the recent pain in the print industry) in our lifetime but we are entering a time where new visual languages, graphic interfaces and video content will change how businesses communicate.