Disruption

During gaps (mental or otherwise) I am thinking about ‘disruption’. I come across this term usually when I see articles or TV shows on the ride sharing service Uber and its impact on traditional taxi companies. And when I say ‘TV’ this is another example of disruption as I watch TV on YouTube or Netflix mostly or sometimes on an app that hooks into my cable service. I keep cable at the moment as there are some shows not yet on YouTube or Netflix or Crave or Shomi.

Ok, let’s get this mental train back on track.  I have assembled a list of …. how do I say this?  Disruptions? Some are software, one or two are people…. well here is the list as updated this morning so you can see what I mean:

Über

Ebooks

iTunes

Indie music on YouTube

Smartphone revolutions: as in Arab Spring

Edward Snowden

Banking – see Diane Francis article in NP

Bitcoin

Hallé orchestra

Buzzfeed

Mohawk nation

(Do you like the umlaut on Uber – shouldn’t be there, but I couldn’t resist)

 

The disruptive technique (there’s the term!) that prompted this post was reading a three year old article about BuzzFeed.  I read news every day: online newspapers using an app on my iPhone or iPad and of course things do pop up on Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, email, etc. etc. I was not, however, familiar with BuzzFeed except where posts such as ‘Dogs who sing while eating sushi’ pop up on my Facebook feed.  A while back, however, I watched an episode of  a favourite interview show on YouTube – The Agenda with Steve Paikin – where the future (if any) of journalism was discussed by two journalists and a journalism professor. One of the journalists on the panel was a young woman who worked for BuzzFeed.  This was the first time I was aware that BuzzFeed also did journalism of the sort one finds in newspapers or news magazines. That was a few months ago. For some unknown reason, this morning while eating breakfast and reading the National Post on my iPad I decided to research BuzzFeed. I couldn’t find a wikipedia article (no point in trying to find anything in a legacy encyclopedia – whatever academics such as myself (I have a PhD in History) might think of Wikipedia it covers and gives an overview of far more topics than any ‘proper’ encyclopedia. Hmmmm… I had better add Wikipedia to my disruption list.

Here again is the article URL:  http://nymag.com/news/features/buzzfeed-2013-4/

As I read through, I was firstly fascinated with the way the mind of the creator of BuzzFeed (Jonah Peretti) works and secondly how BuzzFeed combines silliness with good journalism. Now, I don’t usually combine silliness with my writing, though my tone in person delights in silliness combined with serious comment. More interestingly to me anyway, was the realization that Mr. Peretti’s mind works pretty much as mine does. I was born too late to be a software engineer and am Math challenged anyway. But my ‘nearly ready for its first version multimedia prose poem’ (catching breath) The Man who fell from the Sky began with exactly the same mindset and continues that way today. Even after ‘publication’ I will modify it on the fly as ideas occur to me. At some point I am also considering making it open access and allowing others to add pieces, change things, whatever occurs to them. I am traditional enough to want creative credit and perhaps to make a few bucks from it. When I say ‘a few bucks’ that is really what I mean. I am not one of those fakers for whom ‘a few bucks’ means millions or at least tens of thousands. I will be surprised and happy if I sell one copy and make two or three dollars.

Anyway, I have been mulling over for a year or so writing something on disruption. Maybe what I will do is a series of blog posts that I might at some point put up for 99 cents on iBooks as a book (of sorts).

 

Here is instalment  #1! (see above – or in front of you).

 

(Maybe I will do podcasts too…. hmmmmm)

Anyway I must stop procrastinating and return to my paid job for the rest of the day….

Ciao!

Ted

 

 

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