watching? Two hundred billion hours, in the U.S. alone, every year.
Put another way, now that we have a unit, that's 2,000 Wikipedia projects a
year spent watching television. Or put still another way, in the
U.S., we spend 100 million hours every weekend, just watching the ads.
The physics of participation is much more like the physics of weather
than it is like the physics of gravity. We know all the forces that
combine to make these kinds of things work: there's an interesting
community over here, there's an interesting sharing model over
there, those people are collaborating on open source software. But
despite knowing the inputs, we can't predict the outputs yet because
there's so much complexity.
The normal case of
social software is still failure; most of these experiments don't
pan out. But the ones that do are quite incredible
It's better to do
something than to do nothing. Even lolcats, even cute
pictures of kittens made even cuter with the addition of cute
captions, hold out an invitation to participation. When you
see a lolcat, one of the things it says to the viewer is, "If you have some sans-serif fonts on your computer, you can play
this game, too." And that's message--I can do that, too--is a big change.
media is actually a triathlon, it 's three
different events. People like to consume, but they also like to
produce, and they like to share.
Here's something four-year-olds know: A screen that ships without a mouse ships
broken. Here's something four-year-olds know: Media that's targeted at you but doesn't include you may not
be worth sitting still for. Those are things that make me believe that this is a one-way change. Because four year olds, the
people who are soaking most deeply in the current environment, who won't have to go through the trauma that I have to go
through of trying to unlearn a childhood spent watching Gilligan's
Island, they just assume that media
includes consuming, producing and sharing.