Essay #2- Printing Press or the Internet?
The Printing Press and the Internet both have given mankind the ability to communicate ideas and information faster. The printing press was first created between the years 1041 to 1048 in China, and it wasn’t until 1450 that Johannes Gutenberg invented the moveable type printing press in Europe (Wikipedia Contributors). The Printing Press lead to the sharp rise of medieval learning and literacy amongst the middle class, as books were now much cheaper and not something that only the rich could afford (Wikipedia contributors). People were now able to share their ideas and information much faster and to more people, through the communication was one sided. Someone could read your book, but there could not instantly communicate back to you. For this exact reason I believe that the Internet had a bigger impact on the world. The Internet has endless possibilities of growth compared to the printing press, which has essentially stayed the same since it’s creation.
The Internet has become a place where people can not only communicate with people across the global, but they can also receive feedback on their work instantly. The communication that the Internet provides is like a two way street, allowing your viewer to interact with the content’s creator. Also unlike like a book, which needs to be printed multiple times in order to reach a larger audience, one blog post has the ability to reach millions.
While the book has stayed fundamentally the same over hundreds of years, the Internet has rapidly evolved in the span of a couple of decades. Unlike the book, which is a text based medium that sometimes uses imagery, the Internet is able to communicate with it’s audience with also video. People can upload videos online and share events that are happening that moment, or post their vlogs on YouTube. PewDiePie, who’s real name is Felix Kjelberg, is a YouTube star who currently has the most subscribed Youtube channel with over 14 million subscribers. On his channel he simply uploads videos of himself playing video games each day and millions of people watch. It’s because of the Internet that millions of people know his name. There are many other YouTuber’s who have gained worldwide fame because of the Internet.
Besides videos being posted just for fun, social media has allowed people to show others important social events happening in their countries. “When the Iranian government shut off all outgoing communication channels, a revolution within the country was made known to the world via Twitter” (Qualman 10). Social Media also helped relief for Haiti as donations were received through texts and digital applications (Qualman 10). “Disasters from the flu to fires, and terrorist attacks to earthquakes, are being tracked and disseminated to mainstream news more quickly than ever” (Qualman 10). Even the first photo of the US Airways plane that landed in the Hudson River was uploaded to Twitter (Qualman 10).
Social media has caused a change in the typical business model as companies are shifting from the traditional marketing strategies to social media marketing (Qualman 10). Ford tried a different approach to marketing with their Fiesta Movement, where they gave one hundred European-specification Fiestas to digital influencers for six months (Qualman 10). This yielded amazing results for the company, where they required that the people they gave the car to just, do what they usually do on a day-to-day basis (Qualman 10). So the people did just that by tweeting, blogging, posting videos and photos, and telling everyone of their experience with the Fiesta (Qualman 10). Their content was unfiltered and uncensored and Ford saw the results (Qualman 10). “Over 7 million views of their YouTube videos, 750,000 views of their Flickr photos, more than 125,000 hand raisers on FiestaMovement.com, 11,000 vehicle reservations, and an awareness rate of 60 percent-equal to that of vehicles that have been in the market for two to three years” (Qualman 5). All of this was accomplished through social media via the Internet.
While the printing press did have an impact on the world, the Internet has changed the world and will continue to evolve and advance while printed books can only stay the same. The Internet is not only apart of our everyday lives but has also changed the traditional business model and it will continue to have a more prominent role has technology advances.
Wikipedia contributors. “Internet.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet>.
Wikipedia contributors. “Printing Press.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press>.
Qualman, Erik. Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and DoBusiness. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2011. Print.