Jeff Jarvis at VON

I sat down on the front row as I always do at conferences  so I can see emotion on faces. By the way I am at VON, Video on the Net, new to me. Next to me is a tall thin man in a gray suit. “Hi, I’m Jeff Jarvis, blogger.” So noted. Later that afternoon this fellow presents a media manifesto. I was stunned. Many of the ideas reminded me of what I felt when I taught the Marshall McLuhan class for digital artists in San Francisco. I had Eric McLuhan down and we probed the ultimate nature of digital media. But Jarvis was new, declarative and very sure about what pots need be stirred to realize IP media as it comes forth from the other end of broadcasting. Certainty conflicts with Art appreciation, so I hope he cuts his students some slack when they study media.

When I realized what he stood for, I wanted to open a new channel on mobile IP media. How 4G will complete the wireless internet – media with legs, mobile senses and the mobile arts.  For mobile IP will be a more disruptioin than vlogs are to broadcast distribution. The key difference is this. Broadcast towers speak; cellular towers listen.

The  premiere media blogger summed up the modern Internet media making audience succinctly – “Content is not a finished thing until it is part of the conversation”. Or even better.

If you give people control they will use it.

If you don’t you lose them. – Jeff Jarvis

Jeff Jarvis is an emerging thinker and educator in emerging Internet media, now associate professor at City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. His zetetic trek across old and new media is first rate reading.

And then I met Andrew Baron of Rocketboom and we talked for quite a spell. What impressed me most about both was their insistance on sharing and teaching what they know. Here! this is how I built my vlog, this is how I built my station, these are my tools – go do it and let’s build the next Internet community together.  These kinds of personalities and character traits are how you launch technology revolutions.

And my experience at VON – illuminating, proking, and worth the time spent. Like all great conferencese, it is a Classic Rendezvous – as Michener described in Centennial where the mountain men – traders, explorers, and scouts shared maps, bragged about their new technology (guns, traps and boats) and mixed it with great social fun. And Video On the Net is certainly an enormous frontier whose discovery will cause great changes in civilization.


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