Past, Present and Future of the Third Media Revolution

The Obama Moment
Rise of the Conversation Society

January 20th, 2009

On this historic Inauguration Day, we are happy to present Peter Leyden’s full-length essay “The Obama Moment”, which was the basis for a key chapter in the brand-new book “Me the Media”, forthcoming in February. On Inauguration Day Peter will be twittering as peteleyden.

“Me the Media”, from the author team Jaap Bloem, Menno van Doorn, Sander Duivestein and Peter Leyden, deals with the past, present and future of our so-called “Third Media Revolution.”

Implementing “We the People” Anew
Since the mid 19th century countless innovations have sprung up from American soil, in particular those related to technology and media. With Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States the change that web media can create, is being further satisfied. For example, during the campaign at, YouTube and Facebook, and later at amongst others, his messages were resonating and swelling in a genuinely democratic way. Through web media Barack Obama was able to deliberately implement “We the People” anew, so that each and every individual who chooses to can participate in a variety of ways.

From Conversation Economy to Conversation Society
It is along these lines that the world is moving ahead from the well-known concept of the Conversation Economy to a Conversation Society, which is the ultimate consequence, if not goal, of what is referred to in the “Me the Media” book as the Third Media Revolution.

From Mass Media to Media Mass
The old, trusted mass media have been absorbed by the new Media Mass in which we all participate as individuals and consumers. After the printing press and movable type, and after the electronic mass media of radio and TV, the modern era of the Web is the Third great Media Revolution undergone by humanity. This sweeping wave has far-reaching consequences: for business, for society, for technology, and for us.

Hyperegos Drive the Third Media Revolution
In this Me-Media dynamics composites of digital alter egos are rapidly becoming an accepted form of personal and brand identity. They increasingly form the basis of the social and economic activity in which individuals, organizations, and government engage. The Third Media Revolution e-mancipates physical identities to the “Hyperego” level: the digital me’s we know so well from CNN’s iReport, iGoogle, iPhone, myBarackObama, YouTube and the like. All are hyperlinked and super active on the Web, involving citizens, brands, companies and politicians.

Test Laboratory
The coming decades will see us intimately and physically interconnected within our own web by means of ordinary hardware and software, but subsequently also via biochemistry (“wetware”) and nanotech. In this way, life will become one enormous test laboratory for the further development of humanity.

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