Content on Shuffle

I want to explore how we discover and experience content. The intersection of search, curation and sharing under the umbrella of discovery is fascinating and constantly changing. How does it impact how we interpret the world around us and how we learn? And how does the digital world affect how we socialize and share our experiences with others?

Growing up I listened to records, watched live television, listened to live radio, read a morning or afternoon paper, watched movies in a theater and read the magazines available at the local drug or bookstore. Content was relatively scarce and distribution highly controlled. I quickly gravitated to books and music because I could control and curate my own experience.

Sharing content was difficult, but we all shared the experience, gathered around the TV at the same time. We all watched the same movies and shows and heard much of the same music. Curation was often top down. Rigid TV schedules. Highly formatted radio stations. Mass media was exactly that. Content created and curated for mass audiences.

In the 80s and 90s things began to change with the broad proliferation of cable channels, the Sony Walkman and the adoption of VCRs and DVD players among other things. Choice multiplied and so did the number of devices in any household. The common familial, social experience of media was giving way to individual experience. Not only was there more content, we could share it more easily, copying and trading music, movies and TV shows.

Today content is ubiquitous. Distribution is ubiquitous and often confusing. Our individual media experiences are unique and generally self-curated. With millions of websites, thousands of digitized songs, hundreds of DVDs, our phones, ipods and ipads filled with apps, games, music, books, movies and TV shows, plus hours of programming recorded from hundreds of channels on DVRs, how do we provide context? How do we discover and curate great media experiences?

It’s now a world of content on shuffle. So many amazing media experiences are immediately available on a multitude of platforms. We have amazing tools to share and recommend to our friends, families and social media acquaintances. How has this all redefined sharing? How has it redefined us? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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