Futurology fan that I am, I’m loving the work of William Gibson – the guy who invented the term ‘cyberspace’ and the cyberpunk fiction genre. His new novel, Spook Country, is published this week by Viking.
I was also intrigued to see an interview with him in the current issue of New Media Age. And to see that he’s a big fan of social networking.
Here’s a quick quote:
NMA: You’ve been quoted as saying, “The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed.” What current technological cultures currently interest you most and why?
William Gibson: Social networking. Individuals are now mediating themselves, something that wasn’t possible before. Mediating previously was like building nuclear weapons: It’s very expensive and you’re not going to be doing it in your bedroom. Home-built media personae may not be very powerful yet, but they will be.
Subscribers can see the full article here.
The key word here is individuals. Individuals are mediating themselves. Not companies. Companies have always done that, in one form or another. Individual media personae are more authentic, trusted, and in keeping with the times.
That doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the phenomenon. Authors, and even some individual publishers, are making full, authentic use of the new medium. And there is a half-way position of individual products having their own social media persona (or MySpace page / Facebook Group). Niche books can find niche audiences this way. It’s all possible, powerful permission-based marketing. It’s just not very evenly distributed yet.
More on Gibson over on booktwo and a new favourite of mine, plausible futures.