I recently stumbled onto ed4wb. It’s a brilliant blog focused on education. In a post titled Insulat-Ed he presents a couple of info graphics to describe the shift in the education paradigm. The point is that a value chain model of education that evolved in an information scarce society is withering away in an information rich society.
With a little reframing, I think it helps clarify the mystery of how Print as a media creates value and where it sits vs the internet.
The two graphics are pasted below
Learning in a value chain economy
Clay Christensen has described how value chain commercial models are being replaced by facilitated user network commercial models. The graphic below gives a picture of a user network educational model. But I think it can be equally applied to emerging commercial models.
Learning in a facilitated user network economy
The circle created by the yellow circles can be thought of as a small group, a niche market, group of customers, a classroom, a retail store or a website. On a general level it might be described as a community of interest. In the real world, communities of interest are always in motion. Members engage, disengage, and re-engage. The motion happens in time.
But an often ignored fact is that motion is movement through space. When I’m at Costco I want advertising. When I’m watching TV at home, I don’t. When “people like me” stop at Starbucks, it’s often a good time to read that brochure in the counter rack or glance at that paperback I’m carrying in my back pocket. When I grab a coffee from a street vendor, all I want is my regular and be on my way.
Space/time is a construct that tries to capture the reality that communities of interest move through time and space. The area within the yellow circles in the second diagram might be thought of as a specific space/time. They say that marketing success comes from the right message to the right person at the right time. I think that if you add “in the right form” and replace the “right time” with the right space/time, it helps clarify the role of print.
Print is the best media to insert information into space/time because it exists in space, but stops time. The internet delivers information on a tiny screen or a moving display. Print delivers information on as large a canvass as appropriate. But whatever the delivery format, it sits still. It’s much easier to consider information if it sits still. Compare and contrast is best in print. Compare and contrast is at the heart of logical thinking. Logical thinking is the hard part of learning.
As any magazine publisher can tell you, an ad in print sits still waiting until the user is ready to engage. The lowly postcard, refrigerator magnet or printed advertising specialty enters the users space/time that is represented by the circle of yellow circles in the diagram. .
There is lots of blablabla about the speed of the web and twittering in cyberspace. But what has been long considered the bug of Print may turn out to be its unique feature. Once the issue of speed of responsiveness has been solved with new digital and improved offset technology, customization of information has been taken off the table. Aside from motion, anything that can be delivered to the screen can be delivered in Print.
But, unlike the web, once words and pictures are delivered in Print they can hang around long enough so that sooner or later they will be noticed. If it’s the right information in the right form for the right space/time, learning can happen and new behavior might emerge.