SPH Foundation Presents New Media in Transition Lecture Series: "Redefining Media in the 21st Century"

Over 300 people attended the second lecture in the Media in Transition: Social & Economic Impact lecture series held at the Drama Centre on September 23. Speaking on the topic "Redefining Media in the 21st Century" was Professor John Seely Brown, a visiting scholar with the University of South California.

Prof Brown also co-chairs the Deloitte Centre for Edge Innovation and is a distinguished fellow at The Idea Factory in Singapore. He used to be Xerox Corporation’s chief scientist and his personal research interests include digital youth culture and new forms of communications and learning.

Among the audience were Public Service Division’s permanent secretary Lim Soo Hoon, National Library Board chief executive Dr N. Varaprasad and Singapore Institute of Management CEO Lee Kwok Cheong.

In his lecture, Prof Brown suggested that there are at least three emerging trends people in the media business cannot ignore – user-experience, context and social network.

User-experience sells and gives an edge to those who apply it to their products, according to the Professor, who was trained in mathematics and physics. While content was king in today’s media business, context would reign in the interactive, collaborative next generation online world, he said. Because it is context that gives meaning to content in the growing cacophony that is the world of the new media, he added.

And social networking is taking off at an exponential rate, according to Prof Brown. Social networking will change the way we work in a big way, he said. “Think of the social network as being a fantastic amplifier of the water cooler.” Along with other informal settings, the area around the water cooler is where a huge amount of real work in corporations gets done, he pointed out.

The lecture was followed by a question and answer session chaired by the Editor of straitstimes.com, Joanna Lee.


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