Getting Media Savvy to Grow

IT managers have not escaped the media tsunami that changed their process of thinking

It is interesting to watch how colours, shapes, forms, gestures, pictures, spoken words, calligraphy, beats, rhythm and music, give life to human expression. The capability of human mind to arrange each element of life, based on several permutations and combinations, will drive the evolution of any kind, technology not being an exception. This is a sure sign of an evolving human mind. The combination of the above-mentioned elements could be broadly termed as what we now know as media. While the term media is not related to the IT managers or their roles in particular, it is critical to find how much they leverage with regard to their growth in career or in escalating themselves. The emergence of web media in the last few years has created a new horizon of opportunities for all.

Undoubtedly, the new web media is going to change the paradigm of the dynamics that media operates within. I can say with certainty that the advent of web media is going to be as important and significant as the invention of letterpress gifted to humankind by Guttenberg.

Leveraging the Media Wave
How much sense does it make to IT managers growth is the question. We observe that the IT heads do get several insights into the various aspects of life with the help of the media. They invariably leverage the changing media paradigm to their advantage by laying their hands on varied aspects of life, be it around inspiring stories about leaders, motivational speeches, insightful biographies, technological advancements, or career related opportunities, and so on.

IT managers have been able to create newer tools, fresher production formats, and wider publishing platforms (though they are there even today but not all across the globe), and above all create a system wherein the entire activity could be productively monetised in a safer fashion, for which analytics could be the key. The media is throwing up so much information in real time, that IT managers are trying to emulate by example and evolve themselves to be better innovators. As Einstein observed, the media is supporting the expansion of the universe.

Democratising Media
The possibility of media being made available to all, undoubtedly ushers in democratisation of media. It will allow vast multitudes of human beings to play around and generate value in the exhaustive sense of the word.

With progression of time, it will contribute to the search of newer media, which in turn will empower the humankind to explore fascinating possibilities hitherto unknown to us. This is an endless and rewarding process which we can proudly term as evolution.

Let us analyse the first proposition: Post the magic of motion pictures presented by Lumiere brothers in France in 1895, the style and content of human expression changed dramatically in the literal sense of the word. At least four generations post Lumiere brothers enormously enjoyed the new experience. It ignited Hollywood; it excited vibrant mindsets in India to produce hundreds of films every year and created enormous business opportunities all around.

In my generation, young minds nurtured an almost impossible hope of producing and directing a film once in a lifetime, for the sole reason that the resources were scarce. None of us could afford the awe-inspiring gadgets like Arriflex (film cameras) and Nagara (portable sound recorder) and above all the costly raw stock (film negative). I still vividly remember the total bowled over expression of the newcomers, when they watched a white flower appear in Nagara, when the sound was coordinated.
The unique clutter of Moviola (a film editing machine) the swanky mod looks of Steenbeck (Next gen edit machine); one thing was certain that very few could afford even to think about the same as many such gifted artistic minds, who utterly against their basic nature, reluctantly took to routine-boring jobs offered by the banks then (early 70s).

Even a formidable artist like Amol Palekar had to undergo the routine. When I look back at the period, I am amazed the way technology has changed over last couple of years. Any DSLR camera these days can record high definition video picture (signal) and even mobile phones have started offering edit capabilities. Young school going lads have started conceiving and producing films, some of which have been even released and fetched in good amount of money to the kids.

Media & Technology: Hand in Glove
History is witness to the technological evolution in the media which is influencing every mind in adapting to this revolution.

The digital technology not only created wonderful technological opportunities but also empowered common masses to buy and play around with sound and picture and produce a film. The affordability circle grew and included many more talented young people who were earlier made to wait outside the circle of privilege.

Now with mobile telephones, almost anybody (at least theoretically) can produce a film. This is a unique contribution by the technology that has ushered in the democratisation of media (film) One can now conceive produce and even distribute/publish a media related product entirely at an individual level.
This is nothing short of revolution, of course in the media.

This is true about every media platform. Print, films, music, you name it and we have the same awesome numbers. You need not be Fox or Warner Brothers, Murdochs or Kapoors or Prasads, you could be a school-going lad and still take on any one of the media barons mentioned above even all together at a time, provided you have an original idea.

Media & Mind
Media has been a great influencer and IT managers have not escaped the media Tsunami that changed their process of thinking. The industry is witnessing technological breakthroughs in the media industry, where IT heads have been instrumental in getting technology into the media innovations. Experience of watching Avataar, which has spontaneity, physicality and the very rawness, was the basic premise of the first art form. Mind defying special effects and multi-dimensional reality, incredible sound power and the ability to reach any corner of the world anytime was the strength of the second art form, and beyond doubt that technology has played a major role in influencing the mind.

Vinay Dhumale is Dean of World School for Media Studies.

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