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The Internet As An Evolving Communications Medium

The increasing preponderance of human dialogue, via “social media” formats and technology, has made erosive inroads into the non-personal characteristics of the internet.

This is a very brief discussion of the evolution of the internet as a serious communications medium.

With the increasing sophistication of the internet, it has followed the path of most communication mediums. It has “matured” as an increasingly primal form of communication in the form of human dialogue, which has proven to have far greater stimulation and relativity to its end-users than purely digital information.

I’d like to hear what you think about the evolution of the internet from a bulletin board of information into a vibrant social community.

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+


16 Responses to The Internet As An Evolving Communications Medium

  1. Laura Morris March 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Hi David

    This is a great observation. I think social media communities, chats, blogs, videos and other mediums have totally exploded the viability of the internet as communication network. It’s like we have networks within networks, within networks, making for different levels of closeness, or social etiquette.
    Never before has there been such an instantaneous way for people to be heard than with these networks, most notably Twitter! I was watching Whitney Houston’s funeral on CNN a couple weeks ago, and was amazed at the tweets going along the bottom of the screen with the well wishes for Whitney. I thought “Oh, that’s nice.” But, then, when Rhianna got up and sang, or Stevie Wonder, the comments were in the moment..at the bottom of the screen. It was like the WORLD was at the funeral on Twitter, through the television. I think this is an example of how the internet has changed our communication. 30 years ago, the best you would get would be comments in the newspaper days later, or perhaps comments on a call in radio show.
    Laura Morris´s last blog post ..How The TRUE Meaning of Passion Can Change Your Life

    • David Merrill 101 March 7, 2012 at 1:22 am #

      Great observations, Laura.

      Live feeds certainly enhance events, and do allow us to participate vicariously.

      As in live chats, teleseminars and the like, we participate directly. Much like the salon or symposium. We can actually become part of the immediate dialogue in these instances.

  2. Nile March 7, 2012 at 4:44 am #

    The Internet definitely has matured. I have seen so many changes and have had my hands in some history, mostly on the Yahoo! side pre-2002. Communities are more dynamic as social networking involves a lot more people who have their own businesses and blogs online. The openness to engage is easier than a decade…even nearly 2 decades.

    • David Merrill 101 March 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      And as the online communities become more dynamic, they are actually linking backwards to more primitive communication forms, namely tribalism and dialogue rather than more sophisticated forms of analysis and logic.

      Indeed, if mass communication was designed to inform democratic societies, it has, to an even greater extent energized them into more tribal ones.

      If it was to foster parochial institutions and ideas, it has rather come to globalize them.

      In any case, it’s been an exciting ride, and I’m sure you’ve found it pretty exciting being on the cutting edge of it all, Nile.

  3. Candice Michelle March 8, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Like Blogs, while not new, have grown in usage over the last few years and are now a common way for many people to communicate their ideas.
    Candice Michelle´s last blog post ..אילוף כלבים

    • David Merrill 101 March 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

      Blogging is certainly an area where people are joining ranks in tighter communities, Candice.

  4. PJ Zafra March 9, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    Great post David,

    The internet is drastically growing daily. Before, we could barely communicate if we’re in US and wanting to talk to someone in Australia for example. Nowadays, anytime we like, at a push of a few buttons, we can talk for free. Amazing how the internet has grown and has become a medium for communication. Its not going anywhere. It’s only going to keep growing and growing as days go by.

    Thanks to the internet, we are who we are today. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this post David! Keep it up! 🙂
    PJ Zafra´s last blog post ..Nick Vujicic’s Story: No Limbs… No Limits

    • David Merrill 101 March 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

      The irony, PJ, is that as the internet keeps growing and growing, the communities they spawn are actually rapidly contracting in terms of intimacy.

      Digital groups are becoming increasingly targeted and niche-oriented, allowing for more intimate discussion and narrowed to mutual concerns and interests.

      So as it expands in universal membership, it also expands its parochial appeal.

  5. Rick Lelchuk March 9, 2012 at 10:51 am #


    For those who participate in it the Internet has come to dominate. Even for those who do not participate directly their lives have changed by the advent of electronic transactions. Just see what would happen if the net went down. Scary thought.

    I for one believe that the Internet must be tempered with face to face interactions. Contact with people in your local area must be suffering. I was pitched on having my groceries delivered and it worries me to think that people can hunker down in their homes and communicate by the blue glow of a computer screen.

    I’ll stick around, but I think we’re in for a sociologically bumpy ride.

    Rick Lelchuk´s last blog post ..Resolving the Network Marketing Paradox

    • David Merrill 101 March 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

      The whole notion that “face to face interactions” are being compromised by electronic connection, Rick, overlooks the truly personal aspects digital communities.

      In fact, there is often far greater… and more intrinsically meaningful… conversation in a digital community than in a flesh and bones one.

  6. marquita herald March 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I agree, great observation David. I’ve never been one to participate in a lot of “chit chat” so I had a tough time fitting in to the ‘social’ part of social media when I started. Lately I’ve found some wonderful opportunities to learn and grow, particularly with a few of the Linkedin groups I belong to – sharing ideas, testing concepts and learning how to be more innovative.
    marquita herald´s last blog post ..Do You Consider Yourself a Leader?

    • David Merrill 101 March 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

      LinkedIn is a great example of interactive community on the internet, Marquita.

      As diverse as the methods of communication are, the funnel is always the dialogue. That’s the great strength of the internet as a global communication platform. That sort of dialogue just can’t be across the table as it was traditionally developed.

  7. Sarah Reece April 5, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Hey David,

    Great video, you made interesting points. Given the way Internet has grown in the past years as a means of communication, it has become hard to ignore it. There has been an explosion of blogs, social media websites, forums etc., but as you said, these if we see actually link backwards to primitive forms of dialogue. For instance, face to face conversations have taken the form of Skype, Google Talk, Yahoo chat and others. All in all, Internet is a great universal communication medium.
    Sarah Reece´s last blog post ..Bluehost Discount

    • David Merrill 101 April 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      You bring up an interesting point, Sarah, insofar as Google Talk, Yahoo chat and all the other conversational platforms really have come to mimic more traditional forms of face to face communication.

  8. Michael April 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    You are absolutely right, David, the internet is growing up and maturing in a way that was not foreseen when it was first invented (thanks,Al 🙂 I think that the stability of the mobile internet has really helped this change along.

    When it is just as easy to talk to someone on the far side of the earth as it is to talk with someone in the same room, that is quite a change.

    Our kids are growing up with this as a reality, just a part of their lives with no thinking it ever was not this way. Very cool and very different.
    Michael´s last blog post ..The Law of Attraction

    • David Merrill 101 April 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

      It’s a bit scary to think what things our kids will develop that make the internet seem archaic, Michael!

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