Obvious, but still valid – Deep Focus: The Future of Independent Media report.

Back in 2003, I was fortunate enough to be part of the think-tank  that put the “Deep Focus” report together. Reading it today, I can’t get get past the fact that, 10 years ago, a statement like:

“Over the next ten years, broadband Internet access will be widely available, becoming a standard way to deliver all kinds of digital media.”

was so very controversial, but – with the clarity of hindsight – now it is blindingly-obvious. I had some very hard conversations with group members whom could not, would not, see a future where something so fundamental was shifting. The importance of organizational websites was still a regular subject of debate at staff meetings, as it competed for the same scant resources that were available even before the organizations had a “dedicated” dial-up web-connection. There was still even debate about film vs. digital media.

At the end of the day, focus and consensus had been reached by the majority of the GBN group. Sadly, many of the parties involved, and countless others that praised the report, and/or vowed to take action based on its findings, have disappeared, shut-down, gone to the NGO in the sky,  and even more still struggle to grasp the most basic concepts that media giants have made profitable (in some cases they now own these concepts through patents and market-share) in the intervening time.

This is a reposting of the 2004 article by By Andrew Blau on NAMAC.org:

Andrew Blau, author of Deep Focus: The Future of Independent Media.

“Now, media can be ubiquitous and influential, without being economically successful.”

“What will grow faster in the next decade, supply of media or the demand for it?”

Communications is rapidly changing. How can independent media players–from filmmakers and bloggers to arts organization executives and funders–turn this into an opportunity to gain influence and reach a new audience, rather than get swept aside by the nature, dynamics and pace of change?

In 2004, six of San Francisco’s leading independent media organizations came together with Global Business Network (GBN) to engage in a scenario planning process which looks ahead to the distinctive features of the new media environment.

The result, Deep Focus: A Report on the Future of Independent Media yields some real clues to both the opportunities we can embrace and challenges we must face.

Some key questions that emerge are: Will the public, already swimming in mobility and connectivity, be more or less supportive of independent work and themes? How can we harness this creativity and better support the independent media community as a whole? How can new stakeholders? from game developers to teens on cell phones–get engaged, develop skills and make a public impact?

Bold and imaginative, Deep Focus offers a rare preview of the likely new ecologies emerging for independent media. It offers an invitation to anyone working in media today to consider how they will adapt to the possibilities and demands that are defining this next great era for independent media.

64 pages / $15.00  Now Free!

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Executive Summary

Download: Executive Summary

Chapter 1 of Deep Focus: A Report on the Future of Independent Media

An overview of the field as we see it evolving, and what we learn about the future conditions in which independent media will be made, circulated, and received.

Download the PDF: Deep Focus Chapter 1.

Looming Shifts in the Landscape

Insights from remarkable people inside and outside the independent media field. Peter Leyden interviews people from a wide variety of fields to give us insight into what may happen over the next ten years– in technology, the commercial sphere, politics, globalization and demographically.

Download the PDF: Looming Shifts in the Landscape.

The New New Media: The Internet Gets Ready for Prime Time

A virtual learning tour exploring the future of motion media. Created by Peter Leyden. Take a learning journey to see how motion media is migrating onto the Web and realizing the Web’s full multimedia promise.

Download the PDF: The New New Media: The Internet Gets Ready for Prime Time.

“Over the next ten years, broadband Internet access will be widely available, becoming a standard way to deliver all kinds of digital media.”