Editorial – Online Edition

by / 23/05/11

There’s this thing called a Confucian shift. It’s when a new technology or idea arrives and changes life and society in a way that could never have been predicted. The Internet is the greatest and most recent Confucian shift. Imagine trying to explain it to someone from the 1800s. It would be like trying to describe a colour – impossible to do, without referencing itself. People didn’t really see the Internet coming until it was basically already here.

While a lot of the Internet’s successes have been natural evolutions of already existing ideas and technologies – with print publications becoming websites and blogs, television becoming YouTube and the like, radio becoming podcasts – this is not all that the Internet’s good for. Its greatest extension over all past similar technologies is immediacy. The Internet takes the wait time out of information, and with the increasing ubiquitousness of wifi and smart phones, we’re soon going to have more access to more information more of the time. This will not make us smarter. It will just make cheating at pub quizzes easier.

With the prospect of voluntary student membership hanging over both VUWSA and Salient, we have been thinking a lot about what the future of this publication will be. Not just under more restricted financial guidelines but in a world where the print media is becoming more and more obsolete. We will be suprised if Salient still exists in a print form in fifteen years’ time, but what form it will take is hard to make out – will it just be a website? An app? An epub file pushed across wifi to your ebook reader? We don’t know.

This issue is our way of gauging how Salient might be received if it was an online-only publication. To find all this week’s content just click the ‘Online Issue 2011′ tag at the bottom of the page and it should all spring up. When we mentioned this on our Facebook page last week, the majority of respondents expressed reluctance to make the effort to go to the website: apparently – damningly – Salient‘s chief appeal is its convenience.

But hear us out. As students we exist very distinctly in a world of tomorrows. Today, at university, we are gearing our minds up for tomorrow or next year or next whenever, so it behooves us more than anyone else to think about what form our media is going to be in the future. What is the internet going to change and how are we going to change with it?

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Uther & Elle

About the Author ()

Uther makes theatre. Elle grew up on a boat. Together they edit Salient.

Comments (9)

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  1. Just some guy says:

    internet’s greatest achievement is porn. Obviously.

  2. Beth says:

    OK just got lost in your website and for some reason forgot that its elle and uther this year – possible improvement would be to somehow highlight the most recent articles – or I could be a grown up and read the date at the top…
    the online issue is great, its just like reading the paper online – you can link to the titles of interesting articles from each page and procrastinate forever, reading each article. Also commenting is a great feature. I actually think if you did end up publishing online only I would still enjoy it almost as much – although I do miss faces to deface. Are there comics? I will now search for the comics just in case
    Also as this is now my 4th-ish comment, would it be possible to get a login so we dont have to type the same email stuff when we comment? Or I could just stop being lazy…

  3. smackdown says:

    stop deleting ur cookies eat them instead yum yum

  4. Electrum Stardust says:

    “[W]e’re soon going to have more access to more information more of the time. This will not make us smarter.” :

    “The five colors blind the eye.
    The five tones deafen the ear.
    The five flavors dull the taste.
    Racing and hunting madden the mind.
    Precious things lead one astray.

    Therefore the sage is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees.
    He lets go of that and chooses this.”

    - How to Deface Faces online?
    - Is receiving a handwritten letter the same as getting posted a virtual one?
    - How many articles in this online version will YOU never click on, and so not even get a fleeting glimpse?

  5. John says:

    Oh…going by the title of this editorial, is Salient onlone this week?

    Last year that happened and there were at least posters up on the salient stands telling us that. Not ths year. I spent two days wondering where the mag was…

  6. Salient says:

    We stuck posters on or near most if not all Salient distribution points, John. We’ve had reports of them being taken down, however, which is disappointing.

  7. John says:

    Ah.
    Why on earth would someone do that?
    They’re not theirs to take down.

  8. Salient says:

    People are dicks sometimes.

  9. Travon says:

    Well maadcamia nuts, how about that.