Despite the hammerings of educationalists, the so-called three R's are far from sacrosanct: reading, writing and arithmetic. I’m talking specifically about the first two of these.

(OK, I’m not talking about them, I am actually writing and that irony isn’t lost on me. But then I am future gazing, and I could after all have podcast this post.)

Reading and writing have been bedrocks of civilisation, some would say the foundation, and it is only relatively recently that they have had competition as a media for non-synchronous communication. The 20th Century triumphs of broadcast radio, broadcast TV and semiotics compensated slightly for an individual’s illiteracy, but they were far from a perfect substitute and entirely useless when that individual wished to communicate back.

The 21st Century hasn’t taken long however to present a cornucopia of communication possibilities. Whilst applications of the Internet were dominated just a few years ago by text, and lots and lots of it, new applications pivot massively around the audio-visual. "Radio" and "TV" over IP / Narrowcasting / Podcasting / Moblogging / Vlogging / On Demand / Voice over IP / Video conferencing... Read more