500 years ago, or so, Johannes Gutenberg put paper to inked moveable type and set off a revolution in communications.
Before Gutenberg, we were an oral culture.
The law was the ‘King’s Word’, religion was The Word of God, delivered by priests.
Most people were illiterate. They were illiterate largely because there was nothing to read. And there was nothing to read because books, what few there were, had to be laboriously written by hand. So most people never saw a book in their lifetime. Where would they have learnt to read? And why?
The advent of the printing press changed that. (It changed a lot more, but it changed people’s illiteracy). Suddenly everyone was learning to read and write. They had to. It was the way the world was starting to communicate.
Fast forward 500 years and we have the iPhone, ten years old this year.
Prior to the iPhone, pretty much no one was video literate.
Video cameras were expensive and complicated, and the only people who made films or video were people who worked for NBC or Dreamworks. That would be about 0.00001% of the global population. The rest of us just watched.
Then, along comes the iPhone, and presto, everyone suddenly has a tool for making video all the time, whenever they want, at, quite literally, the push of a button.
Video explodes on the scene, just the way books and printed matter did 500 years it.
This is a tech driven revolution.
And, as we went from being an oral society to a written one, we are now going from being a written society to a video one.
The NY Times said so last Sunday.
And, if you don’t believe them, just look at who is in the White House. A man with no previous political experience but someone who deeply understood TV.
Now, when the printing press came along, almost no one knew how to write. They had to learn. The whole world had to become literate.
When the iPhone comes along, it is imperative that everyone now learn how to be ‘video literate’.
Video is not about pushing a button and pointing the camera at a cat in a tree.
Video has a grammar and a structure to communicate ideas, just as print did.
And, as with print post Gutenberg, anyone who is not video literate is going to fast find themselves cut out of the future.
And that is whey video literacy is so very important.
And why we teach it at TheVJ.com