Oh how excited I am! “Digital Media” is now a common term, but I bet if you ask a hundred people what it means you’ll get a hundred answers. For my oldest son, Tyler Bouldin, digital media means opportunity. It means an “infant” world that he’ll be incredibly woven into on a professional and personal basis. Tyler will graduate from the University of North Texas in just a few short weeks. This kid is bright. No, not a “chip off the ol’ block”. What I mean is that he was the FIRST generation on the globe to be born with an electronic game in his hand. He thinks, communicates and advances with technology. He’s a power user and he’s a “game changer”. The generation right behind him is even more interwoven. Those kids are walking robots. There are significant gains and significant social concerns. For me, I think the threat to cultural diversity is huge. The world is a very small place now and we should be careful to avoid trying to assimilate people everywhere. But the positives are far greater than the negatives. We have entire industries that operate in essentially a monopolistic state dissolving before our eyes and being replaced with a wealth of diverse talent.
Back to Tyler. Tyler is a new age media rock star. He was the sports manager of a radio station at the ripe young age of 19. He’s only 21 years old and has worked for the Dallas Stars and the Rough Riders. He’s announced “play by play”, he’s done well as the “color commentator” – really impressive. But to me, just as important, his biggest asset to the professional world is his vast knowledge of new media. He not only knows how to report the news, but his value to a sports team will be how to use new media to build a stronger market. It’s incredible to see his sports blogs and how plugged in he’s become. When a sports team comes knocking on his door will they need an interview? Will they need to see his work? I doubt it, they’ve already been seeing it and they want a piece of the action.
Ok that’s interesting, but it’s not just the “media” where this knowledge is important, it’s just about EVERY job in less than ten years. My value, your value, anybody’s value to an employer will have a heavy emphasis on how well you know the networks. How “connected” are you? It’s not “what you know”, it’s “how fast can get to what you need”! So, ask yourself, are you out front of technology and can you put the puzzle pieces together? Watch out though, because if you ever stop becoming a student you’ll be out of the game. Embrace new media, learn to use it and then be sure to make it a daily part of your professional diet.