My name is Kevin R. Donley and I started this blog during a trip to DRUPA 2008 in Düsseldorf, Germany from May 30 to June 7, 2008. At that time, I wanted to record my journey to the world’s foremost printing and paper exposition. After my selection as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Printing Industries of Michigan in January 2011, I decided to write articles for the monthly GraphicNews publication of the PIM and then repurpose these pieces on the Multimediaman blog. In between entries on contemporary business and technology subjects I also decided to write biographical sketches of important people and their inventions and accomplishments in media history. Now into its eighth year, my Multimediaman blog has over 80 posts and has attracted tens of thousands of visitors from more than 140 countries around the world.
My experience with this blog has revealed that the information technology achievement of Joannes Gutenberg—even though it appears distant and unrelated to our times—was actually the beginning of a mass media transformation that continues to this day. As much as we would like to think that our digital age has left the analog world far behind, it is in reality a globalized and accelerated electronic expansion of what has been underway for more than five centuries.
This blog is about you. It is called “Multimediaman” because this word describes best what we all are. The explosion of photo, video and text content—enabled by mobile, social, cloud and wireless technologies—is surpassing all previous media forms in terms of volume and accessibility. It is now possible for all to communicate with each as artist, printer, publisher, photographer, broadcaster, filmmaker, pod caster, blogger, etc. What were previously specialized professions—requiring significant resources—are now the activity of so many smartphone users around the globe.
And so, we are creating something new: a colossal multimedia reflection of ourselves. Just as the cave paintings of unknown artists or the works of the great masters provide us with a window into the state of man in a prehistoric, medieval or modern context, we need to understand our present multimedia likeness within a broader technological and cultural perpsective. It is my hope that this blog represents a contribution to this understanding.
Kevin R. Donley
October 8, 2016