Hats off to the Phonograph! ©1982
is the book that was the primary source for the themes of
phonograph connections in popular culture now seen in Phonographia.com.
The original book (unpublished) focused
on phonograph advertising and the "B-side"
of the phonograph's history including how the phonograph was
marketed, how it changed the definition of home and personal
entertainment and how the phonograph continued to evolve in
the popular culture revolution of recorded sound.
Over forty-years later much has changed.
More and more primary sources are now on-line; microfilm has
been replaced by on-line digitized documents and services
like newspapers.com make searches on thousands of newspapers
and millions of pages easily accessible.
Hundreds of thousands of recordings
are on-line and research by collectors and scholars from many
fields has produced diverse, colorful, and well-documented
material for anyone interested in the history of the phonograph
and recorded sound.
Using a website and digital components
means that Phonographia.com doesn't have the tangible qualities
of a book. A digital recording, likewise, doesn't have the
tangible experience of actually playing a record on a phonograph.
But a website obviously allows innumerable
examples of phonograph connections to be shown, provides multi-media
options and links to anything on the intranet.
All, of course, unimaginable in a book.
Phonographia.com is also easy to update:
Find a new connection, add, edit; find a new connection, add,
edit; and repeat like a broken record.
It's been a project
based on what I see, remember, connect
and then paste into the website...which also means it has
limitations at each of those steps because of its author.
But the limitations of an individual
will not be the challenge of the future. An Internet Bot can
already use any of the WIP Phonographia 'lists', galleries
and themes and find an unbelievable number of new connections
in minutes, seconds, microseconds...who knows how much, how
fast, and what future results will be.
How soon will Phonographia.com become
a web artifact? Sooner than later I would guess, but perhaps
even then it could still be viewed on something like the Internet
Archive's Way Back Machine -- which in my case would
be synchronistic since I was always a fan of Sherman and Mr.
Who knows when the Internet itself will
become part of the "Dead
At that point (if I was still here)
I'd probably be saying that a book
would have been a better idea than a
I hope Phonographia's virtual scrapbooks
are enjoyed now and in the coming years.
This planet and its beings, however,
have much bigger challenges in the next decade than finding
phonograph connections or speculating about the future of
sites like Phonographia.com.
In this time and place I would suggest
that we need to give more attention to our connections with
and prioritize planet Earth over all
personal toys including our new relationships with AI creations
who will likely introduce the biggest changes ever for the
Am I a Luddite?
No, but I do believe we must prioritize,
conserve and preserve the planet and all beings if we are
going to be able to look our children and grandchildren in
the eyes and not have to apologize for our failures regarding
the human experiment and planet Earth.