August 22, 2006

so who said "small is the new big?" (and better yet: why?)

We all know that Jeff Jarvis says that he said "small is the new big" a day before Seth Godin said it (6/6/2005) and then made it a book with weird cupie-doll figures on it. Seth says, hey it was a coincidence--better yet, synchronicity. Wanna buy a book?

BUT WAIT! The phrase dates back even earlier. Would not real journalists check such things? Pshaw! It's the dawn of new media. New is the new old!

Says wikipedia, the phrase dates back at least to 2001 when Big is the New Small supplanted Small is the new Big in playing off the costliness of small electronics in the 90s.

We all know you can't trust Wikipedia though. I mean. Especially. Where. Important. Matters. Are. Concerned.

But what of this small is really big notion? Are there other instances of not just coining a phrase, but putting the content of it into context?

Oh my! Wouldn't you know it? In a strike of synchronicity, the Boston Globe used "Small is the New Big" in March of 2005 -- more than a YEAR before the Jarvis-Godin epiphany! in an article about Sarah Susanka, who, in 1998 developed the Not So Big House concept, which tackles the how-tos of putting spacious-feeling abodes into small spaces.

I wonder who reads the Boston Globe. Not suggesting anything. I'm just thinking out loud. Maybe suggesting. After all, this is new media. Suggesting is the new fact checking.

Alex Beam's rant about all of this x is the new y shite, entitled Nonsense is the New Sense, is good. Oh yes it is, and at first I wondered if Jarvis or Godin had read it.... but then I remembered, who needs old articles when you've got new media?

;-)


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