The multimedia World

multimedia World

Let’s start with numbers. In February 2014 the WhatsApp users exchanged approximately 600 million images in a month. The same month, two years later, the exchanged images have become 1.600 million, exactly a BILLION more. Over the same period, the video messages have increased from 100 million to 250 million (according to Statistics).
YouTube, the multimedia storage of knowledge, this year receives every second approximately 300 hours of video. The proportion between the actual time and the stored digital time is 1 to more than one million (according to Brandwatch).

We store a million copies of each second we live on this planet. 

On Facebook are used every day 100 million hours of video (according to Techcrunch), and still talking of Facebook we find equally important the statistics on the number of images uploads (loadings), even if uncertain, they vary depending on the source, between 300 million and 80 million photo uploads per day; an extraordinary number, no doubt!
Without considering Instagram, the social network based on images and video sharing, that in February 2013 had approximately 100 million active users and today, no more than three years later has 500 million active users on a monthly bases (according to Statista).

Millions of cyberusers post photos (or videos) on the Internet with events or facts that have characterized their day.

In the last decade we have created a limitless digital space where anyone can position images, videos and audios. Server after server, disk after disk, rack after rack we are building a “Multimedia World”.
The smartphones are the access keys to this new world. The phone is not just for calling; it offers multiple services, online services, first of all the possibility to make videos, to take pictures and to share them immediately.
The purchase of a smartphone cannot be separated from the camera’s quality, a crucial factor in accordance with the video’s dimensions and resolution.

Our relation with our smartphone and internet is more and more symbiotic and multimedia. 

The way we deal with an event has changed for most of us, not only for the youngest ones; we live it, but more and more often we try to record it and share it. We are constantly looking for consent.
In the 21st century, every day all of us live a significant media exposure. This exposure, in the recent past, concerned only public figures and celebrities. Now has generated the need to be popular, appreciated, mentioned by our real or virtual community.
More and more often the personal success goes hand in hand with the popularity gained online, popularity which brings with it the obligation to expose oneself in a multi-media way; by means of videos, photos, audio messages. We examine all that surrounds us from a new perspective while we live the moment we consider it with a view to sharing it with our friends and followers, depending on our popularity.

We post what we do and sometimes we do it only to post it.

Events sharing, facts and news sharing have excessively increased, and that is good for most of the times… The press reports have reconsidered a new way of communication, real-time, ever more based on the multimedia material made by common people.
The multimedia information, limitless and fast comes more and more from the plain folks. 
As every big change which involves the whole of society, the “Multimedia World” brings also huge negative consequences.
The ability to live the real world to the fullest, uninterruptedly, using all our senses, is losing ground, influenced by the obligation and the urge of sharing right away, of being popular, of keeping truck, memorizing and offering.

But it could be worse! 

The recent debate on the relation between the terrorism actions and insane violence and the offenders’ need to gain popularity on a global scale is more than appropriate. Looking for popularity is a viral phenomenon that involves all, including unstable minds and terrorists. The echo owed to the news and the pain felt after a tragic event is the arrival point of an insane project of multimedia exposure in search of a stage to exhibit. Looking for the multimedia popularity through pain represents, unfortunately, the true lowest common denominator of the dramatic events of recent months.

Back to us and our conclusions! “The Multimedia World” distracts us and often the real image reaches our gaze through a lens, through our smartphone’s video and not directly. At the same time we communicate more and more, via web, with more and more people preferring to share images and videos rather than texts; immediate material to get, exhaustive, of high-definition or resolution.

We are the video-makers of our lives.
We are more and more what we share.
We are more and more multimedia!




Smart working: efficient working via network


The Internet has had a massive impact on our lives, our day-to-day life, on our personal relationships and, for many of us, on our job as well; an unthinkable impact only a decade ago.
This is not a consideration dictated by an overconfidence in technology, obvious flaw of this BLOG, but a consequence of a constant action of studying, of gathering relevant evidence, numerical and social, often way to high our expectations.
The “smart working” clearly represents another, evident, example of the change caused by the network, an example to tell.
I would like to avoid any possible misunderstanding: “smart working” is not the literary translation from English of the term “teleworking”. If we want to quickly translate this term, word-for-word, probably the most appropriate definition is “dynamic working” or even better “efficient working“.
This is not just about relocating the working activity, working at home; this is about modifying it by introducing new dynamic elements such as the possibility of using videoconference tools or sharing documents and multimedia material through the cloud. We consider reasonable enough, even if superficial, the comparison between teleworking and smart working and, equally, the “ordinary” cell phone and smartphone. In both cases the “smart tools” represent a new generation versus the old one, a new ubiquitous way, interactive and social.
To tell you the truth we are not particularly opting for the term “smart”, used way too much in the recent past, but we totally agree with the “smart” devices, state-of-the-art phones, tablets, e-readers and personal computers. They are the reference “tools” not only for communicating and relating in our personal life but, more and more often, indispensable tools in our everyday working environment.
The “smart devices” can be used in a restaurant, in the waiting room of a station or of an airport, in a library, on a subway or a train. They may also establish new connections between people as well as new working situations.
The efficient working or smart working does not produce benefits only to those living dynamic working situations, itinerant, “of manager” so to speak, in most cases also helps to reach a diametrically opposed purpose by reducing the traveling and simplifying this way our own lifestyle: less traveling, less polluting, working better.
In the previous article we had highlighted one of the reasons why the social networks are successful, and that is because the urban model is unable to guarantee easy and safe travels. So to avoid traffic jams as well as thousand insecurities, one prefers to socialize from home through a video screen.
The same (we assume positive) dynamics is spreading in the world of work; we can work in team, share activities, post, tweet, communicate and think “in team”, while being in pajamas at the kitchen table; a small revolution, at least until now.
The internet user, the one we often call cybernaut, has learned during these years to comment online and to communicate through social tools. This “smart” user, manages his work communications via email; he produces and reads digital documentation that, more and more often, places and shares online through the cloud; he searches via search engines or wiki, forums or specialised websites useful information regarding his own job, examples and comments; he dynamically joins groups of people sharing the same hashtags.
It is not surprising the fact that, in 2014, in the Italian Chamber has been presented a transversal proposal, signed by Irene Tinagli (Scelta Civica), Alessia Mosca (Pd) and Barbara Saltamartini (Ncd), aimed precisely at sustaining and standardising the smart working from the legislative point of view.
The new technologies implemented at work, represent indeed a great opportunity allowing the persons to live their own spaces and, at the same time, a coherent and dignified working reality. Equally, a society that limits travelling to what is strictly necessary and provides tools which promote a fast sharing of contents is facilitated in terms of innovation, thought, production and so on…
It is obvious that, with the smart working is not to be reset the component “Vis-à-vis “, which remains central, predominant. However, technology can, in some cases, provide new working alternatives, new relational crosses.
Nor should we be surprised that from 2014, with repetition in March 2015, the Municipality of Milan has launched “The Efficient working Day” (“Giornata del lavoro agile“) precisely in order to share solutions and experiences.
To be honest, it is not surprising neither the fact that the bipartisan proposal described earlier has ever been acted upon. It seems that a further proposal by Maurizio del Conte, lecturer of Labour Law, with the support of the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is under development.
The “smart working” will inevitably follow a path full of obstacles. This is just the beginning, standardising “impalpable” smart working situations is anything but an easy operation. It is necessary to define politics of specific policy and in line both with the demands of the employer and the fast technological changes introduced by web and inside the devices as well as with the working requirements of the employees “otherwise located“. We wonder, for example, of whom is the propriety of a document placed on the cloud? What rights has the company that provides the computers (servers) where the material is placed, if these rights are lost after a certain period of time, if the company that manages the cloud or the network connection can analyse the working documentation statistically for trade purposes and if it can provide these processed contents to third party? We also wonder how it would be possible, in a relationship for objectives, to protect the employee, to build appropriate organizational and administrative infrastructures and to check the achievement of the objectives. Of equal importance is to guarantee the employee the proper breaks, a healthy and opportune alternation between virtual working spaces and daily life, the real one. The risk of being “always connected” and therefore always available and always operational is tangible.
Smart working does not mean working non-stop.
Despite these perplexities and the absence of a legislation platform (in Italy), the smart working is rising sharply, as already shown in other articles devoted to changes produced by network. The internet is acting as injector providing tools as well as a transnational push, especially in cases where the “real world” appears to be deeply unsatisfactory (and this is certainly one of those cases). If the novelty is positively welcomed by network, the real world can only take note of the change.
To be frank, statistics in hand, the Italian management, public and privatised, including political class, except for some valuable exceptions, has not yet understood the potentialities involved in this “small revolution”. It is not yet ready to appraise its own resources for objective; it is not used to motivate its own resources, especially those of long-distance; it often follows a conservative approach distrusting the technologies which uses only by proxy; it is more careful of monitoring the physical presence, rather than encouraging innovation and career development.
An efficient way of working can improve the quality of life and consequently have an impact on productivity, motivation, earning power, learning and renovating of the individual.
We are just at the beginning of a new long process that mankind must follow. We are still confused regarding the possible perspectives, but we have already understood that it is necessary, maybe urgent, to reconsider the working models fully in line with the opportunities provided by the network and with the demands coming from the labor market.
We conclude by underlining, in a restrict world of work and in a serious crisis, some of the most important prospects given by the “smart working”: the opportunity to recruit people located elsewhere, the opportunity to hire competent people who don’t have the possibility to travel long distances every day , the opportunity to spend their time and energies on working and not on traffic, the opportunity to instantly share the material produced, the opportunity to attribute to a common factor one’s own ideas “in real time”, the opportunity to create dynamic and transnational working groups in line with the goal to be achieved.
We are sure that many of us will live, in the next ten years, these new working opportunities; they will do it in “our” World 2.0.


The reading of the texts: Paper against Screen

The basic principle of this article is simple, almost banal: the technology online is changing our way of reading, focusing and perceiving information.
The progressive substitution of the papery support with a video display is inevitably modifying our receptive ability.
The process is without doubt uneven and involves mostly the young people and the “high-tech” sector, those who use frequently the net.
The use of smart devices such as cell phones, tablets, e-readers, supports decisively this change; over the last decade the reading of “material in digital format” has become from occasional to very frequent, even indispensable in certain cases.
The new video displays, smaller and smaller and more and more high-resolution, propose a wide range of contains, including multimedia files, rarely in their entirety. It is necessary to browse and bypass the advertising inserts, advancing into a jungle of information in order to have a complete picture or to track down what is required, unless our attention is not distracted from alternative contains.
The information placed on the video display loses the “page” structure for a more and more elaborated multidimensionality. It becomes browsable, full of hyperlinks, images and videos, the pages shorten then expand with a click, or vice versa, the fonts increase in size, the language changes becoming guttural synthetic and visual, composed only of short twitters and empathetic smilies.
This change is so consistent to induce us to affirm that until now, on web, it is impossible to read a text sequentially without being transported elsewhere, visually and receptively.
In this stage 2.0, in which internet changes fast, a certain “digital divide” of bidirectional type arises. One part of the audience doesn’t know or doesn’t want to read newspapers or papery books, the other part has trouble interacting with the technology and doesn’t succeed in reading a webpage or a novel in eBook format. There is an evident generation gap in terms of perception and understanding regarding the tool and the readout mode which is being used.
Magazines are now useless and impossible to understand, for digital natives”—that is, for people who have been interacting with digital technologies from a very early age.
(from “The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper“)
These changes determine evident contradictions: sometimes the “traditional” readers don’t succeed in approaching a multimedia text in its entirety as well as in evaluating all its alternatives (link and multimedia elements), vice versa the youngest ones often use an excessively impulsive method of reading based on the text browsing and not on the sequential close examination of the contents, this having unavoidably an effect on the comprehension and the rationalisation of the information.
We must specify that such change is irreversible; the proportion between digital and papery material is moving fast toward the digital one. To confirm this is the closure of over 10.000 newsstands in Italy over the last decade, closure caused only minimally by the economic crisis. The readers are moving toward internet and to prove it is the crisis of purchasing of the newspapers and magazines in paper format.
Let us be clear, the final changeover to the digital it will take time, perhaps generations, but it is facilitated by certain factors such as the availability of the contents (immediate, countless, sometimes free), also on mobile devices, minor (or no) clutter, minor perishability comparing to the papery one (and not the other way round as many of nostalgic people of the paper format affirm), etc…
On Internet it is not difficult to find studies that are aimed at analysing this phenomenon, among all we underline the following:
Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension” developed by Anne Mangen and published on January 2013 (University of Stavanger in Norway).
Anne Mangen and her staff have analysed the behavior of two groups of students, the first group has studied a text in paper format, the second one has studied the same text by reading it on monitor LCD.
The analysis of the questionnaires that the students have passed through after the text reading, has underlined a better comprehension of the text from those who had read the paper format. What does it mean that the reading on video is less reflexive and analytical? That it gives fewer memories and concepts to the reader? We don’t really know, the excessively homogeneous sample (72 students all of the same age, education and social background) along with the fact that the students were not digital natives to all intents and purposes (the university students of the class of 2013 have completed a good part of their education in the ‘90s and the early 2000s entirely on the paper in absence of social network and smartphones), make us wonder. In short, the same study repeated in the 2030s and on a sample of subjects of different ages could provide us less convergent results.
The second study we suggest deals the matter wider (and in a comparative way). The study has been developed in 2008 by Jan M. Noyes and Kate J. Garland of the University of Bristol, Department of Experimental Psychology and is about “Computer- vs. paper-based tasks: Are they equivalent?“.
The peculiarity of this research, of only 24 pages, is the presence of various summary charts that show studies developed during different timeframes. The presence of dozens of researches with very different results, in some antithetical cases, reveals us how controversial is the topic and how difficult is indeed to come to a conclusion.
Even though, most likely after reading these charts, some “probable certainty” begins to emerge:
– It is likely that the human eye is mostly responsive in front of the video screen, the fastest reading allows us to move among the arguments but at the same time generates the assimilation of fewer information, leaving less traces in our memory, while the slow, progressive and sequential reading, determines benefits in the perception.
– Many of the proposed studies have been developed in the ’80s and ’90s; today, the daily use of video screens also of small dimensions, the different receptive ability of today readers, along with a different graphic-publishing proposal of the contents of the last generation texts (let’s mention for example the frequent use of infographics and “responsive design” techniques), makes these experimentations obsolete, at least in part.
We believe that for a complete evaluation of a new generation of tools, we need a new generation of users! It is impossible to evaluate in absolute terms the receptiveness of a reading on a video screen without paying specific attention to the generation gap in the sample of the users! Let’s remember, that the new Web came up about ten years ago.
– the charts proposed in the research are in fact illegible on the video screen and this is a paradox, maybe done on purpose, where a document that concerns the comprehension of the text may be intelligible only if printed on paper format. If the receptiveness of the readers on the video screen has been proved by using documents with charts like these, the results are actually unreliable. Anything but infographic and new graphic techniques 2.0, there are charts placed the wrong way, we are genuinely perplexed!
In addition, we recommend, actually we place it at the top of the list, a reading  of “Eyetracking Web Usability“, a text that is not a recent one (2009), by Jakob Nielsen and Kara Pernice, a real milestone that provides a particularly exhaustive sample of cases, the outcome of a triennium of research, in which has been described the behavior of the human eye in front of a video screen. Clicking the following link you will find 32 interesting pages  available in PDF format where are chromatically highlighted topics of special interest and the paths that the eye follows (eyetraking) on the web page / digital text.
Contrary to what everyone thinks, the images and the multimedia elements don’t represent the entry point in a reading of a Web page, despite the presence of various stimuli, the user always tends to begin reading from top left to right (see the image placed on top of this article – red area Priority 1). It is also true that unfamiliar concepts, such as the use of the tools for advanced search, are better assimilated and understood if supported by multimedia examples (for instance short videos that describe them). It is also decisive the ability of summarizing when the paragraphs of a text are created, longer the text is, bigger the probability grows that the cyberuser loses his patience giving it up for a different alternative present on the page or on web.
In conclusion in Internet, up to now, every component develops a conclusive role from the visual and receptive point of view: the background color, the colors of the main entities, the positioning of the menu, the browsing keys, the images, the “alternatives” offers, the connection and the congruity between the information. The online offer is richer, the alternatives lead the eye to perceive more information in a short period of time losing completely the sequential approach that characterizes a reading of a papery text.
It is also clear the fact that the reading time and the intensity of comprehension of a text on a video screen are, up to now, inferior compared to an analogous document in paper format. Further researches, probably in the coming decades, will confirm or disprove this trend. Maybe the new generations, who will use almost exclusively the video display, will prove to be less receptive than the previous ones, less capable of comprehending, or, refining their digital abilities, through a sort of Darwinian evolution of senses, will succeed in controlling their own “eye tracking” so as to reach a comprehension level similar to the papery one, maturing, at the same time, a better comparative ability thanks to the presence of many hypertextual options toward “other” contents.


Dubsmash, Selfie, YouTube and the grimaces of Barack Obama on BuzzFeed

obamacare_buzzfeedEveryday a billion of people watches on YouTube approximately three hundred million videos. Are you surprised? Let us suppose you are not because YouTube is a well-known environment and frequently used by all of us: if I have to see a video I go on YouTube, if I have to share a video I put it on YouTube, all the videos of the world are on YouTube! Have you made a video? Have you seen the last video of “that guy” on YouTube?
Yet YouTube is a pretty recent phenomenon, to be more precise the greatest multimedia repository in the history of the humanity has its origin on 23 April 2005, the day when the first video has been posted, therefore it celebrated its 10th anniversary. We may say it is still a child.
In ten years our relation with videos and photos, multimedia material in general, has completely changed, every event is followed live by thousand of mini video cameras placed on our smartphones and shared online and, if it is considered interesting, it is posted on YouTube. The personal sphere has also suffered this multimedia contamination, every event of our life, of that of our relatives, children and friends, is recorded and, often instantly, shared.
In less than one decade our way of communicating, sharing and preserving has completely changed; we have decided to expose ourselves publicly! The widespread phenomenon called Selfie has taken this direction; we have chosen to dedicate an article along with the excessive use of the emoticons, smilies which allow us to express our emotions in a fast and instinctive way.
Many other examples become evidences in support of our vision of the “show-off man” (or woman or teen-ager,…), ready to expose oneself, self-absorbed, eager to reach one’s own personal popularity online. We quote two of them pretty recent:
The president Barack Obama has recently made a video to solicit the public opinion, especially the youngest one, regarding his extremely important health care reform. The video, spread through the Social Platform “BuzzFeed“, posted many times on YouTube (click here to see Obama’s video), does not propose the president in a suit sitting at his desk, flags by his side, intent in reading an institutional statement. On the contrary, he is in front of the mirror, supposedly bright and early, parroting himself, making funny faces, rehearsing his speech, making some grimaces, having an unlikely breakfast and shooting some imaginary and originally hoops.
This is an extremely “selfie” vision of the president, egocentric and modern where the mirror becomes the instrument which reflects the image of the president toward (and in line with) the virtual world.
The video lasts two minutes and it founds itself on fruition and expositive rules typical of the web ones and not on those institutional such as broadcasting or television. An approach on the surface breezy and superficial, but in fact, based on a careful marketing analysis of the audience, the young Americans, which is intended to be obtained by sharing the new healthcare reform (informally called Obamacare, formally called HealthCare).
“Our” teen-agers are on YouTube, making videos, sharing them, watching them, making comments, voting them…they are in continuous transparent and viral, interaction with the multimedia material made by them, therefore with themselves.
Being digital natives, being used to these tools, they don’t see an alternative; they live their community without having any prejudice towards the media exposure of themselves. Not even the choice of BuzzFeed is casual: it is about a generic base, far from an institutional one, but with a great ability of diffusion and support of the mass, of the internet users.
The APP Dubsmash allows to lip-synch starting from a well-known base, deliberately chosen, a sort of “singing ventriloquism“. At first glance, if we go on Youtube and watch some videos, we are inclined to think it is about the usual “village idiot” who wants to make fun of himself, but it is not what it looks like. The phenomenon is global, we find videos practically from every nation, not only about young people and youngest ones. The Dubsmashes are the evolution of the Selfies, they are the continuation of the playful phenomenon inserted online by the Pharrell Williams song, “Happy” which has created thousand of clone videos with euphoric dancers. This is the demonstration that YouTube is becoming the storage of our ego and the smartphones the tool to produce (and to expose) our personal, emotional and visual heritage.
There is a real world, where form and content follow precise rules, where the announcement and the publication are reserved to very few, where the contradictory opinion is often absent, but at the same time, there is the web where each of us, even the youngest (especially the youngest) can expose a significant part of themselves through a direct language, grotesque, ironic. Such exposure is often a multimedia type created by means of homemade images or videos.
The jester is getting more attention online comparing to that of the king’s herald, despite the institutional trumpet blasts which accompany him, maybe because of his ability to make fun of himself and to communicate in a “natural language”, accessible to everyone without any hesitation or superfluity.
This change toward multimedia, so obvious for the youngest and so inexplicable for many others, involves even the most powerful man on the planet, the president Barack Obama (or his marketing office, it doesn’t matter a bit).
In one decade, the rules of the game have completely changed! It is necessary to communicate directly and in a multimedia way, even through a simple video. Words alone are not enough anymore! To be honest, if the words come along without a little tune or a funny face or an “I like”, many of us don’t even bother to listen to them anymore.


Milgram and the social networks that make the world a smaller place

postinoWe are “way back” in 1967, where there is no personal computer, no smartphones and, above all, no internet and no social networks, at most, if we are NASA scientists, we have at our disposal a supermainframe (computer) big like a building and with the power of elaboration of a modern scientific calculator.
During the boom years of the 1950s and the 1960s, while the great Mike Bongiorno was creating the game show, on italian television, “Lascia o Raddoppia” (“Leave It or Double It“), another American was analising, with a simple experiment, the complexity of the American relational net of the Modern Age.
We are speaking of the sociologist Stanley Milgram and his visionary theory “of the small world”, visionary because of its capability to gather the complexity of the social fabric due to the processes of urbanization that took place during the twentieth century, visionary because able to underline the net’s evolution, the dense network among the people, visionary for the demonstration of an ample and complex phenomenon, the globalization.
To be more specific, the theory is not completely original; it is based on the story “Chain-links” published in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy. The story (we provide you the English version in PDF format), even if short, hypothesizes connections among people all over the world in a fast and global way, all this taking place against the 1929 great depression, the most catastrophic event in history on a global scale.
In 1967, Milgram selected, randomly, some Americans in the Midwest asking them to send a long distance package to a stranger of whom they knew only the name and the job, but not the address. In order to reach the goal, they were allowed to use their own personal network of acquaintances, sending the package to a mediator, considered by them closer, or rather, with greater possibility of identifying the receiver.
It is said that Stanley himself was surprised by the final result, the package had reached the “unknown” consignee through an average of five – seven passages, we may say very few.
Milgram was proving how the Modern Age with its (then) modern (now archaic) systems of communication had created a dense relational network, making “the world smaller”. The project got published on “Psychology Today”, where it became famous as “the theory of the six degrees of separation”, inflaming the International Scientific Community divided on the chosen method and the achievements.
The debate continued, on a purely theoretical level, until the internet’s advent; the experiments done in the 21st century had given a new and decisive impulse to the Milgram’s theory.
In 2001, thanks to the electronic mail’s accessibility, the first global and social tool (along with the SMS…), Duncan Watts, professor of Columbia University, repeated the research on a much more significant sample of users, around 50.000. The research did nothing but confirming Milgram’s theory, the degrees of separation proving to be exactly six.
In 2006 two researchers of Microsoft, studying algorithmically the conversations records of the chat MSN messenger, came to the hypothetical result of 6.6 levels of separation.
And then what? Then our world has become 2.0, the social networks have arrived.
In 2011 some of the researchers of the University of Milan in team with some of the Facebook’s experts had carried out a test which, had permitted to check the “degree of proximity” of two subjects on a planetary scale (see “The degrees of separation on Facebook“)
No possible controversy on this sample, certainly significant, 65 billion of relationships and no doubt on the final result, an average of 3,74 degrees of separation, even less than what found by Milgram.
In the first decade of the 21st Century the degrees of separation are less than four, the world (2.0), as Milgram had assumed, is “very small” indeed.
It is important to underline how this result has been obtained: there was a meticulous work carried out by an extremely heterogeneous team for both competences and the used tools: sociologists, university researchers, computer experts, email, log trace, “Big data” of social type and technical tools of the latest generation and last but not least, the involuntary complicity of a significant part of the earth’s population! As the old saying goes: unity is strength!
We believe that the release of smartphones and instant messengers over the last five years, could have only reduced subsequently such distance, in a very significant way. The new way of communication “one to many” of a broadcast type, sometimes even of “multicast” type, can only amplify our acquaintances network and confirm Milgram’s experiments and Karinthy’s vision.
What can we say, there is no doubt that “the global social network” is not the direct consequence of the Internet’s advent: the industrialization, the great urban movements, the release of the communication tools such as mail and telephone as well as of the means of transport such as automobile and airplane, had already created more than fifty years ago a dense network, even though invisible, among people well over the secular bonds among communities, markets, nations, banks, etc…
The advent of internet has probably made this network wider and more instant, always accessible, allowing us to be at the center of our friendships or acquaintances, visually and sentimentally as well.
Internet has not created the global social network, thanks to the imagination of Frigyes Karinthy and to the concreteness of Stanley Milgram we may truly say that in the 20th century the network was already global, even though not instant, multimedia and emotional as it is today.
We are all connected thanks to internet and smartphones, but Sociology, according to the numbers, shows us that this is not something new, many of our parents were already connected in the past.

WorldTwoDotZero cannot happen again that someone should  dare disturb me when I am at play, when I set free the phantoms of my imagination, when I think! (Frigyes Karinthy)