Digitization is happening all around us, without us noticing until something major happens. For example, banks have been digitizing (imaging) canceled checks for a while. This allows us to view images of our canceled checks online.
This year, things are going a bit further in the U.S. and images of checks may not be available online since they are being converted to electronic transactions at the point of use (e.g., grocery, discount, and department stores). For those of us that are used to getting checks back, this is a major change, but it is one we will adjust to -- information returning in a different form.
A different form.
So...instead of seeing the original item in an image format, people will get used to seeing the information (content) outside of the "container" that it was originally in. Given how information flows through and across the Internet and onto PCs, Blackberries, iPods, etc. many containers are already less important. Will there come a point -- well into the future -- where the containers will not matter at all? (And the containers -- books, photos, whatever -- will only be valued by very few people?)
I wonder what the crew of the starship Enterprise would say?
BTW I can hear screams from librarians and archivists as I type!
Technorati tag: Digitization