I want to suggest an additional angle on dead media research.
My thoughts were triggered by the advertisement of a German cellular phone provider which claimed to sell "the cheapest and the second cheapest communication tool in the world." The second cheapest was their high tech product, but the cheapest == which they actually manufactured and sold for approx. $2 == consisted of two plastic cups and a string.
However dead this cup-and-string mechanical telephone feels, it never actually died. In fact, every average (western?) child between the age of 6 and 10 seems to have an active, D.I.Y. knowledge of this medium.
It might be possible to find many historical forms of media which are virtually dead, but nevertheless collectively reanimated and used as children's toys. Are there other niches for media in specific life stages of the individual? Several examples come to mind.
Analysis could throw a different light onto the use of 'independent' media within a 'subcultural' context.
Micz Flor (firstname.lastname@example.org)