Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Monday, 21 January 2008

Old Media vs. New

Filed under: Blogging / Writing, Media, Networking, Philosophy, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 1:25 AM (01:25)

Following the current trends of internet growth, it looks like we’re about to see an explosion of creativity from the world’s population in the coming years.

Back in 2001, I made the prediction on the Smith-2004 list that television programming would start moving to the internet. One of the other list members told me that I was full of shit, as there was no way for the service providers to charge for advertising. (Look to the porn sites to see the future of the internet.) I predicted that it would start happening within ten years.

My detractor in this case was wrong in that it’s happening, and in a quicker time frame than I supposed back then. I cite YouTube and Google Video as examples.

The interesting thing about this is that it’s not only the Old Media types — the TV networks, newspapers, radio stations and publishing houses — that can get in on this gig. Anyone who has an internet connection and a bit of technical savvy can play on the field. True, the established media has a leg up on the newcomers in terms of capital, equipment, experience and track record, but that will carry them only so far. Knowing that, they’re looking to stake their ground in the New Media, as well as looking to co-opt any newcomers by incorporating them into the Old Media.

The upshot here is that, again, anyone can have a website or blog, and quite a few people do. The downside is that, as the number of content creators increases, their market share declines. Back in 1990, Dark Horse Comics released their Aliens line. One of the things that writer Mark Verheiden (now a producer on the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series) predicted was a cable or satellite TV market with 10,000 channels, and each channel measured its market share in the teens.

Another aspect of this is that it’s now possible for every little religious, racial, ethnic, sexual, philosophical and political subgroup to have some sort of presence on the web, forming “cybernations” and networks. Of course, the Powers-That-Be will oppose this, saying that “it will undermine the traditional framework of society.” If it does, so what? Societies are composed of individuals first and foremost, and any social trend or movement that puts the group above the individual members that comprise it will in the end become just another excuse for tyranny.

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