9.29.2004

Self Important Theme Song

A member of the Chomsky Chat board replied to my post:
PS, am a longtime follower of and appreciative of various technolgies, but fundamentally we need to *organize*. This statement may surprise some who
mistake my organizing efforts, which include spreading the word about technologies, with a view (which I do not have) that technology alone is the answer. Please see, http://economicdemocracy.org/projs.shtml

He's a math professor at a university which is a good sign. The thing I worry about when contemplating donating my time to one of these projects is the issue of demand. "If you build it they will come" is a pretty tenuous assumption when you're dealing with topics like Parecon. Is the goal really to compete with the mass media? If so you have to assume that people are going to want to watch whatever it is you're producing. Maybe a better goal is to make information readily available to those who seek it in the form of documentaries, etc.

My thinking is that in the future we'll have cable boxes that can grab video via the Internet sort of like how Movies on Demand currently works. You will be able to add a channel in the same way that we currently bookmark our favorite websites. But the whole issue of the media monopoly boils down to ratings. Is programming based on ratings or corporate pressure? And if it's both do people even know of care that they're watching an ad and not pure entertainment? Sometimes I grab the sports page and just read ads from the local computer warehouse. Is product placement really that bad? Seinfeld and his Junior Mints didn't seem to think so.

I see a parallel between the production of a successful game and a successful "channel". The games industry is shifting towards a focus on artists and content creators instead of coders and infrastructure people. Maybe the production of documentaries and professional looking, consumable news would be a better direction than the creation of infrastructure. If you build the content the distribution infrastructure will materialize around it. That said, he makes a good point. The focus needs to be on manging whatever direction the new media wagon heads. I think I'm going to email him, what the hell.

My point? We have bloggers which supposedly offer an unbiased alternative to the traditional written media but there is nothing to compete with the stage makeup and self important theme songs of the nightly network news. I emphasize compete because nobody wants to look at a festering pimple on the forehead of their toothless news anchor. If an attractive young woman explains the news to us it doesn't affect the content just the ratings. Fortunately, once the new media realize that concessions need to be made in order to preach beyond the chior, there is room for the dissemination of ideas that might lead to change for the better.

EDIT: Interesting hybrid video news site here http://demandmedia.net/

9 Comments:

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5:03 PM  
Anonymous Purpose driven life said...

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9:24 PM  
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5:09 PM  
Anonymous What is important said...

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