web counter Media Lies: Out with the old. In with the new.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
Please adjust your bookmarks.

Out with the old. In with the new.

Wretchard writes a piercing analysis of the blogosphere and its impact on the world of the old media. I've written about this before and predicted that the blogosphere will replace the old media.
What we are witnessing in this election is the death throes of old media. Exacerbated by their extreme leftward bias, their overweaning desire to see Kerry elected has made them prone to error and unlikely to correct it. Yet their decision to "toss a bone" to the online audience by placing their content online has exposed them to the same "open source" error correction that new media embraces. The result has been embarassing. None moreso that the recent CBS collapse.

Perhaps twenty years from now the "alphabets" will no longer exist. For news, you will switch on your tv, which is connected to the internet, and browse the sites that carry news that interests you. Gone will be the days when millions see the same thirty minutes of pablum. News will be as personal and focused as you choose to make it. When something "big" happens, it will seep in to your world because "real" stories spread like prairie fires on the Internet. Stories like the Laci Petersen story that has so dominated old media will be relegated to that corner of the internet voyeurs reside, and those of us who thrive on substance will no longer have to deal with them.
Now Wretchard demonstrates that this is already occurring and perhaps even more rapidly than I had anticipated.
The advent of cheap consumer digital cameras capable of recording sound coupled to the proliferation of internet connections meant that in addition to the analysis cells which manifested itself in 'instant punditry', the Internet was developing a sensory apparatus to match. To the 'instant pundit' was added the 'instant reporter' -- the man already on the spot, often possessed of local knowledge and language skills. These came suddenly of age with the December 2004 tsunami story. Survivors with a videocamera or even just an email or web browser connection 'filed stories' which were vacuumed up by the the instant pundits hovering over their RSS subscriptions and launched into the global information pool.
Wretchard seems to think that the old media may be able to find a way to take advantage of the new system.
The real challenge facing traditional media is how to graft themselves onto this burgeoning evolutionary system by providing services to it. Google is possibly the best known example of a company which understood this trend perfectly, providing services to this growing organism and profiting from its expansion. But there are others. Less famous companies are profiting by facilitating online payments, advertising services, auctions, trading and other services. Glenn Reynolds links to a story which notes that the classified ads market has already departed traditional newspapers, probably forever.

Lastly, this emerging neural network of analysis cells and sensory apparatus is largely self-aware. It has developed meta-ideas about itself and can actually guide its own development, mimicking a primitive lifeform.

In summary, bloggers are nothing special. They are neither better human beings nor inherently cooler than anyone. It is simply that they have embraced one aspect of a superior paradigm and have benefited thereby. Blogger 'cool' comes from neural network 'cool'. This should be good news for Mr. Coleman. He's just as good as any blogger. The bad news is that, like them, he has to get a day job.
I disagree. They will be replaced, just as Microsoft is being replaced (even though many still can't see it happening), and they will no longer exist. The problem with old media is their myopic view of the information business prevents them from seeing the changes taking place right under their noses. If they ever do realize what's going on, it will be far too late to adjust. Like the dinosaurs, their days are gone. They just don't know it yet.