20 April 2012

Editing the New Media Future

This is one way of looking at the 1st Amendment: the government shall not editorialize the content of the people. By this I mean that the task of structuring what the people produce, shall be left to others to do, if it needs to be done.

But of course, costs have historically made editorializing a fact of life, especially if you want to reach a mass audience. But not by the government, one expects. The idea now would be perhaps that they would be terribly inefficient at this and would not want such a job in the US, but could one ask whether this is a general problem with organizations.

Why is it important for some parts of society to be barred from editorializing. Because movement comes from the bottom up and editorializing tends to restrict this to that which is already accepted.

This is not an argument about not having editors, but it is an argument about focus and precision. There is little that is more top down than the government, that is why it is there, for those things which needed the idea of the sovereign and its power.

By removing the ultimate top down editorializing the US seems to have been enabled to have the most extraordinary content driven revolution after revolution. Unstoppable and endlessly renewable.

As noted it is not a perfect system because of the costs. However for the first time since the little printing presses, this may be changing. The promise of those printing presses was this, that the people could control their content, reach an audience and have an effect.

But it has taken a few centuries to let technology to enable this. This technology is more than US technology, computers and the world wide web come from the UK and the EU as well, but it is being realized there.

New media is what I talk of here. Using the structures quite new in the Internet, the people can create and edit their content, as they wish, and can build audiences for it, in theory. It is democratic and wide open and it is only just beginning. Internet freedom can be seen as precisely that which allows this to continue, grow, flourish and thrive.

What can we say this may mean for company growth, well it may be a revolution and revolutions get expressed in those many points of creative activity, driven by the hope of profits. But where would those profits be, as we are looking tiny, many points of activity, not a big amalgamation which can be massively monetized.

That is the great question and it may become an investing question, which can be phrased thus. What do we do to enable content to be monetized. But people use new media without regard to that monetization, like those printing presses sometimes with remarkably similar aims.

However there in harm in thinking how it might be done, especially given that the online context in which content production takes place is the target of intense monetization and investing interest.

This touches on a number of issues which tend to be efficiently avoided by having free markets. But it does tend to be about logic, if only because the markets tend to converge to logic over time, one motivation to have companies that cohere well in their structure with that market.

What happens if a company is structurally not coherent with the market. Nothing, necessarily. The question is though what happens over the long term.

Can we see the market as there to sustain a company longer than it might otherwise thrive. It is a good question. Does the market have the capacity to renew company structure, is that its efficiency over time.

If content makes money, then it may increase efficiency for now to more fully monetize that content. Everybody is then perhaps a winner as coherence comes from many places. What I mean here is how does a Site monetize itself when it is only geared for the production of content for the sake of its content, like art for arts sake.

There is no mechanism now for this, it seems. But if there could be, then the net would become what it can be as people would have rewards for their efforts. And those who provide structure, would have a way forward as well to grow to that potential.

But it does come back to a matter of letting the Internet in its distributed, precise, abstracted way order and structure that content, which is what new media is about. The way that providers of structure interface with this new media output, may be a new revolution in the making.