15 May 2012

New Media Burning Bright

Let us imagine a future for new media. For me, new media is the evolution of the expression of the individual on the Internet, that is a structured stabilized existence within great technological creative instability (productive monetizing change).

Perhaps one could say from the beginnings in Usenet. Usenet was what existed as the visible Internet as we know it, in earlier days. By that I mean simply the capacity to write text and have it seen by others.

Now that view can be open or closed and that seems to define a roadmap for networks. Usenet was usually open, that is one did not control who saw those texts.

That creates a way of expressive life that seems to continue today, most notably in Twitter. I found new media a few years ago in Twitter. It reminded me of Usenet in some ways, which used to be all there was in the early days, that freedom of expression, but structured nonetheless.

However with the enormous advances of the social networks, that individual expression has merged with the structured approaches of the social networks. This can actually enhance freedom of expression.

Why, because it allows the creators of the media to structure it in ways that are novel as well as finding ways to balance open and closed sometimes without even using the ability to makes things private (Twitter again). It may enable increased precision, and this is something which can be relevant to the individual or a corporation.

Corporations are individual expressions structured and given stability over time. To me they do not embody a collective expression, just a stability. However we can view a corporation as individual expression, just the individuals may come and go. The relevance of this is to new media, that is enabling that sense of corporate presence, in the past expressed perhaps in ads, to thrive and perhaps enable new ways.

For individuals it enables a small sense of corporate presence. What I talked about on Twitter as the leveling effect, it is more that everyone are brought to a new place to develop their ideas.

It is intriguing to me that Usenet came this far, but there was a creative fire there that has burned very bright. That core never died. It may be generating core of internet expression, and it is based on distributed freedom which itself comes from engineering.

That is, new media gives stability, but allows greater granularity of expression (the potential for precision), with a range in theory provided by those who provide structure. So we do we see something new in companies here. Well, it already is here.

A company is about fiscal stability, the enabling of equity growth, it is a systemic view of a corporation. Its function in this sense is to tap into money flow and targeted investing inputs. So how does this idea of a company merge with new media. That is a great question.

To make revolutions systemic solutions have to be found, else they do not work or become unstable or malfunction, or worse, as history has shown many times. But when such solutions are found, you have something that can drive society into a new future.

That is a lot to pin on new media, but it has great potential and has created a sea change in society in its short life. Its advantage is that it has stability built into it. It comes as well from a fervent of revolution and intense creative instability.

It is early days, but new media seems to be about finding a balance between that stabilizing tendency for a corporate presence, and the fast moving anything goes core of the Internet. This applies in reverse ways for individuals and corporations.

The intriguing possibility is for a creative potential between that difference. What I mean is that leveling, as well as bringing corporations to a personal level with the people, is bringing the people to the corporations, in more ways than one. So what happens in this interaction.

The question though may be rather is this a fleeting moment or can it be extended in time. That may be partly up to the structure providers, but perhaps more a consequence of lawmaking. Since the US tends to keep out of such areas (its default state, perhaps from its Constitution), then it would presumably be more extended there.

These moments are rare, mostly the people are the people, corporations are corporations. But note the speed at which new media related companies have become mighty corporations.

That is typically individuals, founders making stable company structures quickly from their ideas. It is not even friction. Those company structures are equity growth, given their valuations.

But they are not contingent on future growth, they reflect present income and growth. It is that short term year on year possibility or less which is such a stimulus in the market.

The difference now is the possibility of the content itself entering this monetizing heaven, if this is possible. Is that the catalyst for a new wave upwards ? It already has happened, and it has always happened since the beginning, one assumes, of content.

But the difference now is that the content creators may be able to control content and disseminate it and monetize it, in a way which is consistent with the markets appreciation of equity growth (or even more consistent, this is a motivation for the big and the corporate as well to unlock the precision of new media).

One could view the attempts to do this now as either the reality of how it is, or the beginnings of something. From such belief, perhaps catalysts are made.