Democratization of the Digital World
The mad dash for post school employment has officially started. I’ve shaved my head already and am planning to acquire a set of emo glasses and a British accent to set myself ahead of the pack. =)
Seriously though, I was going through the WPP Fellowship application and it had an interesting question that makes for a good blog posting:
A new book about the growth of blogging and social networking claims that ‘the democratisation of the digital world is destroying our economy, our culture and our values’. What do you think – and why?
So I says to them I says:
The main idea from that quote is power. The author is a traditionalist who carries their ideology from a different era that values the centralization of power. His issue is the fragmentation of power. I agree that democratization will destroy all those things – but not without recreating something else that will sustain us just as well as the old model is doing now. I believe there is a generation of business, cultural and social entrepreneurs who can be more efficient and effective than the long standing institutions.
However, it’s not as democratized as it may seem – it’s only because the digital world is still young. Note that there are companies that are putting together large networks of premium content – such as the NBC/FOX online video streaming website Hulu. They are relegating Youtube to total amateur status the way the same TV networks positioned against public access TV. Because so many things in life – including power – are driven by money, I would venture to say there is no democracy to begin with.
However, with enough time, I could see someone from my generation making the same argument as a future generation is tearing down the model we built to create something new.