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.


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7 responses to “Democratization of the Digital World”

  1. Ari says :

    Well said Nien. Good luck with WPP – I am sure you will be a finalist.

  2. Louise says :

    Not sure whether your answer has a close enough link to the question. Good points made but what are your thoughts on social networking and the impacts on our economy, culture and values.

  3. Nien says :

    yeah it’s true. i chose to take a broader approach to the question because i can’t really say what the actual effect are.

  4. Linlin says :

    Hey Nien! where you base? I’m applying for the WPP fellowship too! although not much hope (hate to be negative)…ahh…anyway, maybe we should talk…drop me a line if you fancy…

    good luck with your application 🙂

  5. Sveta says :

    Also applying… Googled that phrase to see if somebody _actually_ said this! And I’ve got you..
    Good luck..

  6. Nien says :

    Linlin and Sveta, thanks!

    And to everyone else who stumbles upon this blog by Googling the question, good luck to you too!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Social Networking Websites Don’t Democratize « wendao | jinxin - November 27, 2007

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