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October 11, 2004

So much to do

Still catching up with the mountain of work left in the wake of Web Essentials, I've not posted much of late, well, except my recent rant on the Free Trade Agreement, which ended up in the Sydney Morning Herald's and the Age's online Technology sections.

Which is about it for me and the mainstream press and media more generally here, or anywhere for that matter, as writer, reader, advertiser, you name it.
Why? In brief (I could write several essays, but will spare you gentle reader) I have long been ambivalent at best about the media.
My few forays into advertising have lead me to believe that in many cases advertising is an utter and complete waste of time money and effort. On the other hand, with online, niche based, non traditional publications our experience the value is definitely there.
But more importantly, "the fourth estate" once an important part of a robust and healthy functioning society, has become nothing more than the mouth piece of its owners, to shape public opinion at will.
With almost all mainstream media clearly supporting the Conservative parties here our recent, dispiriting election, we saw a free ride being given to a tired, increasingly debauched government, with little to offer other than gobs of money for swing voters.

Its a similar story in the US, where regardless of the worst economic performance in living memory, the only president to have every lost jobs over his entire incumbency (think about it, not even the Great Depression saw net job losses for an entire 4 year period), a disastrous war with little chance of a decent resolution, and the President is no only in with any kind of chance, but is likely to be re-elected.

A balanced, functioning media would ensure proper review analysis and criticism of governments, and help hold them accountable for their words and actions. That simply isn't happening

This is not something I can see changing any time soon. The entrenched nature of existing media, in print, radio, television means this is structural.

So should we despair? Give up?

Oh ye of little faith, there is hope.

The rise of web based communities of thought and practice, from open source software projects, to "lobby groups" such as the web standards project, political organizations such as moveon, the extraordinary Wikipedia (you can tell when you are starting to rattle cages, like Wikipedia must be, when you start getting criticized in the mainstream press) are only the beginning.

Dan Gillmor's "We the Media" points to a future of the media, the media being you.

In little over a decade, we have seen the profound changes in business, politics, science, and many other areas of human endeavor brought about by the web. These have only begun.

It's time for the "early adopters" to cut the apron strings, to simply walk away from an increasingly out of touch, increasingly irrelevant media, and create our own.

October 11, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

feels kinda' funny hangin' around on the fringes of this "new media", but makes all the effort worthwhile, and in my case, my role as a teacher event more important, when you consider the exciting changes ahead!

Posted by: stuart | Oct 12, 2004 1:57:28 PM