Monday, March 13, 2006

The Revolution: Internet users take over

The reason that "Internet junkies" like me get excited about blogs is the potential they hold for ordinary people to create and publish their own speech. Businesses finally realize that consumers out there are not stupid receptacles for whatever they dish out.

The NYT has this excellent article today (here) describing how more and more businesses are trying to tap into this growing phenomenon. Not just blogs, but people creating short films, clips, animation, games, audio files, flash animation. I think Ed O should start putting his recipes online.

Here's a flavor (flav) of the article:

Still, user-created material increasingly competes for the audiences of traditional media companies and holds some appealing qualities as a business model. For one thing, it is cheap. And it taps into the social aspect of interactive media that has fueled the advance of the Internet.

It also represents an attempt to improve the quality of material online as people's desire to not only surf the Internet but also contribute to it rises at a breakneck pace. For example, the research firm Technorati estimates that in January there were 27 million blogs, and that number is doubling every 5.5 months, with 75,000 blogs created daily.


Blogger limewash said...

Perhaps I'm just more cynical (a.k.a., "realistic"), but I think the blogging phenomenon will play out basically like the homepage-building and emailing phenomena did a few years ago. That is, at first, the people who are more technologically savvy, or those more in touch with the changing times, will enter the market by introducing (usually) readable content (also usually) about the experience itself and the changing technology. But, as the trend becomes more mainstream, the "stupid receptacles" take part and contribute massive amounts of cyber trash (penis-enlargement mass-mailings, joke lists, advertisements, puppy pictures, fan clubs, mindless polling--e.g., hotornot--and really bad, teen-angsty love poems). In the blogging world, this translates to diaries of bad relationships, narcissistic lists, mundane a-day-in-the-life-of’s, more photos of pets, and general soapboxing. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, theoretically. But there are lots of things out there to prove that the business mentality that consumers are generally stupid is not too far from the truth. I don’t think that a few smart blogs today is really indicative of a changing trend that people are (more) intelligent beings that advertising firms must respect. For example, go to any of the big blogging sites (livejournal, blogger, myblog, etc.) and either use the random-blog function or peruse the lists of blogs to see how many people are contributing to the quality of the material online. I think the advertising firms are just going to tap into this miasma to take advantage of easier market research.

12:59 PM  
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5:16 AM  

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