The Internet and the Democratization of Media

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scotland
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The Internet and the Democratization of Media

Postby scotland » July 24th, 2015, 2:57 pm

when the Internet hit the big time, there was talk about how it would break down silos - not just on information, but for commerce and creative output. For instance, no need for big Record Labels or the the big Book Publishers, the internet would be the direct tube from creator to consumer. Anyone could self publish a digital book and sell it directly to the reader.

Unlimited digital supply, easy distribution, easy creation, hungry masses yearning for entertainment, even crowd sourcing the capitalization of projects.

There is a lot of cheap technology and apps in the hands of millions, and lots of content out on the web to be sure. Yet if you want to sell something, it seems you either play by the rules of a big corporation, or you get lost in the noise. If you want to sell your litle ebook, you probably, but not necessarily, are going through a giant like Amazon, making Amazon that much more of a giant in a big feedback loop.

What do you think? Has the internet democratized commerce and creative pursuits? Not saying the pre-internet days were better, just asking if the internet has lived up to that promise. Or is it a case of New Boss same as the Old Boss?

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ptdebate
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Re: The Internet and the Democratization of Media

Postby ptdebate » July 24th, 2015, 4:09 pm

scotland wrote:What do you think? Has the internet democratized commerce and creative pursuits? Not saying the pre-internet days were better, just asking if the internet has lived up to that promise. Or is it a case of New Boss same as the Old Boss?


There is a line of thinking that content curation is preferable to open, unfettered access. I think that line of thinking is lazy, but I understand its intentions. If I could trust someone or some institution to tell me what books, movies, TV shows, music, or games are available to me at any given time, it would take away a lot of my free choice but it would also take away a lot of the legwork in finding good content. I consider myself to be practiced enough in navigating the Internet that I can find good content out in the wild without the mediation of networks or storefronts. The rest comes down to personal ethics; I saw the movie It Follows two times in the cinema, so I've spent about $20 on it so far. It is currently out of theaters and not yet available to purchase on Blu Ray. What do I do if I want to watch it again in the interim? Do I just wait for a retail release? No, no I do not wait. The Internet exists.

If I adopt such real-world limitations as regional availability, release dates, physical retail availability, or the like--I'm doing myself a tremendous disservice. It means that there are certain experiential possibilities out there that are closed off to me. I cannot play Mother 3. I can't watch an obscure Iranian film from the 50s or a Spanish serial that only airs in Europe. I can't read banned books (if I happen to live in a country where this is an issue). The Internet's power is real.

Vexer6
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Re: The Internet and the Democratization of Media

Postby Vexer6 » July 25th, 2015, 5:20 am

The internet is definitely useful for watching things that are not legally available in the U.S. in any format(or are very expensive and/or rare). Though I don't use it for watching films currently in theaters(and I couldn't possibly see a film in theaters more then once, that would just feel like a waste of time and money to me) as the quality is usually so poor that i'll inevitably end up seeing it on DVD so i'll feel like i'm getting the proper experience.

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ptdebate
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Re: The Internet and the Democratization of Media

Postby ptdebate » July 25th, 2015, 1:04 pm

Vexer6 wrote:The internet is definitely useful for watching things that are not legally available in the U.S. in any format(or are very expensive and/or rare). Though I don't use it for watching films currently in theaters(and I couldn't possibly see a film in theaters more then once, that would just feel like a waste of time and money to me) as the quality is usually so poor that i'll inevitably end up seeing it on DVD so i'll feel like i'm getting the proper experience.


You don't enjoy rewatching favorite films? I personally get more out of a good film each time I watch it.

And if there's value in going to the cinema, is that value somehow depleted in multiple viewings of the same film?

Vexer6
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Re: The Internet and the Democratization of Media

Postby Vexer6 » July 25th, 2015, 6:48 pm

I do occasionally rewatch films if it's been a long time since i've seen one(I.E. since I was a kid), but i'm not the type of person who can watch a film dozens of times without getting tired of it, I feel like my time is better spent seeking out films I haven't seen rather then re-watching something I only saw a week ago, even it's a film I really enjoyed like Fast and Furious 7.

With ticket prices, gas prices and having less free time now with my job, I just can't justify seeing a movie in a theater more then once, and lately i've been more picky about exactly which films I see in theaters, I ended up waiting for some films to come out on DVD that I originally planned on seeing in theaters.

I've never really felt like i've got more out of a film if I re-watch it very shortly after i've already seen it, and I'm also not fond of films which people say you pretty much need to see more then once in order to understand(I.E. 2001 a Space Odyssey), to me if a film is truly good, then you should be able to recognize it on the first viewing, IMO you shouldn't have to see a film multiple times just to understand it.

I rewatched films a lot as a kid, but now I no longer have the urge to do that.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: The Internet and the Democratization of Media

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 26th, 2015, 2:04 pm

The problem of consolidation is affecting the Internet.

Amazon buys all its competitors so it has control of the on-line retail market.

Comcast is trying to buy every cable provider so it will have full control of that market.

YouTube... Ebay... you name it. The big fish eat the little fish.

When you have huge companies controlling the bulk of the Internet (interested only in bottom line) it's not a good thing.

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scotland
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Re: The Internet and the Democratization of Media

Postby scotland » July 26th, 2015, 5:03 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote: The big fish eat the little fish. When you have huge companies controlling the bulk of the Internet (interested only in bottom line) it's not a good thing.


I agree. Yet back in the 90s, during the dot com boom, I thought it would go the other way. I thought of internet commerce as a new Wild West populated by lots of small businesses. If you wanted paintings by local artists, or music by some band in far Cathay, you would find a small online store that handled that. Instead we got consolidation, with places like Amazon and Ebay being the new Standard Oil and GE of the Internet.

For Ebay, it ended up making sense to connect sellers to the widest possible audience of buyers, and their dominance seem to happen quickly. I think that's a good thing. For Amazon, they went years without profit, branching off from books to becoming the modern Sears Catalog, and not just for new stuff, but secondary market and digital stuff too. For things like digital games for Android or Nintendo, how many choices do you have at all?

If you know what you are looking for, I guess the little fish can be found, but still, the online world turned out to be much like the Big Box Store era that exploded in the 90s.

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ptdebate
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Re: The Internet and the Democratization of Media

Postby ptdebate » July 26th, 2015, 5:14 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:
When you have huge companies controlling the bulk of the Internet (interested only in bottom line) it's not a good thing.


A-freaking-men. ISPs have been holding the US back for a decade now--If there's no incentive to provide faster access, and the current model is profitable, why change?


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