Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, September 10, 2004  

The Bleat Strikes Again

Lileks nails it again.
I assume that everyone out there read James Lileks everyday, but in case you don't, here it is:

Blogs haven’t toppled old media. The foundations of Old Media were rotten already. The new media came along at the right time. Put it this way: you’ve see films of old buildings detonated by precision demolitionists. First you see the puffs of smoke – then the building just hangs there for a second, even though every column that held it up has been severed. We’ve been living in that second for years, waiting for the next frame. Well, here it is. Roll tape. Down she goes. And when the dust settles we will be right back where we were 100 years ago, with dozens of fiercely competitive media outlets throwing elbows to earn your pennies.

In retrospect, TV looks like a big smothering quilt: it killed the afternoon papers, forced the survivors to consolidate; it reshaped the news cycle to fit its needs, shifted the emphasis to the visual. It fed off the Times and the Post and other surviving papers, which had institutionalized the Watergate and Vietnam templates as the means by which we understand events. The old-line media, like its Boomer components, got old, and like the Boomers, it preferred self-congratulation to self-reflection. And so the Internet had it for lunch, because the Internet does not have to schedule 17 meetings to develop a strategy for impactfully maximizing brand leverage in emerging markets; the Internet does not have to worry about how a decision will affect one’s management trajectory; the Internet smells blood and leaps, and that has turned the game around, for better or worse. So we’re back to where we were in 1904 – except that the guys on the corner shouting WUXTRY, WUXTRY aren’t grimy urchins selling the paper – they’re the people who wrote the damn thing, too.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:54 AM |