If you don't read Jeff Jarvis I strongly urge you to do so. Its good strong coffee without milk or sugar.
Jeff's piece also reminded of a recnet article that I had written for New media age entitled living in a consumers republic.
It was the reference to the Bastille that got the juices flowing.
Here is the opening riposte
What happens when the both the supply and demand structures that have served us so well over the last 50 years start to simultaneously decouple from our most recent past?
Well, we get a revolution or a ‘gradual evolving act of liberation.’ And, history tells us that once you have stormed the Bastille, you don’t really want to go back to your boring day job. In this instance, the day job is the consumer as an; uninformed, unconnected, passive, ignorant, non-participative, controlled individual that will happily consume what is put in front of them.
Traditional media is unbundling whilst the structural nature of consumption of information and content are in a state of flux – Significantly, we are entering a world where content will be increasingly delivered through internet and internet-mobile-protocol-based networks that are non-linear, on-demand and entirely self-scheduled. In that world, the viewer – not the broadcaster – whoever that may be, will decide what is consumed, when, and how.
Moreover with the emergence and convergence of the mobile phone and the internet we suddenly have access to our peers, our friends, our colleagues and family members. And like ‘search’ that is changing peoples habits and attitudes. We are getting used to living in a connected age where we naturally draw on our participation in various networks for assistance, information and support.
It’s anarchy. The long-oppressed masses are rioting. The old roles are confused, the old rules erased. Am I talking about the French riots or the internet? Both, of course. It is just my cheap, rhetorical trick to tie the two together. But the arrest last week of at least three young bloggers for allegedly using their sites to incite violence precisely highlights the confusion this new medium brings. So does a controversial government official’s use of internet search advertising to push his inflammatory agenda. And so does old French media’s fear that covering this explosive story would only favour the politicians they do not favour.
Taken together, this illustrates how media used to be all about control - with journalists and governments managing the messages - but now are all about the loss of control. The audience took over the internet and blurred all the old lines: where is that line now between witnessing and reporting, between communications and conspiracy, between inciting violence and expressing rage, between speech and crime?
Jeff, you do a fantastic job.
And remember, once you have stormed the Bastille, you don't go back to your day job.
Mr Chirac and the rest of the French government, I hope, you are listening.