Cory points out the fallacy of broadband becoming more popular when the “content” is available. He’s right, it’s completely wrong. This is the same theory that Hollings’ bill is based on, that once we have secure content, Hollywood and the RIAA will make it available online, and then people will sign up for broadband in droves. No they won’t. I have broadband so I can easily create content and move it around quickly. I suspect that many other site owners will tell you the same thing. I don’t give a rat’s ass about digital film and music, I care about being able to use FTP quickly for my site, and for getting files from good freeware authors. That’s the real juice of the internet! I already have music and film without my $45 per month ‘net connection.
Just finished reading Small Pieces Loosely Joined yesterday. It’s good, go get it! David addresses some of these sorts of ideas, that the internet allows actual conversations and groups to form, that “mass-media” is missing the whole idea of what makes the internet different from broadcast. If we allow them to continue thinking this way, and regulating the internet as though it was a broadcast medium, we’re going to lose all the freedom we currently enjoy online. (Like the freedom to cheaply make your own website and create your own community.).
In that same vein, this story from the LA Times (registration required) talks about weblogs this way:
It’s sort of old wine in new skins, since the bloggers are basically a narcissistic throwback to an easily recognizable American type, the 19th century cranks who turned out mountains of self-published pamphlets (link via Corante)
But it’s not, because the ideas we have as bloggers get refined by the feedback we get from readers. That’s why the Web is different, you have few barriers to entry and you have an actual conversation with your readers. When you get my “pamphlet”, you have the opportunity to leave a comment and add your own voice to the ideas, for all to see. In the 19th century, you didn’t have that. In big newspapers, you don’t have that. Once again, we have someone looking at the internet as only a broadcast medium and not a marketplace.
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