Bottoms Up.

It is pretty simple. Due to “mass amateurization,” practically all forms of traditional media are becoming obsolete. This is an amazing fact, but it erupts from the ever-updating of the internet and all its minion tools. The internet provides us with the essential elements for the obsolescence of traditional media: infinite reproduction, production, and distribution — for little to no cost. A photographer’s function is dispensable, and his skills are replaceable. A journalist is as “qualified” for the position as a blogger. A newspaper editor is as professional as an anonymous Wikipedia-contributor. 

The bottom line is this: “anyone in the developed world can publish anything anytime, and the instant it is published, it is globally available and readily findable” (Shirky 71). This turns a secretary at a business sending a mass-email dissing the company, into a published critic. All of these jobs have something in common — they tie a professional to a mechanical process. Since the mechanical processes are made more efficient, and more accessible; the professional is facing obsolescence. 

The potentials of this fact are boundless. First of all, we are straying from only publishing what the politically powerful, outrageously wealthy folk think is important, and instead are interested in what the entire middle class thinks is important, as they are the ones producing it. We don’t HAVE to read the newspapers anymore. We can just as easily get our news elsewhere, or better yet, produce it ourselves. In the future, perhaps all media will be produced from a bottoms-up perspective: television–Youtube; newspapers–news blogs; photography–Flikr; encyclopedia–Wikipedia; magazines–Webzine. Oh wait, that’s right…it’s already happened.  


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