Wednesday, August 24, 2005

New Economies....and other unicorns

Something I have noticed frequently on blogs, especially the prophets of blogging, is the seemingly endless stream of predictions that blogs will replace old media, that traditional forms of media are dying, that this "new economy" is what will replace it.

They will reference the fact that thousands are started every day and that large percentages of people read them and that content is no longer king etc....

see here for an example...http://www.buzzmachine.com/index.php/2005/08/23/who-wants-to-own-content/

And while Jeff is eminently qualified and more experienced in all things media than I will ever be, I think that they have gotten disracted by something shiny...

I can say that because I can pontificate and ruminate about damn near anything I want without any qualifications...that's what a blog is, an unsolicited opinion or musing...but let me try to back up my point.

Capitalism, ie "business" is all about the voluntary exchange of goods or services predicated on a mutually beneficial desired result (either real or imagined).

I have shoes and no money, you have money and no shoes....maybe we can work out some sort of exchange....

It's pretty simple, Adam Smith referred to it in this from the "Wealth of Nations"--- It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages.

Or try this: Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.

My point is this, blogs are worth exactly as much as is put into them. (very little) There is nothing of value to be exchanged--which is why no one pays me for it. I give everyone on the planet my free opinion, and they give me their free time. Neither of us would enter into the transaction if it cost more than that.
If, on the other hand, I was attracting sooooo much attention that millions of eyeballs were giving me their time, then possibly some third party would find that valuable and I would have something (of perceived value) to provide and they would exchange me something that I value....(same old advertising economy with a new medium)

The more that bloggers predict the triumph of blogging, the more it seems obvious that it is not a "new economy" but simply a new medium in the same old economy....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting how pessimistic and yet, at the same time true what you have said is.

3:42 PM  
Blogger djobe said...

well if I can't speak the truth in an anonymous world of zero consequences, where can I?

Seriously, though...I didn't see it as terribly pessimistic, but after re-reading, it is a bit of a downer...

Perhaps I am a pragmatist? I think I was accused of that once...

4:43 PM  

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