Free speech, independent media & corporate ghettos
There is a lot of talk lately about ‘Free Speech’, examples of how we are being forced to accept mainstream social policies, and vilified if we dare to step outside of the prescribed boundaries of expression, and outright hostility if people suggest alternative opinions to those which are being offered as the ‘right’ ones.
Hate speech is now an actual offense in the UK, people are literally liable to serve prison sentences if they post certain opinions on the public social media sites. Always we are presented with the ‘Right Wing/Left Wing’ duality as a kind of de-facto expression of merit, or deplorable position.
It is not just in the UK that we can see this gradual roll out of control over public publication; the authorities have recognized how influential social media has become in public life, and they seek to control and restrict it in the same ways they once controlled all broadcasting, and publication.
The emergence of Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites since about 2006 has seen a proliferation of independent media groups, rogue journalists, pundits, commentators and all manner of contributors publishing on the open market, and gaining significant traction and views; often some of these vastly exceed the audiences for mainstream media, and these people are not happy, nor are their investors.
I am able to publish my article here because I happen to own, and manage my own media company. This might not seem to be any kind of competition to Fleet Street, or indeed any of the mainstream media organizations, but my media company has the potential to be consumed and recognized by a global audience, it is up to me how successful I become, and the vagaries of the internet community.
I can apply my digital skills in optimizing my productions, ensuring that they show up for specific types of search, and appear in digital contexts which favor the right kind of exposure. I can invest my own money in promoting my work, and the site itself using the various promotional tools which are offered by social media and other online communities.
But whatever I choose to do, it is the open market that determines how well my media company performs, it is not down to investor funding, or gaining favor with the licensing authorities, yet.
The open source nature of internet publication enable me, you or anyone who has the desire and motivation to publish to present our work.
The major social media sites have been a spectacular success story, they were quick to spot the opportunity of the nascent internet, to begin building an audience, to gather users and participants. The past 12 years has seen the development of a new class of influence, a new class of dominant business, but this is by no means the end of the story.
We still have the potential to build, and present any type of media company. Make no mistake the Google/Facebook/Twitter/YouTube hegemony on the internet is not absolute.
These things take time, energy, vision, scope of intention to build and develop. I believe very strongly in Free Speech, in the exchange of ideas, the presentation of creative and authentic analysis, the reporting of truth. iWritebox.com is an example of an emerging media company, it is early days, certainly.
The difference with my media company is that I also help others to build their ventures, to promote and syndicate their work.
If we value freedom, and I think most people do, despite the volume of stupid, and narrow people out there, then we need to be building more media companies, we need to take the fight up to the corporate social media sites, and bleed off their users, prevent the emerging dominance of the internet by the same wealthy, powerful faces that have dominated mass media for too long.
Digital media offers us a rare opportunity, this does not happen very often, when the bets are off, and the ability to take some measure of power back, to allow for new ideas and new directions to be taken.
It is time to build your media company, I can help you.