Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

“Most people are morons”

My ‘old media’ mates think I’m a raving, lunatic radical. My ‘new media’ mates thing I’m a closed-minded dinosaur. For our part, how anyone can not understand that Squash is clearly the voice of reason, is quite simply beyond us.

However, the torrent of comments that my recent post Why RSS will never “break through”, showed me once again that people who have worked in the mass media and those who work in ‘new media’ are generally worlds apart.

A bunch of you, the new media one’s reckon I’m a goose or as Chuck Houghton put it in his blog “[Squash]’s taking a pretty good beating in the comments”.

Kevin Leversee, of Web 2.0 consulting company Pandora2 said:

Phil, man what an arrogant statement, bro. Get out of the stoneage. RSS and other technologies that support the remixing of information to that user’s selection and relevance is exactly the whole meme behind what we are all doing…

Of course, Kevin would say that.

Kai Turner made an interesting point..

Whether or not people ‘get’ the technology is a moot point. The technology will be integrated behind the scenes and people won’t notice the difference… I think your assertion that ordinary people don’t need media filtering is a bit short-sighted. You’re speaking in terms of the text/blog space. When downloading television programmes and movies becomes commonplace, people will want to tweak their feeds as part of the discovery of “what’s on tonight”

While ‘drx’ argued:

RSS has already broken through in this field, even people who don’t use a newsreader read information edited by people who do so.

Meanwhile, all the people I know who work in the mainstream media and who dropped by with comments agreed.

For example, Simon Sharwood commented:

The problem with so much of this debate is that we assume Everyone is Like Us.
But not everyone is… Tabloids and “current affairs” shows… that’s where the audiences are in truly significant numbers. There’s little evidence [average consumers] are interested in trawling the blogosphere to find weight loss technqiues or tales of plucky kiddies beating the odds. Until online media meets their needs, most of Web 2.0 will remain avant garde.

Indeed, as David Flynn noted:

Interestingly, I believe it’s journalists like Phil (and Simon and myself) who have enough experience in dealing with the ‘real’ world (rather than a more closed-circuit community of peers) that we can balance our own RSS rapture against the reality that for most people, rabid world-changing RSS consumpion just ain’t gonna happen.

I think the ‘real world’ experience David is talking about, relates to the reality that it is almost always harder than anyone ever expects to effect change. How many entrepreneurs actually hit those numbers they put in their business plan. How many editors manage to grow circulation by the numbers they originally forecast. Dot Com Episode I surely showed us that.

At the moment, a revolutionary is happening – down in this corner of the world. One day, the rest of the world may catch up. I just won’t be holding my breath for it to happen – I value my oxygen far too much.

All, of which can be summarised by Matthew Ingram’s brilliant comment:

True, Phil. But that’s because most people are morons

Amen.

Filed under: Big Media, Feeds, New Media, XML/RSS/Atom

4 Responses

  1. Dan Warne says:

    WTF is it will all these dotcom wannabes talking about “memes” all of a sudden? And now people are substituting the word “reason” for “meme”? Argh! Almost as bad as all those names that have the last vowel missng … the only thing that’s common in the “Web 2.0” trend is that everyone feeds of each other’s frickn buzzwrds.

  2. Jen says:

    Simon’s comment hits the nail right on the head. Too bad everyone’s too caught up in the rapture to see the ugly truth.

  3. Rob Irwin says:

    Oh yeah, Dan, ‘meme’ is the wank word of the moment, thanks to the yanks. I avoid using it at each and every opportunity. Anyone who DOES use it might as well write ‘I AM A WANKER’ in large red letters across their forehead.

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