My first episode of The Weekly Cynic Podcast was entitled, “The Internet Is Dead.”
I investigated The World Wide Web’s nascent, experimental origins in Government laboratories to its present ubiquity.
That episode wasn’t a maddening descent into a conspiratorial abyss. I was more intrigued with how the Capital I internet had transformed from a pastoral, fertile landscape of organically sprouting artistic expression to this present day internet of Big Social Media and how their industrialized, pesticide formulated seedlings polluted our world with Collectivist Ideologies, Outrage, Shills, Hucksters, Hacks, Likes, Loves, Re-Blogs, Re-Tweets and…Memes.
Now, in that episode of the podcast, I didn’t use the analogy of farming to describe the evolution of the internet, but a recent article in Wired titled, “The Soothing Promise Of Our Own Artisanal Internet” mentioned how Nicole Wong, the former deputy chief technology officer—wow, that government title is a nice Libertarian rant, huh?—during the Obama administration, suggested a “slow internet movement.”
Just like the Slow Food movement made us question the origins, practices and commodification of our belly stuffing grub, the artisanal internet movement wants us to harken back to the days of the personal website, when creators actually, you know, created organically grown expression that they posted on their site.
Today’s creators are cranking-out mass produced, artificial preservative leaden Freezer Pleaser content. All of it SEO, algorithmically certified to go viral and trend within Big Social Media.
Back in my day, blogging was considered a threat to the The Big Media Institutions.
Now, how many Medium-esque blogs of formulaic What, How and Why are going to Speak Truth To Power?
Maybe offend a TedTalker?
Today’s blogger is a Big Social Media Personality.
Podcasting is being touted as a delicious, nutrient dense crop of organically tended artistic expression.
As Nitasha Tiku, writes in that Wired article, “In December, Jake Shapiro, CEO of Radio Public, a podcasting company, said podcasts are ‘the media’s slow food movement’ because they’re hard to share on social media and therefore less dependent on ad tech. ‘It’s pleasantly ironic that some of the internet’s oldest open protocols are shining through,’ he told Nieman Lab.”
Of course, with the proliferation of Podcasting Hucksters, Shills and Experts desperate to monetize podcasting, the market is already dominated with the industrialized production of Podcasting Studios owned by Big Money. You know, like the recent Spotify spending spree.
Remember, scrolling through the Apple Podcast Charts is like wandering the aisles of Walmart.
A lot of people are willing to pay for organic, artisanal, slow food, but are they willing to pay internet creators for their organic expressions? Will they contribute to their favorite creator’s Patreon? PayPal or Bitcoin them for their latest podcast, blog or song?
Big Social Media has disconnected us from the cost of expression: buying a domain, creating a website, hosting a podcast…
(Remember, the greatest lie of The Capital I internet was democratization of thought and expression.)
Generations, from Boomers to GenZ’ers, expect anything launched into cyber space to be free.
No thanks, brah.
The Artisanal Internet Movement isn’t just asking us to stop ingesting the artificial content of Big Social Media, but Big Internet.
From the Wired article, “Now once-blasphemous ideas are emerging in the startup world. In the past couple of months, VCs who backed Uber and once-blustering startup founders are advising others to grow organically: Avoid venture capitalists. Seek out homegrown term sheets. Aim for sustainability, not a monopoly. Forget being a billion-dollar company. 'Fuck scale…'"
Maybe, it’s time we not only say fuck Big Social Media, but fuck Everything Big. Our entire Big Media Industry and all their content creators.
The future of the internet could be Small. Local. Organic expression.
Instead of scrolling through our Big Social Media App, we learn how to use the Bookmarks and RSS feeds, again.
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Support Your Small, Local, Organic Internet Creator.