Little Australia vs. Big Social Media

Posted on February 18, 2021

The Web is about connectivity and linking. Hyperlinking. The value comes from the constant curating of content generated by everyone – for everyone.

Much of the content is generated by people who are paid to do so – and for them to continue to create that content someone needs to pay them.

Whoever does that needs to fund it. How? Well historically, it was initially thanks to a patron, then it’s advertising and more recently subscriptions.

But that model is the much like how Blacksmiths were put out of business by Car Makers. Times change. Technology changes. Methods of doing business changes.

Subsidising old media because its failed to keep up with new media is expensive and short-sighted. It may temporarily save a few jobs, but it fails to accept that things change.

The Printing Press changed the World. Electricity changed the World. The Internet changed the World. Google & Facebook changed the World.

How *you* consume Media is irrelevant. How the *masses* consume Media…. where their eyeballs are… is what counts.

If you truly believe the low-quality click-bait, celebrity/royal bullshit infotainment that permeates this medium is of value, then I get why you’re upset.

But if you think Journalism has real, tangible value, you’d already be subscribing to The Guardian or The Independent Australian or Michael West or Crikey.

Another blogger has pointed out that in the past 12 months, Facebook sent more than 5 BILLION clicks to Australian Media, worth almost half a billion dollars. If the current situation holds, Facebook will send those Media Organisations zero clicks.

The Federal Government and Australian Media Organisations may have to reconsider the actual, tangible value of the eyeballs that Facebook provides them.

In fact, to argue that the Federal Government should force overseas businesses to pay to link to another site is actually supporting corporate welfare… otherwise known as a form of socialism. Actually, more to the point, it’s a protection racket.

I was under the impression Right-wingers preferred to only pay for the things they use. Well, good. Pay for the journalism you use.

Let’s not move away from what made the Web so successful. It’s the linking and curating that defines what the Web IS.

What has been achieved now? Now NO Media can get a look in on this platform. Nothing. Nada. No links. No reposts. No comments.

Has the Federal Government won? No. Have the Media Companies won? No. Have WE – the Consumer – won? No.

We’ve ALL lost thanks to this. Including the very Journalists who create the content we want to see.

Perhaps the better strategy is to get the Big Social Media Companies to pay a fair & appropriate amount of tax in Australia and step away from trying to fix a Heritage Media Industry that is no longer viable.

And Journo’s. Before you get upset at me for not toeing the MSM line, don’t undervalue yourselves. There will always be a market for news collation, editing, writing, analysis and distribution. It’s just working out how to do it in the new paradigm – and how to make sure your work and talent is rewarded accordingly.


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