Week 1 Reflection
While reading the articles and write-ups assigned for this week, I am drawn to reflect on a lot of what I have learned from the Internet Culture course I took last semester from a more economic lens. Throughout that course I learned how the “G-MAFIA” (Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, IBM and Apple) control so much of what we see from an information and data standpoint, however, this week I was made more aware of how this impacts the media industry from the creator’s point of view, both in terms of monetary compensation as well as through management.
When reading the Ecosystem 3 White Paper, I finished feeling optimistic about the potential for a third informational revolution yet somewhat concerned about our ability to get there. I see that the most pressing route to creating this third ecosystem lies in the hands of those who are able to create laws and regulations to compensate creators for all their work. As I learned in Internet Culture, the G-MAFIA are rich in user data and affinity, and throughout our conversations on the first day of class and this reading, the entire traditional news media system has their own oligopolistic structure. These companies are rich in journalists and content creators and utilize their abilities without proper compensation. They are able to pump out as much work from them as possible creating a quantity-over-quality system and are the only ones to gain from it. Therefore it is crucial that there are both laws as well as internal company rules that allow for creators to be adequately compensated for what they produce. As the Bill Gates essay mentions it is incredibly difficult to define what “content” is in the age of the internet. Anyone is capable of producing writing, artwork, codes and what have you and it can easily be mass distributed. Not only must these laws protect the work of reporters within the media industry, but these need to be broad enough to protect all creators without being so broad that we don’t have a clear understanding of what is protected.
From the more entrepreneurial side of things, I also gained a better understanding of how to build your own startup. Given the ever-advancing news media industry it is less important than media entrepreneurs focus on how to become the next “x” of whatever already exists, but more so find the gaps of whatever consumers are seeking out that doesn’t yet exist. I learned in the Medium article that this niche need should also be something of personal relevance and importance to the creator just as much as it is to the consumer. This adds an additional sense of purpose behind the endeavor and makes it more meaningful to the creator as well. By defining the problem you are trying to solve and how you plan to do so, you in turn create an outline for yourself on what steps to take next.
I am looking forward to continuing to learn how to combine both my personal interest for health and wellness into the media field as it is already crowded in a myriad of ways, but after doing these readings I have a better idea of the questions I can be asking myself and looking for within the industry to see where my skills are most needed to engineer a new project.