Editor's Note: Editor's Choice

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Editor's Choice

This week, it's time again for "Editor's Choice," when we select a chosen few articles from among the many we receive each week to represent the magazine at its finest.

Read Full Article

To be honest, this Editor's Note is too good to be a simple Editor's Note. I don't agree with everything you say, but it's well written, and you bring something up that's worth thinking about..and what's a better way to think about something than with some good arguments from someone else?

I agree. I had a feeling the Editor's note would be something around the topic of the new series which started. It hit on alot of points which I think are very true for the modern culturen on the internet...

All I can really say is I hope you carry on and, by going against the grain and can stuff all the negative things which have been said back into the facts of the idiots who have no knowledge, and all mouth.

Surely by dismissing creations built by the "crowd" and putting power back in the hands of the craftsmen, you are just rebuilding the guilds and unions of yore though?
Wasn't the creation of America itself based around the pioneering spirit in this new land?

With infinite monkeys there's always going to be a lot of monkey poo, but sweeping it all away would destroy not only that of value, but things that may gain value, especially to that lonely youngster looking for a way to make his mark on the world?

What I'd suggest is less hatred against "Web 2.0" and more view on a way to sift it ourselves for those golden nuggets without having iron pyrites handed to us by the snake-oil salesman that gives us "Farmville"

But yes Russ I can see why you twittered apprehension.

After scrolling down for a bit I had to double-check and make sure this was, in fact, the Editor's Note. Good read, definitely, but wow.

I try to do things legally when I can, but last year I tried to catch up to the show Dollhouse via Hulu and found out they only have the most recent five episodes. It inspired me to put up a large article basically discussing how TV executives need to be fired and replaced by people that understand the current era of customers.

I don't mind advertisements on services like Hulu because they are short. Commercials used to be short enough you could get up, go to the bathroom and then come back without having to sit through many more. Now, however, it feels like commercials run way too long. My brother had some students from Korea, China and Japan at his Grad School that all commented on just how long all our commercial breaks are, that they take forever. So of course we're going to cut past the commercials. They take way too long.

But even then, people have their own schedules they wish to keep. They can't always catch the latest show, so they'll try and record it on DVR or watch it online later. Hulu could be a massive success, only, as stated, you can only watch the recent five episodes. Fortunately Dollhouse was on Netflix, so I wound up nabbing it through there. Still, if you heard about the show after the season had ended, they gave you no way of watching it again from the beginning.

The whole reason piracy of television exists is because people want to watch shows on THEIR time as THEY want to do it. As soon as you limit them, you just encourage piracy again.

I should comment that the season premiere of Chuck had a commercial featuring the show's stars for a car and the Winter Olympics. While it was quite obviously a commercial, by tying it into the show I actively wanted to watch it. Similarly, Subway had chosen to sponsor Chuck even more because of not only the product placement, but in order to revive the show (of high quality) people organized efforts to gather at Subways and order $5 footlongs. Basically the fact that the show may not succeed forced fans to gather and spend money to keep it alive.

But, of course, it's also a good show with the right sort of following. Still, Subway was able to acknowledge the show as one worth promoting and that helped it keep in a new season.

If TV executives REALLY want to keep earning ad money, then they need to figure out really good ways to tie in ads with the show (of course, this is in addition to having a good writing staff to begin with), as well as making the most out of their online ads. Hulu shows may not have as many ads during the show, but a website can have ads in places other than the show itself. This seems to go over everyone's heads, however.

Anyway, I've ranted enough, and if I keep going like this I'll only go into the stupidity of most online gaming websites and magazines being unable to get proper ads as well.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Surely by dismissing creations built by the "crowd" and putting power back in the hands of the craftsmen, you are just rebuilding the guilds and unions of yore though?
...
With infinite monkeys there's always going to be a lot of monkey poo, but sweeping it all away would destroy not only that of value, but things that may gain value, especially to that lonely youngster looking for a way to make his mark on the world?

Web2.0 found an interesting flaw with the old "infinite monkeys" system of creating great works of art: you actually have to go and look for the complete works of Shakespeare in the combined output of an infinite number of monkeys. Even if it could be guaranteed that the thing we're looking for is somewhere in there (we don't have infinite monkeys making the probability close to 0) nobody stopped to think that the task of finding it would be so monumental that only a fool would bother. It's painfully obvious now that we've got our monkies all set up and hammering away... although the act searching is sometimes very amusing.

The most time-effective thing to do is rely on someone whose job is to sift through our collective trash and present all the brightest or most oddly-shaped bits for our amusement. The "infinite monkey" scenario has led us back to gatekeepers and money, all we have is a new and hilarious alternative to the boring routine of simply paying someone to produce the thing we want.

Thanks for going to bat, Russ. You and the folk at the E do it again and again.

And for as long as The Escapist maintains it's standards of quality, humour and interesting asides then I will continue to make The Escapist my internet home.

I just wanted to say that I think this is one of the best articles I have ever read on The Escapist and I would be happy to put it up against any other Editorial in media.

In my opinion one of the biggest problems with the Internet is the Anonymity (sp?) of it. When no one knows who you are and you pretty much face zero consequence for anything said, people will spew bile for no reason. They will be over-dramatic. They will say things not because there is any truth in their statements, but because they want to see how others react to what they said. I would go so far as it's a way for people to have a power trip.

I really hope to see more like this in the future of The Escapist. Granted I have only recently started reading the actual magazine portions of the site, so maybe this was here all along and I have just been missing out.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Surely by dismissing creations built by the "crowd" and putting power back in the hands of the craftsmen, you are just rebuilding the guilds and unions of yore though?
Wasn't the creation of America itself based around the pioneering spirit in this new land?

With infinite monkeys there's always going to be a lot of monkey poo, but sweeping it all away would destroy not only that of value, but things that may gain value, especially to that lonely youngster looking for a way to make his mark on the world?

What I'd suggest is less hatred against "Web 2.0" and more view on a way to sift it ourselves for those golden nuggets without having iron pyrites handed to us by the snake-oil salesman that gives us "Farmville"

But yes Russ I can see why you twittered apprehension.

/agree

Give the audience some credit too. Some great things come out of indie and modding communities thanks to web 2.0.

I think a majority of internet users know a troll when they see one and sift out the bile, or better yet have a Moderator do it for them.

Enthusiasts and professionals alike will encourage people trying to learn, even if their stuff does suck, sometimes just a show of effort or quirkiness is enough to feel like you spent your time entertained.

If the goal is to steer away from mediocrity, there does need to be a form of vetting sure, but there also needs to be room for risk taking, either extremity can end up equally crappy.

This article makes me feel all down and the growing focus on the lowest common denominator will result in fewer and fewer things worth paying attention to.

ccesarano:

....

If TV executives REALLY want to keep earning ad money, then they need to figure out really good ways to tie in ads with the show (of course, this is in addition to having a good writing staff to begin with), as well as making the most out of their online ads. Hulu shows may not have as many ads during the show, but a website can have ads in places other than the show itself. This seems to go over everyone's heads, however.

Anyway, I've ranted enough, and if I keep going like this I'll only go into the stupidity of most online gaming websites and magazines being unable to get proper ads as well.

I agree up to this point, because should execs decide to incorporate ads into the show (as I gather from your post), that limits the creativity of the writers by forcing them to write commercials into the show. I understand the need for advertizements, but at some point they begin to be too intrusive.

Wow. Nice one, Pitts. Every once in a while the Escapist decides to make an Editor's note that is the loosest definition of 'Note', and it's usually great, but this one takes the cake.

I'm torn about this. I tend to think that having more things to hear about is better than having less, but too much of a good thing, right? Comics are a shining example of this. On the internet, because of services like keenspace aka comic genesis, there's almost no entry barier at all. So it's easy to dismiss every webcomic as thrash. Then again, paper comics went the other way. It's very hard to find a Western comic that's not some variant on a superhero story, and I find that such things only go so far. And on the underground comic market there's the opposite - comics try to hard to be 'edgy' to actually be new after the first few trailblazers. Just yesterday I was reading a short biography of Art Spiegelman that mentioned how, before Maus, he had difficulty pitching his ideas to comic editors because they all expected his comics to be about sex and drugs.

In the end, hopefully, the two ends will balance out and anyone will be able to create content but only the good one will shine. It's hard to believe this reality, though.

But we need to keep working.

NamesAreHardToPick:
(we don't have infinite monkeys making the probability close to 0)

Does that mean there's zero chance? I think not.

The most time-effective thing to do is rely on someone whose job is to sift through our collective trash and present all the brightest or most oddly-shaped bits for our amusement. The "infinite monkey" scenario has led us back to gatekeepers and money, all we have is a new and hilarious alternative to the boring routine of simply paying someone to produce the thing we want.

That's a reducto ad absurdum argument similar to the "close to zero" argument. What People are pressing for is an easier way to sift for THEIR benefit, rather than the benefit of those who are sifting at the moment.

Would such classics as I Wanna Be The Guy or any of Alt-Esc's wonderous finds have been available if Web 2.0 weren't sifting themselves?

Counterstrike, for all of it's faults, simply wouldn't have been available without the hard work done by the - mostly unpaid - modding crew of Web 2.0. And without that, could Half-Life 2, HALO, or Left 4 Dead achieved some of its AI breakthroughs?

Quis custodes ipsos custodiet?

For years my definition of "Web 2.0" was: "You make the content, they make the money" and I'm so thrilled to be involved with a place that's proving that wrong.

GrahamS:
For years my definition of "Web 2.0" was: "You make the content, they make the money" and I'm so thrilled to be involved with a place that's proving that wrong.

Not as thrilled as we are to have you, Graham. You and the rest of your loony friends.

ErinHoffman:
Thanks for going to bat, Russ. You and the folk at the E do it again and again.

Keep 'em comin' Hoff. Or do I call you "Madame Chairperson" now? ;)

Wow, thank you Russ for this breath of fresh air in a medium polluted with users who barely contribute more than their two word opinions. I am a film student from Canada who is looking at an industry who's ground is shifting more than Haiti right now. (sorry for the cynic humor XD)
It frightens me to see television dying, the internet filled with people exploiting the new found "Freedom of Information"; and I know you're not the first one to go to the pulpit on this one, but I thank you for addressing it in this smart and thought provoking article.

I'm a relatively new subscriber to The Escapist, only been reading for about a month or so. The more that I dive into the fan base of this site; the more I read it's non headliners; the more I realize that we really have a gem here. People who are either artists themselves, or at least care enough about the art industry to not exploit it. Hell, there's even less shlock in the forums on this site, I love it!

Anyway just wanted to let you know that I am going to be a fan for a long, long time.

Great piece, I hope you write more of these thought provoking mini-articles. I like the fact that you not only touched on the problems with the internet but also how it affects other forms of media like music and television.

It's this sense of entitlement that has enabled the masses to steal intellectual property without remorse.

I was reading a press release about Cryptic saying they couldn't believe the interest in their MMO: Star Trek Online. Yet, when I go into the game nearly everyone is complaining about the game in some way or another leading me to believe that yes, people will eat the albino rhinoceros sausage if it's free, and complain about it's taste the whole time.

Whoa whoa whoa. Hold the love, here.

1. Russ seems to have a problem with the fact that the Internet is chock full of so many quacking yahoos that the true visionaries can't get their voices heard. And granted, perhaps, looking down, this is the case. But who makes the decision as to whom these supposed visionaries are that are being muffled? Isn't that decision made later on by people with the benefit of hindsight? You can't claim genius is being muffled when it's not entirely clear who's actually a genius and who is just very talented at something people like presently (be it for entertainment or scholarly reasons). You don't know what is important culturally until later, after the dust of progress settles a bit. And the Internet is too new to think this has happened yet.

A second point on this point. Let's say Russ is right, that genius IS being drowned out. When, on the Internet and before it, hasn't this happened? People who are revolutionary are ALWAYS shouted down by the majority, because they're out to change everyone's world. This is typical human behavior. When exactly was this supposed Golden Age Russ seems to think existed, when progressives were heard and everyone wanted to hear them? I don't seem to remember that.

2. Which leads to another problem. If this age did exist, it existed at some point in the past. You know, a past dominated by white male writers, writing for white male readers, for pieces of paper which featured pictures of (in many cases) white male writer/readers. Other voices were heard, but were relegated to low shelves and back pages because they offended majority sensibilities. I'm not saying these white male writers didn't have voices worth hearing. My point is that they were not the only ones who did, and yet, because of money, connections, scholastic bias, etc., they were all that were heard through what were expensively-produced channels. I don't think of this situation as being some kind of great age of talent and reason simply because only a handful of people were deemed "worthy" enough to be heard, and I don't see how a contemporary intellect could.

3. That line Russ has about there not being any "gold" in the hills of YouTube really shocks me. By "gold," I assume he means great talent. Pardon, Russ, but wasn't a certain Mr. Yahtzee posting on this same YouTube before the Escapist hired him, and wasn't he doing there exactly what he is doing here? Or doesn't he consider Yahtzee "gold?" It's perfectly fair to not like what Yahtzee does (if Russ in fact doesn't), but to claim that he isn't one of the standouts of Internet content confuses me. If he isn't, then who is?

4. Which raises another point. Russ uses the word "quality" a lot in this essay, and says that he believes it matters. And yes, who would disagree with this? The problem arises when you start trying to figure out who has what standards of quality, and why. The Internet is a global culture. Quality is as variable a trait online as it is in the off-line world, taken as a whole. Is anime quality? Is only some of it? What about Flash animation? Amateur-produced music? What makes some "quality," and other "garbage?" Sure, we can all look at YouTube videos of people falling down and note that this isn't "quality" work as compared to The Guild. But that's because we're accustomed to professional television, and The Guild conformed to those standards of quality. The Internet isn't television. Why does it have to be? Why can't it have its own standards of quality? I think it can, but I don't know what those are yet, and I think that's because the Internet is so large and so international that it may actually be impossible to tie it down to one integrated standard of quality.

5. And that is what makes the Internet great, isn't it? The vast egalitarianism of content? That everything, good, bad, and otherwise is all in the same place, for the discerning viewer to sort out? Sure, there's a ton of it, but I just don't see how anyone could consider that fundamentally a bad thing. I think there ARE nuggets of gold out there. It's just that they may be hard to find. And there's also the fact that everyone can now find their own self-proclaimed "nuggets" without asking corporate media what it thinks they should think is gold.

6. Which is why the essay confuses me. If Russ clearly thinks the pre-Internet model of quality control was great, he can't also talk about how terrible it is that individual voices are being squashed by majority opinions. That is the very essence of the old model, as I pointed out above! You either have all the content in one place, on equal footing, and the "gold" must be extracted from the rubble, or someone decides what is good enough to be consumed and throws out the rest, never to be seen again, and there's no promise that they won't hawk pro-majority product, which they probably will, because it sells.

The only other option is to have some kind of Grand Internet Media Council that sits over the Internet and picks out which content it thinks is "quality", and then somehow gives it more press than what it thinks is crap. And speaking personally, I'd infinitely prefer to make my judgments on the basis of hit counts logged by Google than on the declarations of people who claim they "know" what I "need" to think is worthwhile. That, after all, is the old model. And it's because WE DON'T LIKE the old model that all of us have abandoned the old corporate media for the new.

Yes, Russ's editorial was very well-written. But there is one thing that matters to me more than almighty quality, and that's content. And while the content here is well constructed, it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of quality sense.

NamesAreHardToPick:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Surely by dismissing creations built by the "crowd" and putting power back in the hands of the craftsmen, you are just rebuilding the guilds and unions of yore though?
...
With infinite monkeys there's always going to be a lot of monkey poo, but sweeping it all away would destroy not only that of value, but things that may gain value, especially to that lonely youngster looking for a way to make his mark on the world?

Web2.0 found an interesting flaw with the old "infinite monkeys" system of creating great works of art: you actually have to go and look for the complete works of Shakespeare in the combined output of an infinite number of monkeys. Even if it could be guaranteed that the thing we're looking for is somewhere in there (we don't have infinite monkeys making the probability close to 0) nobody stopped to think that the task of finding it would be so monumental that only a fool would bother. It's painfully obvious now that we've got our monkies all set up and hammering away... although the act searching is sometimes very amusing.

The most time-effective thing to do is rely on someone whose job is to sift through our collective trash and present all the brightest or most oddly-shaped bits for our amusement. The "infinite monkey" scenario has led us back to gatekeepers and money, all we have is a new and hilarious alternative to the boring routine of simply paying someone to produce the thing we want.

No, no, no, what you need to do is take half of the monkeys and have them do the sifting. See, that leaves an infinite number of monkeys to make stuff and an infinite number of monkeys to find shiny stuff, so it works out.

:)

Okay, so, a bit more seriously: just as Web 2.0 thingies allow anyone to create and distribute content, they also accelerate the traditional word of mouth process for finding the good stuff. Email, IM, and social networks allow people to easily and quickly share things with friends, and blogs and the like increase the branching factor in the spread of content long before it's big enough to be picked up by the traditional media and other larger outlets. It's not a perfect system, but hey, it seems pretty effective for certain types of content.

wilsonscrazybed:
Yet, when I go into the game nearly everyone is complaining about the game in some way or another leading me to believe that yes, people will eat the albino rhinoceros sausage if it's free, and complain about it's taste the whole time.

Nearly right Wilson. If it's free, they'll complain but still eat it.
If it's 1p+, they'll stop complaining because they've paid for it.

I've always found that people are automatically rephrensive of something free, but ask them to donate a small amount (however small) and those complaints go away (EVEN if justified).

Vim-Hogar:

No, no, no, what you need to do is take half of the monkeys and have them do the sifting. See, that leaves an infinite number of monkeys to make stuff and an infinite number of monkeys to find shiny stuff, so it works out.

:)

Heh, infinite number moves are fun. That's what kills the "close to 0" mark:

It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.

I think the problem at the moment is that what comes across in our minds is good is more like "is popular". When we vote for something, it's often on "what we know" rather than "what we value". Thousands of people will watch Yahtzee every week, whether he's right or wrong but there may be far better reviewers out there who don't get chance to be heard.

How to solve this? That's when we move to Web 3.0: Where things are measured in potential, rather than hits.

Lot of people write so much more than normal. Trying to impress the editor are we?

People bitching about everything on a forum is little different from people bitching about everything around the water cooler or dinner table. The only difference is now the people they're bitching about might actually read it, & be dumb enough to take it to heart. Complaining about anything to anyone is just something people do. Ask anyone to tell you about their troubles & you can almost guarantee they will bore you to death if you let them.

TheBluesader:

3. That line Russ has about there not being any "gold" in the hills of YouTube really shocks me. By "gold," I assume he means great talent. Pardon, Russ, but wasn't a certain Mr. Yahtzee posting on this same YouTube before the Escapist hired him, and wasn't he doing there exactly what he is doing here? Or doesn't he consider Yahtzee "gold?" It's perfectly fair to not like what Yahtzee does (if Russ in fact doesn't), but to claim that he isn't one of the standouts of Internet content confuses me. If he isn't, then who is?

You've misunderstood the point. What Russ was referring to is the problems that Google has had in actually making any money from YouTube.

When I read your tweet about this post I wasn't impressed, but now that I've hit this editor's note through the main page... wow.

It's an art to find quality amidst the monkey poo. Every time I decide to spend some time to surf the web I dive in and hope to find a few gems like this editor's note.

The_root_of_all_evil:

NamesAreHardToPick:
(we don't have infinite monkeys making the probability close to 0)

Does that mean there's zero chance? I think not.

Well... someone did make a linux port of the C64 game Paradroids. I guess that's some ground to start building faith in internet-people. There are also Kenta Cho's shmup games.

Just as often our finite number of monkeys has let me down. I should be able to let my daughter pick a theme and find a decent user-created platforming level for it in LittleBigPlanet out of the two million or so in existence... but no the best I could do was spend half an hour running on a wheel in a cage when she chose "guinea pigs". There's no freeware knock-off of Konami's awesome game SLAI.

That constitutes a failure on the internets.

Would such classics as I Wanna Be The Guy or any of Alt-Esc's wonderous finds have been available if Web 2.0 weren't sifting themselves?

Counterstrike, for all of it's faults, simply wouldn't have been available without the hard work done by the - mostly unpaid - modding crew of Web 2.0. And without that, could Half-Life 2, HALO, or Left 4 Dead achieved some of its AI breakthroughs?

Since you're posing it as a question, I'm free to say "yes, all that stuff would have happened anyway without web 2.0". We got airplanes, encyclopedia britannica, nuclear power, and Katamari Damacy without web 2.0... but now it's being billed as the ONLY way to invent or learn anything at all, in spite of the fundamental unreliability of relying on charity actions by complete strangers. It's a new alternative, but doesn't invalidate the history of human industry prior to 20XX.

wihtout web 2.0 the escapist would not exist in a meaningful sense - how would you have found all the creative people, who would never have HAD a medium as they are not big names? If "crowd-satisfying entertainments" is popular then it is for a reason and how can it be wrong for media organisations to target this? They always have. It's true the internet can be a crushing thing - but it is also an oppertunity for ordinary people who never would have had a chance otherwise.And a way for untapped talent to express itself.

Well said.

Is it ok to say that I love you Russ, or would that go against everything your article is discussing?

Great stand-alone article note!

The_root_of_all_evil:
Surely by dismissing creations built by the "crowd" and putting power back in the hands of the craftsmen, you are just rebuilding the guilds and unions of yore though?
Wasn't the creation of America itself based around the pioneering spirit in this new land?

A very interesting question, however living here in the states I can assure you with the current job market, the economy and the next generation(i.e. people like me) we are not learning the hard skills to actually get our hands dirty and producing something either as a group or as an individual.

There is something important about having the old guilds and unions because they offer hands-on experience and enable a support structure to the point where that individual has enough skill and experience to be self-supportive. Here in the states the ability to get that hands on experience is much more difficult the older one gets and there is that magic window where if not taken advantage of is closed forever which is known as college.

Internships is where those who do pursue a college education and is financially supported by family or burden themselves with immense loans is where my generation can only get that hands on experience in an industry. These are rarely paid and the competition to get an internship is only increasing as well as the requirements. Take a look at any industry website and you will be hard pressed to find an internship that does not require the individual has to go to college and must be able to get school credit. Sometimes it is even harder where the student has to also have a 4.0 or 3.0 GPA or above and of course be a full time student.

Now these internships are essentially either entry level jobs, grunt work where the individual doesn't truly gain any experience, or actually experience different parts of the industry getting real experience and skills.

However the American workforce expectations have been raised so much that even getting an entry level job is a lot harder to sell if an individual did not get the internship or have the outside experience normally requiring about 3-4 years.

So right now there is a wall(assuming no network or inside connections) where you either got the experience from the internship and have the grades to pursue a career in the industry of your desire. Or you are segregated and stuck trying to sell what you have from college(which is very undervalued) where even a B.A. still gets you put in the same line of work as someone with a high school diploma.

If there was anything the Baby Boomers and Gen. X did not learn from the Greatest generation is that you need to give people the hands on experience and develop the hard skills and that is done through employment. Gen.Y is suffering because growing up they have lost even the basic skills that the two previous generations learned in the k-12 like cooking, woodwork and metal shop, auto shop(not drivers ed) all of those career paths have been destroyed. Now most jobs that Gen.Y has available require a degree in business for entry level employment. The arts of history and english are not valued unless one pursues their Masters.

In short, America shot itself in the foot because we did not see the value in teaching the next generation hands on experience but instead protect them because of the idiot that chopped his arm off in shop. We put too much value on the business major and have to understand that people can learn anything. But since the job market has these impossible expectations they are encouraged to say NO because they don't meet the "criteria" of the job application. What we do need is those guilds that encourage people to have at least some set of skills that they can fall back on for employment. Do you think those women during WWII knew how to create bullets and build planes? Of course not they were trained with hands on experience and then put to work which is the exact opposite direction our nation is going.

Logan Westbrook:

TheBluesader:

3. That line Russ has about there not being any "gold" in the hills of YouTube really shocks me. By "gold," I assume he means great talent. Pardon, Russ, but wasn't a certain Mr. Yahtzee posting on this same YouTube before the Escapist hired him, and wasn't he doing there exactly what he is doing here? Or doesn't he consider Yahtzee "gold?" It's perfectly fair to not like what Yahtzee does (if Russ in fact doesn't), but to claim that he isn't one of the standouts of Internet content confuses me. If he isn't, then who is?

You've misunderstood the point. What Russ was referring to is the problems that Google has had in actually making any money from YouTube.

So his "gold" metaphor was to be taken more literally? I think I'm going to have to reread that portion of the article, because it seemed very clear to me to be saying what I thought it said at the time.

Thanks for pointing out my error, if indeed it was one.

Tenmar:

A very interesting question, however living here in the states I can assure you with the current job market, the economy and the next generation(i.e. people like me) we are not learning the hard skills to actually get our hands dirty and producing something either as a group or as an individual.
...

*steps back and applauds* Wonderful post.

I find it interesting to compare your views, Russ, to the many similar views held not too long ago about TV, and even press before it. They all have been said to devalue the craftsmanship of the masters and pander to the lowest common denominator. And still, both craftsmanship and appreciation for high culture are alive somehow even today.

The thing is that when a chosen elite does all the communication in a given medium, the overall quality of its works may be high, but that doesn't mean its really appreciated by the people outside this elite. In other words, most people would not crack open a World Book or Britannica anyway. Wikipedia could not distract the general public from those things because there isn't any attention directed towards them in the first place. To think each Wikipedia search would equal a look into Britannica is to think each pirated copy of a game equals a lost sale.

Even at its lower-than-Britannica level of quality, Wikipedia allows us to educate a group of people that would otherwise remain uneducated to the not so high (but still higher than their original) Wikipedia-level of knowledge. With it, and thanks to the existence of Britannica, then we can help a further (though, even slimmer) group of people to rise even further. The "mass" part of "mass media" ensures that this group reaches the highest numbers possible and is therefore a very good thing indeed.

In conclusion: Web 2.0 may have enabled many less talented writers to publish low quality text in the same space as you. It may also have enabled many ignorant commenters to say stupid thing about the higher quality texts. But that doesn't mean before Web 2.0 there were many more talented writers or all of people's opinions for high quality texts were intelligent. That's just the price that needs to be paid for the ability to connect more great writers to more intelligent readers.

As an aside: That "lowest common denominator" phrase people use actually addresses something entirely different. The correct term would be "greatest common divisor" but what can you do.

As another aside: I just happened to read a great article on a similar subject: Wii Shovelware.

The_root_of_all_evil:

*steps back and applauds* Wonderful post.

Thanks, now if you will excuse me I have to go back onto Monster.com and create more resumes and cover letters rewriting the same information but using different words that make me appear qualified for the job.

I'm really tired of being behind of a computer not working and waiting to hear back from anyone after applying. I'm just glad I volunteer at the Reagan Library once a week where I know I'm doing something for the community and get out of my parents place.

I'm very confident that all those people who are unemployed would kill to have employment just to get out of the house. However when you are an adult and need to be self-supportive for oneself and their family the income does matter even if they are living as frugal as possible. I feel horrible knowing that I'm still living off of my parents and I've applied from places that take no qualifications to those that go a bit beyond entry level work in multiple industries that I think they will hire me. I'm not being picky anymore and I know I would be in debt or homeless without my parents.

What is scary to me is that I'm now in my mid twenties and I still don't have a career to pursue which is a growing trend. Young adults are not having stable employment like previous generations and not choosing to stay in an industry because of the lack of wage increase.

If you ever heard of Bill Moyers he got a very good guest back in 2009 about this problem that is affecting the US. I encourage a look if you are interested in seeing the problem and what it could mean for the future of the US.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/10302009/watch.html

I'm pretty sure that Radiohead are quoted as saying that they made more money from their download released album than a traditionally published one.

Considering Radiohead distributed over a million copies of the album in its first month of release, it's estimated they still made something of a profit, but how much?

Go find out, because I happen to think that it's more than normal.

Tenmar:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/10302009/watch.html

Thanks for that. Very interesting.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here