Citizens’ what?

Citizens’ what?
: Doc likes “citizens’ media.” I did, too, until Doc said that David Weinberger said that it’s not a medium, damnit, it’s a conversation. And I agree.

But I have synonym fatigue. It’s not an audience. They’re not consumers. They’re not readers; they’re writers. They’re not them; they’re us. Anyway, Doc says:

I love that term, citizens media. It’s so perfect. From one Jersey guy to another, F*****’ A, Jeff.

Remember CB radio? Unlicensed, low-range, junk wattage. All but useless in the beginning for everything but making hobby noise. The truckers did a helluva job putting it to work. Still do, far as I know. And I’m sure there are still a few good uses for it, around firefighting, civil defense or whatever.

My point is, CB is about all the feds ever wanted us ordinary citizens to have. It’s not their fault. They could hardly have imagined a platform for citizens media

  • Rex

    What about “folk media” rather than “citizens”? As in “folk art” and “folk music”…referring to that which is created by the common person rather than the trained professional…as in the following definition from the McGraw Hill Online Learning Center: Of the people; originally coined for European peasants; refers to the art, music, and lore of ordinary people, as contrasted with the “high” art or “classic” art of the European elites.” Of course, it may just be the Tennessee in me.

  • Anything but “The People’s Media”. My college girlfriend was a hardcore Marxist. Put me off “People’s Anything” for life ;-)
    Rex, whatever term is eventually chosen, “The ______ Media”, whatever, it will just happen. It’ll just spring up from the ground, like the word “blog” did. There were other words used to describe it, that’s the name that stuck. No commitees were needed.
    I like the term “Individual Media”, without the apostrophe.

  • billg

    It may spring from the ground, but most of it will be weeds.
    If you aren’t participating in a conversation, it’s of no interest. The “blogosphere” may seem a wonderful conversation for the participants, but everyone else will just stop by to see if there is anything worth eavesdropping on.
    These days, I find I’m reading fewer blogs and spending less time on each. Why? I know what each blog writer thinks, so why bother? I wouldn’t read a newspaper that only printed editorials; I wouldn’t watch a news channel that only aired talking head pundits; I don’t listen to talk radio. When virtually the same kind content is published in a different place — the web — what makes it so special?
    A blog remains a place to publish. It’s the words that matter, not the publishing tool.

  • “A blog remains a place to publish. It’s the words that matter, not the publishing tool.”
    I agree with that wholeheartedly, Billg. The medium is not the message, the message is the message etc etc.
    Personaly, blogging is doing lots for my career directly and indirectly, and I know lots of people who are experiencing likewise. Occasionally I stumble upon people who find it easier to pretend people like me don’t exist, rather than to give the issue further thought. Their problem, not mine.

  • billg

    Hugh, blogs are wonderful tools that provide a platform for many, many voices, some of which we need to hear. (I blogged a few years ago, but gave it up when it became a daily chore, not a daily good time.)
    But, I’m rather skeptical about the alleged revolutionary nature of blogs. Almost every blog I come across reminds me of the first few minutes of almost every talk radio show, when the host reads juicy bits from the newspapers, adding a few sentences of commentary designed to rile some listerners into picking up their telephones. I don’t call that revolutionary. (And the anti-corporate “let’s stick it to big media” rant sounds to me like a warmed over version of the open source software cultists’ rant against MIcrosoft. Both are defining themselves in terms of their adversaries.)
    I know of a few blogs that appear to be managed and fed by a staff of contributors. If they take it the next step and start sending people out to get their own stories, that’ll be a step in a new direction. Although that would be less of a blog and more of an online news outlet, it would be interesting to see if such a creature could survive without going commercial and directly mimicing traditional online news providers.

  • Fair points all, BillG.
    I think a blog is like a blank piece of paper. You can do whatever you wnat with it, from writing down your shopping list to penning some great work of art.
    And whatever happens, you are responsible for your own experience. If nobody reads it, it’s your fault, not venture capitalism’s or some heartless editor hack.
    Maybe my interest is instinctively “micro”. The story of one or two great bloggers out there fill me with more inspiration than the image of 2 million bloggers, humming away in some huge, rudderless clump.