Bottom-up media tools

Sounds quite rude but that's how Dan Gillmor views the emergence of new forms of web-communication technology such as blogs, wikis, podcasts and one I've never heard of before - a web mashup.

The key to their success, he goes on to argue, is how they lead to a "democratisation" of the media - i.e. passive consumers of the media can either create their own mediums or they can interact with traditional media.

Call me a cynic, but if this is democracy it's got an awful long way to go. For instance, individuals or small groups setting up a blog has all the hallmarks of some sort of organic democratic movement, whether the bloggers are aware of this or not, but large media corporations letting the masses disturb both their overt and covert agendas is unlikely to happen without a big fight or an outcome that keeps the status quo in its original format.

Democracy, especially at the many levels of formal politics, is largely a veneer for wider social control. What I'm saying is bloggers shouldn't fool themselves into thinking they are in control of big things when they are not. At best blogs are tools by which low status groups can indirectly lobby the high and the mighty.

See 'Technology feeds grassroots media' (BBC News: Technology) for more details.

No comments: