There are those who see the blurring of the audience/producer line as full of democratic promise, not least Gillmor, though Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture (2008) is perhaps the most striking statement of this.
|Is Jenkins too utopian, optimistic? [image source]|
On the face of it, the democratisation of 'UGC' (user-generated content), fan-made videos etc seems a good thing in weakening the power of the global conglomerate giants who dominate every media industry, often straddling several industries (as even the post-split Murdoch corporations do). But ... the 'new media' (an increasingly redundant term) giants have evolved themselves into even greater corporate behemoths than their old media predecessors. Is Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (still stuck in an asylum limbo in the Ecuadorian London embassy) right when he proclaims:
People who use Google are the product
Every time you go to a party and take a picture and post that picture to Facebook, you’re being a rat. You’re being a narc.
|A popular meme, Google is/Dr Evil [image source]|
Compare the mission statements of Google and the NSA – the NSA, who literally say, ‘We want to collect all private information, pool it, store it, sort it, index it, and exploit it.’ Whereas Google says, ‘We want to collect all private information, pool it, store it, sort it, and sell those profiles to advertisers.’ Really, they’re almost identical.
|Have I just sold myself in googling this term?!|