20 February 2008

Is Intellectual Authority Now Dead?

It wasn't so long ago that the line in the sand of authority was clearly visible. Those with degrees and years of in the corporate, governmental, and academic world were the undeniable experts in the field. At least, that's what we were led to believe.

Ever since this Web 2.0 culture popped into our real world, a ton more people have been able to jump on in the sandbox, too. That line just got scattered beneath so much authority. Whole new fields have popped up, and old ones are changing in wholly different ways.

Most notably, marketing has significantly changed. Old world marketing techniques just don't translate into the web world, and increasingly, that's where our media is headed. There is currently some talk about the New York Times having to downsize their editorial staff due to a drop of over 70% in sales. Yet for each non-renewed paper or magazine delivery, the news sources must receive 10 - 100 new RSS subscriptions and 1,000's of general page views per day. From all across the globe, no less.

The big guys are also having difficulty keeping up the speed of the smaller or independent journalists who blast the wire before the big guys make it to the scene. Then advertising dollars are off course dropping off. The only place that market is staying super-strong, for the time being, is television. Even TV is about to go all online, too. The talk about how shows are going to be funded and sponsored and advertised is going to show us completely new ways to market.

Which brings me to the whole authority question. For years, we heard that the internet was nothing more than a fad. Now, we know it was a gateway to the most serious change we've seen in our recorded history, and that the changes that occur from here on out will only come faster and faster. Why?

The answer is simple. The sandbox gets bigger and everyone starts to build their own castles, roads, and shrines. Not only the "experts" get dibs on the box. In fact, the box has been busted wide open.

From internet marketers who literally wrote the book to the ladies who sell their panties on eBay, new authorities have emerged, old authorities debunked or left behind, and the final farewell to kings issued.

Note: I hurried this post out, so please consider this a rough draft or a launching point for much better articulated explorations.

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