Of Mice and Personal Fulfilment

Posted Monday April 28, 2008 by Nick Caldwell in |

Clay Shirkey’s talk, Gin, Television, and Social Surplus from the 2008 Web 2.0 conference is being linked to from basically everywhere right now — so I’d be remiss in not sharing it too.

This is something that people in the media world don’t understand. Media in the 20th century was run as a single race—consumption. How much can we produce? How much can you consume? Can we produce more and you’ll consume more? And the answer to that question has generally been yes. But media is actually a triathlon, it ‘s three different events. People like to consume, but they also like to produce, and they like to share.

I think he overstates his case: in drawing an equivalence between consuming television and the excesses of gin consumption at the start of the industrial age, he’s glossing over the ways that media consumption itself has always had creative and meaningful outcomes — but it’s a provocative piece all the same.

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