This is not to say that corporations and governments are going to wither away. Though some of the early utopianism around new communications tools suggested that we were heading into some sort of posthierarchical paradise, that’s not what’s happening now, and it’s not what’s going to happen. None of the absolute advantages of institutions like businesses or schools or governments have disappeared. Instead, what has happened is that most of the relative advantages of those institutions have disappeared—relative, that is, to the direct effort of the people they represent. We can
Note: there will be churches and church. but their relative value diminishes.
when USA Today launched. The principal threat to the Richmond Daily News, and indeed to all newspapers small and large, was not competition from other newspapers but radical changes in the overall ecosystem of information. The idea that someone might build four-color presses that ran around the clock was easy to grasp. The idea that the transmission of news via paper might become a bad idea, that all those huge, noisy printing presses might be like steam engines in the age of internal combustion, was almost impossible to grasp. Howard could imagine someone doing what he did, but better. He couldn’t...
Note: key! overall ecosystem!
professionalism. Sometimes, though, the professional outlook can become a disadvantage, preventing the very people who have the most at stake—the professionals themselves—from understanding major changes to the structure of their profession. In particular, when a profession has been created as a result of some scarcity, as with librarians or television programmers, the professionals are often the last ones to see it when that scarcity goes away. It is easier to understand that you face competition than obsolescence.
Note: easier to facw competition than obsolescence
User-generated content isn’t just the output of ordinary people with access to creative tools like word processors and drawing programs; it requires access to re-creative tools as well, tools like Flickr and Wikipedia and weblogs that provide those same people with the ability to distribute their creations to others. This is why the file on your computer doesn’t count as user-generated content—it doesn’t find its way to an audience. It is also why Mr. King’s novel-in-progress doesn’t count—he is paid to get an audience. User-generated content is a group phenomenon, and an amateur...
Note: re-creative tools