Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dictators vs Aggregators

You used to have no choice. You listened to what radio and MTV fed you. Now, youngsters hate radio and are tuning out in droves, if they ever tuned in to begin with. The history of music is available at your fingertips, you can go exactly where you want to and leave the rest behind.

The mainstream press has not caught up on this, because it's based on the old broadcasting model. Lasso the most people and dictate. But does YouTube dictate? eBay? They're just aggregators, in total they've got more users than the old mainstream dictation media outlets do, it's just that everybody's involved with completely different media. And, if something garners a lot of eyeballs, it's usually a train-wreck, some inane video about saving Britney or two cups that gets a momentary spike and is then forgotten.

So, if you light yourself on fire, people will pay attention for maybe a day. But then it becomes, what have you done for me lately?

Which is why the publicity stunts no longer work. They're seen as such. And the more you parade yourself in the mainstream press, the higher the risk you turn people off. If Coldplay entered the market today, they'd be a fraction of the size they are, and people wouldn't hate Chris Martin. It's just that Coldplay was one of the last bands to eke through under the old dictation system, we were all paying attention then, we're not anymore.../

/... I actually think the Jonas Brothers are a step up from Miley Cyrus and a lot of the recent pre-teen dreck. They can play and they can write. But obviously, kids are more interested in their own camp experience than the faux one portrayed on the Disney Channel. You might say that they have a short attention span, but that is wrong. They graze until they find what they're truly interested in, then dig extremely deep. Guitar Hero is better than the Jonas Brothers, they'd rather play the former. You don't have to consume what the man feeds you any longer. This is the story of the twenty first century, not piracy.
Bob Lefsetz

I get Bob Lefsetz's email and I love it... don't always agree with him... he has a fondness for C&W and Classic Rock... but I find his opinion and understanding of the music industry just now to be on-point.

His recent email / blogpost on the Jonas Brothers stayed with me. It doesn't matter if you don't know who the Jonas Brothers are... ask Dayna sometime and she'll tell you. Its more about the reference to the demise of MTV and the rise of YouTube... the demise of dictators and the rise of aggregators... that I got.

The whole paradigm shift that we are in the middle of is from a few elite "experts" telling us what to do... to decentralised populist peer recommendations. The intention of the ol' nanolog is to highlight what I dig... if you don't - hey nae worries... if you do - cooooool! Take the comments on my 2001st post... nobody likes my taste in music. Do I care??? Well, no... because its not about me telling you what to listen to but me opening up the doors and letting you choose.

Move this thought to church and we see the church stuck in a "traditional" dictation scenario... Jesus is the only way etc... Now PLEASE HEAR ME when I say I believe Jesus is the way to God. I am a follower of God in THE WAY OF Jesus. Its not about the message... its about how we communicate this message.

The gospel is equated with a preacher banging his (always a him... noticed that?) bible and telling you what to think/feel/believe/act/behave etc.

Times are changing... as demonstrated above... are we? Its no longer about lassoing as many people as possible and extracting them from their place and demanding they become "one of us".

Instead of dictating this love... maybe we should be the love. Be with them instead of expecting them to be with us... living out the message that people can take or leave... without necessarily us taking or leaving them. Instead of dictators we become aggregators of the message.

An aggregator is a go-to place. I want the latest video... I go to YouTube. I don't watch MTV and wait for when they are ready to show it to me. Being an aggregator is about being in the world and openly living a different life with people. You become the person people go-to... when they want to talk. This isn't an attractional thing necessarily... you are still in the world being Jesus in the community/subculture/genre that you be in... but you are open for people to approach you on their time. This isn't a "11 am on a Sunday" kind of thing. You are open and approachable... just like YouTube... 24/7... via face-to-face, phonecall, text, email, IM, Facebook IM, Skype etc etc.

Let's stop trying to be experts and dictating the best message in the world... and start living the best message in the world and being approachable for those searching... in their time.

Thanks Bob for the inspiration. Check out his views on his blog although... be warned... he does use strong language when expressing his opinion... and if you can't look beyond that then maybe you should stay within your entropic Contemporary Christian sub-cultural "bubble".

1 comment:

Angus Mathie said...

I agree with the general thrust of what you are saying and it is especially difficult for my generation to adapt and development outreach.
I think, using the Lord's example, it is possible to be, and use, a bit of both approaches, without arrogance or condescension. There are times for the Temple and times for the Marketplace. Essentially though it is about being all that you mention in living out our life of love and communicating the Love of Christ in us.


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