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Geoffrey Umanov May 26, 2008 at 11:32 am

Good paean to the individual as far as it goes. However there is a difference between product consumption and intellectual or content consumption.

As you state, the web is roiling historical media because it is both product and content. As content is released from the economic constraints of product, historical media begin to lose their relevance, leaving them with an unsustainable business model.

While they lose others gain. A few extremely talented individuals will rise to the top of the value chain (in an sense becoming new brands). but most will need to be part of an authority network to help distinguish their voice from the static. Also any system of monetization will require intermediaries to provide a scalable solution for collection and distribution of the rewards.

It is quite likely that a few of the historical media companies will morph into authority networks on the strength of their brand. Most will not. Other possible authority networks include not-for-profit associations, highly specialized members-only communities, peer-reviewing groups (Wikipedia), and governments (no kidding).

And there is no doubt that Google is setting itself up to be the main intermediary (Google AdSense is an example); capital is certainly following in their direction.

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