Friday, March 17, 2006

Well It Sure Beats Being the Pepsi Generation

A new generation is upon us. Not like any seen before. This a generation that does not exclude based on age, and is for anyone with any creative inklings. This is Generation Content. It is this generation that is responsible for the increasing numbers of blogs, podcasts and Internet television programming. attributes two reasons for the emergence of this new generation: "(1) The creative urges each consumer undeniably possesses. We're all artists, but until now we neither had the guts nor the means to go all out. (2) The manufacturers of content-creating tools, who relentlessly push us to unleash that creativity, using -- of course -- their ever cheaper, ever more powerful gadgets and gizmos. Instead of asking consumers to watch, to listen, to play, to passively consume, the race is on to get them to create, to produce, and to participate."

With the increasing availability and ease of consumers to create content it is not suprising that the numbers are continuing to increase. And with the continuing influx of consumer created content it has led to many users getting paid. Such content creaters are reaching niche audiences and reaping the rewards. Creating new types of original content that would not be noticed nor produced by mainstream media outlets. So people are paying for content created by the average joe.

Such a market of user created content has implications on all aspects of the mass media. It means that people can get involved. In a previous post the idea of current TV was discussed. It is this type of content that could potentially drive the mass media. It could also mean that slivercasting will become more important as viewers demand more specific content.

Generation C has come to exist because of the interaction of four other trends: Creativty, Casual Collapse, Control and Celebrtity. First, creativity is important, because "let's face it, we're all creatives, if not artists!". Though most people will not be shy about telling others that they aren't creative, deep down the desire to be creative exists and such creativity is the catalyst for the creation of content.

Next, Casual Collapse simply put is "the ongoing demise of many beliefs, rituals, formal requirements and laws modern societies have held dear, which continue to 'collapse' without causing the apocalyptic aftermath..." (These are's words not mine). Such a change, however, has implications for society as a whole, because "a society in which the creative ethos is increasingly dominant," allowing a " generation of parents is slowly abandoning its obsession with children becoming doctors, lawyers or business executives, they are realizing that creative careers are not necessarily a dead-end road to poverty and family scandal." As people begin to shy away from such beliefs, the value of creativity will begin to flourish.

Control is probably the most important ingredient in the emergence of Generation C. The ability to control content, whether it be where, when, what or how it's shown has always been on the forefront of media consumer's minds. These individuals no longer want to be spoon fed content, rather they want to have some sort of stake in it.

Finally, there lies most people's desire to be a celebrity. With the improvement of communications technology from cell phones, to digital cable, to the Internet, individuals are able to disseminate information at their convience. Such an ability is allowing more and more people to become overnight sensations.

As consumers gain greater ability to produce and distribute their own content it has the potential to change the media landscape. With the emergence of the four C's, and their continued presence it seems that Generation C will be less of a generation and more of a media revolution.

Generation C

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