Inverted orbits

I’ll be explaining and exploring the purpose of this site in the coming days, but before I get into it too deeply, I want to start with a quote from the incomparable Umair Haque:

“…connected consumers … want firms to be citizens of their microcultures.”

This notion and its implications are the central subject of this site, though I’ll use a variety of metaphors to explore it. Such as astronomical metaphors.

I’ll be paying attention specifically to public media companies and how they’re affected by and can change to embrace the sweeping inversion of how media is both distributed and consumed in the opening decades of the 21st century.

Short Version: In the past, PBS and NPR and their associated local media outlets were the centers of their media solar systems. They pushed out lots of heat and energy and had such tremendous mass that viewers and listeners were pulled into orbit around them.

But now the solar system metaphor is inverting.

In an expanding media universe, the viewers and listeners and readers — the users — are at the center of their own solar systems, and the “gravity” of their attention pulls in media services of all kinds, commercial and noncommercial alike. Where once we were the sun, today we are mere planets. Or if we fail to change, we’ll be comets, snuffed out after a few passes.

Never again will we — the public media purveyors — be the star at the center of the solar system. We must now begin to authentically grapple with this reversal of media economics and change our DNA (another Haquism) to engage with the public in new ways. We may not be the center any longer, but perhaps we can be an important planet in our users’ solar systems.

Maybe that’s a good introduction, and maybe not. Stay tuned for more. And comment away if that made absolutely no sense.

2 thoughts on “Inverted orbits

  1. Robert — You could say that! My metaphor is stretched, of course. I think your recent conjuration of Galileo and other revolutionary thinkers may be more apt or educational. But I’ll keep trying to use this metaphor for a while.

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