More than a year ago, Ralph Simon - the 'father of ringtones' and Lady Gaga's Internet advisor (please note that Lady Gaga is NUMBER ONE on Twitter and maybe Facebook) - finally articulated RIGHT HERE IN MALAYSIA what I believe is the single most important point concerning traditional, and new media.
"Ask old media - Fox, Universal Pictures, Sony Music, Rupert Murdoch - what is their product, and they would immediately say, 'content'," said the small man at PICC. "Ask Facebook and Google, what their product is, and they would tell you it's 'users'."
Which makes a damn lot of sense. If you ask Mark Zuckerberg, 'what is Facebook's primary selling point'? He's not going to answer, "Uhhh... we have location tagging and big blue buttons." No. He's going to say, "Facebook has over 750 million users, and growing."
Or something like that.
Traditional media is dying out and as part of the generation that helped destroy it, I feel damn fucking proud.
Actually, it's not destroyed. I believe I will die first before Ted Turner. Because Ted Turner is Captain Planet.
You can't fight the Internet on content. Nosirree. I don't believe that you can 'fight'. You can only add to the ocean of content. That's all.
News entities that want to fight the Internet will one day die like a fucking beached whale. Once all the newspaper readers die off in 20-50 years, that's it. You're dead.
And people who try to sell content online as what traditional media has done for the past couple of hundred years are merely doing what that old dude was doing. Roll the boulder up the hill, and watch it slide down again. Roll it up, slide down again.
On the Internet, you don't sell content. You sell user experience to users, and then you sell your numbers to advertisers.
For years, YEARS, I have been telling newspaper people that the ONLY way to make newspapers relevant again is to hand over the control of the paper to the people.
Have them vote on what comes out on the front page. Is it Najib? Is it Rosmah's imaginary diamond ring? Is it Anwar (allegedly) fucking someone in the ass again? Is it a pothole in Balakong? Everybody decides.
Okay, fine, maybe not the front page, but the inner pages.
Get people involved in news creation. Create a sense of ownership for newspapers, by the people. It's their fucking paper. The user experience generated by that would be so fucking tremendous and awesome, that I guaran-damn-tee that readership will increase by SIX BILLION readers.
Newspaper companies would have to cut down all the forests in the world, and everyone would die for lack of oxygen in TWO WEEKS. TWO WEEKS!
You know why I thought of this? Cause:
1. Nobody wants to read anything except their own writing and people who agree with them. Fuck facts. Fuck information. You tell them something they don't like, and they hate you for it. Even if it is true. Like, "The Opposition are just dumb racist fucks who want to embezzle even MORE money than the present Government."
2. News agencies waste a lot of time and resources sending reporters to cover areas where nothing happens. It's like, "Go cover Sepang and see if there's any landslide in two weeks." "Duhhhhh..." "Fuck you! Go cover 'em now!"
Of course, nothing happens and everything is a giant waste of time. And resources.
Instead, why don't we get people to suggest and vote for shit they want covered.
"Say, my daughter is graduating ballet next week. Can you cover that shit?"
"Fuck you, old man! There's a pothole behind my house and I want it covered right now."
Then, we go for a vote where ballet recital gets 1 vote, pothole gets 1 vote and Najib's Budget gets 200 billion votes. Fuck you, ballet recital.
During the days when we were all fighting against alleged control of the media, we all criticised how only a handful determines what comes out in newspapers and on TV. Well, my model breaks the game.
I've been yelling this on my blog since 2003. I've spoken to Government-linked and opposition-linked news outlets. ALL of them I believe - and this is only my own personal opinion - are afraid of relinquishing control.
Bros, Sistas, you never had any goddamn control since 1984? 1983? When the public Internet was born. You lost the grips fully when alt.news was all we had to share news and shit. You lost the battle on IRC. You got KOed for the billionth time, with FB and Twitter.
There is no control. There never was.
So just learn to let go.
Nowadays, I hear even the self-proclaimed information revolutionaries run their mouths with their silly little marketing slogans. They know something's coming, but they don't know jack shit what.
For us content people? Well, there's always a need for writers. For journalists. ESPECIALLY when everyone is a journalist. Look at Tyra Banks and her America's Next Top Model. Opening up the industry of modelling, telling people HOW to model properly did not destroy modelling, but simply increased appreciation for the discipline.
Sharing their recipes did not bankrupt Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver. Hell, they're worth more now than they ever were. Cause you can know the secrets, you can have all the tools, but nobody bakes Beef Wellington like Gordon Ramsay. Nobody can take pictures like Ansel Adams.
Writers and journalists who are afraid to share the techniques and tools of their craft are one-trick ponies and frauds afraid of being exposed. If you're really that damn good, you would share your knowledge.
I have shared what little I know of screenwriting with anyone who showed an interest. You know how many people actually wrote a script based on my advice? ZERO. I guess some people merely love the idea, and wanted to know about the process. They didn't really want to write.
I believe that opening up journalism and writing fully will elevate it into an art-form. Finally. Because it is an art-form.
And as an artist, a fucking rock star, I should be paid by the billions.
So good night, good luck, and fuck you.