(image is a hand-made tin soldier from Leddy and Slack, a MUST-HAVE for your new media revolutionary in your family. My first two were given to me by Laura Allen, one of the most thoughtful people I’ve met in 2006.)
Stick with me on this one, kids. This post kind of goes way out there and back again, and I’m okay with that. I just want to see how much of the idea resonates with you. Okay?
It’s like we’re populating a new planet.- David Kowarsky
When I was told that my paid title was “Community Developer,” I didn’t exactly love it. The reason was simple: it didn’t sound important enough to get respect from the people I would be coming in contact with on the corporate side of the spectrum. And I questioned this title only once, until I re-read the logo everywhere at pulvermedia. It says “pulvermedia builds communities.” Well there it is, I realized. This is actually a valuable title to my new boss.
Taking it Seriously
I take my role as community developer seriously. I view every outreach to videobloggers as important to the company as meeting the heads of AOL or Sony or Nokia. I see someone at PodCamp as a citizen of this new world with as much value as someone sees David Letterman. Maybe even MORE valuable. DEFINITELY more valuable.
At utter random last night, I asked my company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Glenn, what he was doing for his vacation (as we were discussing the right videocamera to take snowboarding; answer=a cheap one). By the end of this conversation, I’d been introduced to his friend the PhD in Early American Studies (and a Major in the Army). And this brought me to a question:
Could you see the similarity in early settlements and their efforts to find the right balance of freedom and governance, and what’s going on with the new technology revolutions?
A few sentences of explanation from me later, and we were both in agreement that there were similarities.
(Is anyone still awake? This is going somewhere. I SWEAR!)
You are New Colonies
Check out this quote:
By “radicalism” I mean advocating wholesale change and sharp transformation rooted in a kind of dream life of a better future imagined by those who felt more dissatisfied with the conditions they experienced as the quarrel with [mainstream media] unfolded.
– Gary B. Nash, THE UNKNOWN AMERICAN REVOLUTION (c) 2005.
So of course I replaced Great Britain for mainstream media in my requote, but doesn’t it sound interesting? Here we are, podcasters, bloggers, videobloggers, the new citizens of Second Life, all dreaming of a better future, albeit one dealing with how information is communicated, shared, and acted upon. Want more?
“The great bulk of those, who were the active instruments of carrying in the revolution, were self-made, industrious men. These who by their own exertions, had established or laid a foundation for establishing personal independence, were most generally trusted, and most successfully employed in establishing that of their country.”
– David Ramsay, quoted by Gary B. Nash, THE UNKNOWN AMERICAN REVOLUTION (p xix).
It’s Our Revolution
A political/religious revolution isn’t exactly the same as an information revolution. This might have lots more in common with revolutions of economy and technology. Rivers and canals were less interesting once trains came along. Trains got boring once roads were built. Highways killed roads. The internet killed other things. Will video kill the TV star?
Just the same, revolutions are what they are. They are substantial breaks with what came before, with the hope of something radical and different and new, that hopefully levels the stage in some way.
Sound like what we’re doing? In a way.
Back to David’s Point
So, David Kowarsky said, “It’s like we’re populating a new planet.” If you think of this like that, if you consider the fact that you are a colonist building a new society, does it change your perspective on what you’re doing today with the medium? Should it?
Christopher S. Penn is a merchant in this new colony, as well as a founding father, a force and a source. Steve Garfield is a thinker and one who spreads the word, one who builds relationships with the Old World and the new. There are countless people building this revolution out, one experience at a time.
We’ve sent some of our colonists back to the Old World ( Amanda, for instance), and we’ve received new converts ( Crista). We have several more playing the middle ground of the Old and the New.
What Is Your Stake in the Colony?
Do you support the revolution? Are you seeing it like this at all? And if so, what is your stake in this new community? How will you be building this forward into what you’re doing, how you’re supporting it, etc?
For instance, the Tikis and Rocketboom and Galacticast and other successful colonists have given back by participating in PodCamp, our forum, our knowledge exchange, our “teach someone to fish” experience. We’ve had financial support from other merchants. There are other forums out there carrying on the conversation, including the Podcast and NEW Media Expo, Video on the Net, and more.
How do we contribute? What does the new colony need? Can we add value?
Your Thoughts are Greatly Appreciated
I spoke with Justin on the phone a few hours ago, and he discussed that community seemed to be the secret sauce. I know that Daniel agrees. He’s spent plenty of personal money, sweat, and time on the notion. Ze Frank works with community extensively, and Andrew and Casey & Rudy and others are all working to embrace their community as well.
In ways, we all are.
So, tell me your thoughts on this. Comment here. Link to a post in your blog. Share. Let’s open this up, if you think the general premise, We are a Colony. Now What?, works for you.
Samuel Adams is standing by.