We all know that content creation is key to any web existence. Without really good, meaningful content, there isn’t really a reason for someone to frequently visit your site. When I think about all the major changes that are happening on social platforms, such as YouTube and (yes), even iTunes and Spotify, it leaves me kind of concerned for the kinds of information we’ll be seeing in the future. Well, let me explain, ’cause we all should be concerned about this. A lot of newspapers have lost a LOT of revenue due to the emergence of both personal blogs, and sites like Yahoo news. Suddenly people realize that they don’t have to pay for news anymore. When you think about it, indirectly it’s a good thing I guess, because it has somewhat forced a significant portion of our society to sort of “Go Green,” without any conscious effort. But, there are a few issues I’m seeing that we all need to have deeper discussions on. As digital technology continue to take over our lives, and although I don’t think paper will ever be obsolete, it will be almost non-existent in comparison to the last 3-4 decades or so (with the exception of mail order). Being able to physically pickup a newspaper somewhat gave me the comfort that whatever I’m reading comes from a legitimate establishment. Now, of course we all know that reading a newspaper doesn’t mean that articles are free from misinformation and or biases, but it can often give you the closest representation of what’s going on in the world, followed by pictorial images.
So, I say this to make people aware that there is a huge competition between the “big boy news,” and the little guys like us, the bloggers, the YouTubers, and the podcasters. Now, I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist, but I’m starting to notice a very serious pattern here. For instance, let’s start with podcasting. iTunes was the go to place to setup a podcasting stream. All of a sudden Apple took away the “Update Feed” feature when we uploaded a video. Then when you wanted to upload channel art, you now have to wait about 3+ weeks before iTunes would even read your XML file. Now, it’s almost impossible for your channel to get indexed inside the iTunes store, I couldn’t find any of the podcasters I used to listen too. Why? iTunes is pushing NPR, CNN, CBS, NBC, and other producer’s of major content. So in other words, Apple has deliberately abandoned small podcasters like you and me who have a right to our voices and opinions. iTunes has forsaken us. Let’s talk about YouTube. Ads were pulled from many videos because the “subject matter was inappropriate.” So, if a new mom wanted to talk about the issues of breast feeding her child in public, that would get flagged. Or if someone wanted to talk about ISIS, that would get flagged, or even taken down, regardless of the context of the video. All of this is happening via YouTube’s automated system. Many YouTubers are moving to other alternative platforms such as Patreon. I’m not sure how I feel about that, because you’ve got to have loyal, long-time followers to convince thousands of people to follow you a new platform just to see you. That’s a big risk. Well, only a big risk if you’re trying to get financial gains. I don’t think YouTube will be the way for YouTubers to make money anymore. Maybe they need to come up with a business model, in the same way the music industry did. Finally we have Spotify. In terms of podcasts, Spotify has chosen to manually hand pick who and what will pass through their system, which to me, is another iTunes. Sometimes I think this is all a systemic attempt to keep public opinion out, so that the “big boys” stay in control. Sounds like they are infringing on free speech if you ask me.