The Culture Definition Market

Charlene Croft commented on my earlier posting predicting TV’s demise, suggesting that “TV may not be dead yet considering most of the blogsphere is driven by commentary and editorialization of stuff that occurs on television”. That got me thinking… is it perhaps too early to stick a fork in TV?

Blogs are wonderfully useful for a variety of things, not the least of which is publishing half-baked ideas in a global forum… so, let’s give that a shot and see what collective clarity emerges from the conversation.

Right now, I’m thinking that what we’re seeing is a rather typical pattern of when monopolies (or even strong oligopolies for that matter) are challenged. This time, we’re seeing it in the Culture Definition Market.

It’s pretty common for challengers to intensely focus – almost obsess about – the leading player in many markets. And, it is also plenty common for the incumbent to adopt the strategy of indifference… appearing not to care or notice lest they lend some credibility to the up-and-comers. Challengers gain credibility (or at least notoriety) by talking about the incumbent – they’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

If we follow the evolution of such a market, we generally see that eventually the incumbent is forced to acknowledge the competitive threat – and often far too late in the game.

And so it goes with blogs versus TV…. of course blogs mention TV more than TV mentions blogs…. of course TV still drives blog content, blogs play in the pop culture space and TV = pop culture. They’ve defined the space for over 50 years.

But it’s evolving.

Recently, various traditional media outlets have acknowledged blogging and other social media… some have even embraced it. This is different from their recognition of Web 1.0…. Web 1.0 as it was didn’t threaten what Seth Godin refers to as the TV Industrial Complex. Web 2.0 does, however. And Web 3.0 will finally be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

TV vs Social Media / the Internet is really a battle between two competitors in the Culture Definition Market. TV is the fat, lazy incumbent – the Internet the young upstart challenger with nothing to lose.

Previously posted on

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