Brett Stevens has a very intriguing and thought provoking post titled “Social media as a model for the collapse of liberal democracy“.
We are now familiar with the social media cycle:
1)New site appears and the movers and shakers — power users, artists, thinkers — are drawn to it.
2)“Everyone else” shows up.
3)The site creates new policies and rules to deal with the monkeytime behavior of the everyone else.
4)The site no longer offers information of importance to movers and shakers because it is drowned out by the flood of memes, chatter, kitty pictures and personal drama.
5)The movers and shakers move on to a new site. Restart the cycle.
Maybe you saw this first with Something Awful, Friendster, or MySpace and are now seeing it with Facebook and Twitter. It almost looks like a whole generation of oversold internet companies are heading toward the dumpster this way.
This is analogous to what happens to civilizations. One group carves them out of the wild; we could call these “creators.” Then others show up or emerge through the process of genetic expression which produces some excellence, mostly the same, and some errors. Errors compound. This new group, which we might call “participants,” are not the movers and shakers the creators were. They are there for the easier living and will contribute only what they are compelled to.
Over time, the society changes its policies and rules to accommodate the participants, who are less disciplined and moral in personal behavior and also more random in their activity. Lacking the guiding spirit of creators, they tend to focus more on the personal, sensual and immediate. The leaders of the society shrug: the participants outnumber the creators. As a result, like a business, that society panders to the audience it has instead of the audience it needs…
It’s a brief post.
Read the rest here.