Tom Coates writes:
it’s not just publishing or journalism that are going through a process of mass amateurisation at the moment. In fact over the last fifteen years or so pretty much all media creation has started to be deprofessionalised. We only have to look around us to see that this is the case – as individually created media content that originated on the internet has started to infect mass media. Hard-rocking poorly-animated kittens that once roamed e-mail newsletters are now showing up in adverts and credit-sequences, pop-songs written on home computers are reaching the top of the charts, weblog commentators in Iraq are getting columns in the national and international newspapers, music is being hybridised and spliced in the home for competitions on national radio stations. The whole of the mainstream media has started to look towards an undercurrent of individual amateur creation because of the creativity that’s bubbling up from this previously unknown swathe of humanity. Mass-amateurisation is EVERYWHERE.
The weblog is the homepage that we wear…[The] flexibility of publishing creates a fluid and living form of self-representation, the ‘homepage (as a place)’ has become the ‘weblog (as a person)’ that can articulate a voice. And when there are a multiplicity of voices in space, then the possibility arises of conversations. And where there is conversation there is the sharing of information. And conversation about what? Well everything from music and movies and animation and medical information. Weblogs are becoming the bridge between the individual and the community in cyberspace – a place where one can self-publicise and self-describe but also learn, debate and engage in community. In other words, weblogs are not only a representative sample of mass amateurisation, they’re becoming enmeshed in the very structures of information-retrival, community interaction and media distibution themselves. Weblogs are now facilitators of mass amateurisation. They’re almost becoming one of its architectures…
At the centre of all of this amateurisation is likely to be the weblog or something very much like it – far from them most flashy or obvious of the technologies we’ll be using, but a place around which we can connect with our interest groups, learn new skills and distribute our creations.