Give Steve Jobs a big laugh – tell him there’s no more consumers, just communities

There are days where the stupidity that rolls out of the social media world just seems to write itself.


After all how else can you take this idea that is being put forth by people like Jeff Jarvis that we are no longer consumers but rather all a part of various communities.

Now before you start wanting to gouge out your brain let’s realize that this is the very argument that Jarvis used in a recent TEDxNYed. Yes folks he put forth that – especially in relation to education – that this whole idea of lectures and us being consumers of those one-to-many lessons in learning is outmoded and dumb (or as he called it bullshit) and that we all needed to become collaborators.

But the real yuk-yuk fest starts when he starts going off about how the concept of the audience is dead and the sooner media realized this and that all media is based on the idea of communities the quicker these dying media companies might be able to resurrect themselves.

I tell media that they must become collaborative, because the public knows much, because people want to create, not just consume, because collaboration is a way to expand news, because it is a way to save expenses. I argue that news is a process, not a product. Indeed, I say that communities can now share information freely – the marginal cost of their news is zero. We in journalism should ask where we can add value. But note that that in this new ecosystem, the news doesn’t start with us. It starts with the community.

I like the way that Vincent Ferrari at cut to the chase in his post about this

The death of the audience is a fundamental cornerstone of social media. We’re all supposed to be naked at a campfire singing “Flickr-by-yah my lord, Flickr-by-yah” while we check in on Foursquare so our friends on Twitter and Facebook can see how much more interesting our lives our than theirs. Since we’re all participating in this brave new world of social media, we’re all equals. There are no barricades. You didn’t get that memo?


Here’s the problem with that. No matter how much these fools try to tell you and your business that we’re all just a digital nation of equals all hungering to participate in this culture of creation, the reality is that most people still consume media rather than create or contribute to it…

If this is indeed the case and the whole idea that we are all now a part of some community and that the audience and consumerism is dead; and a thing of the past, someone had better get on the horn to Steve Jobs ASAP.

After all he should be told that this silly idea of the iPhone and the App Store is a dumb idea that will never fly. No-one will want to buy any of those apps that do nothing but let you consume goods – you know … like playing silly games or downloading all kinds of music and video.

I am sure to that if you get to him before the iPad ships he’ll forever be in your debt for saving him from looking like a fool since no-one is going to want to buy weekly or monthly subscriptions to news companies like Wall Street Journal.

No-one is going to want to spend money to watch the latest offering from the television networks on such a outdated idea like the iPad. Not to mention the fact that there isn’t an advertiser around who is gonna want to spend money not that people don’t want to consume goods.

Hell Jobs might even send you an email to say thank you – that is when he stops laughing all the way to the bank.

Single Comment

  1. 25/03/10 at 17:22

    Steven, what you’ve missed is Apple is selling a community. It’s baked into their marketing.

    Consider this from a former Apple PR exec, explaining why you don’t see the iPod in those famous iPod ads. “The reason is simple: Apple isn’t selling you an MP3 player. They are inviting you to experience the Apple lifestyle and to become part of the iPod community…

    Even the glowing Apple logo was fixed to be right-side up for others (it’s upside down to you when you open your new
    MacBook because you are selling the brand to others for Apple. )” source:
    .-= Paul Mcgrath´s last blog ..paul_mcgrath: @davewells76 that bothers me. I would have hoped that people doing this are into it, and appreciate it. =-.