The invention of the printing press transformed society by breaking up elite strangleholds on entertainment and information. But governments and corporations figured out how to tame the next wave of media—TV & radio. How can the Internet fulfill its true revolutionary promise and avoid being co-opted again by the economic and political establishment? By uniting with the book, the last medium to accomplish that. Average time spent per user on books is hours, lifetime revenue per author approaches one thousand dollars. But they're damn idiosyncratic and sampling them is hell, so current technology and business models favor lowest common denominators to maximize advertising revenue. By combining the Internet's capacity to power creation and consumption with the book's capacity to get deeper inside the human mind and identity than any other medium, the Internet can balance its dependence on corporate advertising with the economics of individual choice.
9th–13th March 2012