When I arrived at the point of writing this article, I was thinking about all of the content that is being pumped out across the web today. We are presented with an incredible volume of every type of media that is popular to employ these days: Audio, Video, Text, Graphical, we are immersed in a very deep ocean of communication!
And yet, so much of this media production is aimed at one form of selling, or another, it seems everyone is striving to convince each other to buy something from them; this is an age of mass commerce. We make our choices about which goods and services to select based on a complex range of variables.
As anyone who has signed up with a contract appreciates, the ‘devil is always with the details’, what you are promised and assured of in the sales copy never quite seems to translate into full reality once you have made the purchase, and if you read the ‘fine print’ in the contract you begin to understand the true limits of what you have bought. This can either result in ‘buyer’s remorse’, or you accept those limits and simply make a different choice next time.
I find with clients and customers of web services, and buyers of information technology services this happens a lot. People can have all kinds of expectations, ideas and assumptions when it comes to the web, and the internet, and indeed devices.
The World Wide Web was not put together as a consumer service, many people are surprised with this, but the internet and the web were not designed or intended to be consumer products; they both arose out of the world of military, and scientific research, academic and classified projects.
This insight provides a clue, a particular nuance for how we can organise our media, our communication style when we publish to the web, this is generically referred to as Search Engine Optimisation.
Search engines themselves are engineered to work with the World Wide Web, and this also adds to our store of clues regarding this same process of publishing.
I mention this because this all comes together with the topic I have been thinking about recently, that of Communication.
Human beings are communicators.
This is in fact what defines us all as being ‘human’.
Everything that is possible to achieve, everything that we have achieved is because we can communicate in the ways that we have developed.
What we must understand about the web is that it has completely changed the communication game. The Broadcast era was all about a single direction of content going one way into our awareness; our passivity in this dynamic is what gave the owners of media their enormous power in our society.
Now, this is what I am seeing, the shift of this single direction of communication into the real time two-way dynamic has essentially removed the base of power from the media machine.
Instead of switching on a television, or radio, and then absorbing the stream of content passively, we interact with the devices, we also have the capacity to respond to what we are presented with (very often); and this is what has confounded the propagandists, and barons of media production.
What was the first aspect of online media which was removed from the large, legacy media organisations online operations? That’s right, ‘commenting’ on their narratives!
I think one of the big reasons we love podcasts so much, apart from the huge convenience of portable non-demanding consumption, is this passive dynamic of absorbing a stream of content. Perhaps we are reminded of the old days when we did not have to think too deeply about what were were experiencing?
There is much to consider, much to take into account with our web publishing. Many people like to emphasise the purely financial aspects of being online, the ever present ‘make money online’ brigade. However, the most significant feature of the web is not economic, as compelling as this is, it is the amplification of our communication, and the egalitarian opportunity we all now have to externalise, present, and massively distribute our communication.
“The biggest difference with communication on the World Wide Web is that the dynamic is essentially two-way, this makes all the difference”
My intention with writing this article was not to craft an opportunity to conceal some affiliate links, or to influence you to purchase something, this is an example of what the web was originally engineered to service: organising ideas, and sharing information.
This humble document will be published, and it will exist on the WWW for a time, possibly hundreds of years if we are all still around; if you happen to have read this far, let’s perform an old fashioned experiment, send me an email, to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know that you have seen this article on your travels; this just tickles me and it will provide an indication of how far web publishing can potentially reach. Will you do this, I promise to reply and who knows, perhaps it will result in something interesting?
I will conclude this short, but I hope pithy and valuable little piece of text content by asking you a question: “How is what you have been doing with your web publishing ‘career’ been going, is your name linked with what you do, are you visible and linked with a specific area/niche/topic/subject?
I ask you this because I think that is the critical part of producing any kind of digital content, we offer our productions to others, but we also leave our mark, we cut our initials into the giant Oak tree of the World Wide Web, that is the objective, to associate our identity with an overarching area of human activity.
Webstruct.xyz is one of my ‘initials’, which also happens to be a means for you also to commence producing your publishing project. Communication is what I am interested with, and this happily coincides with being able to help others, this is really my intention, the rest of it is simply the means by which I try to let you know I am available to assist.