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The people's platform

taking back power and culture in the digital age

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This edition was published in by Metropolitan Books in New York.

Written in English

276 pages

From a cutting-edge cultural commentator and documentary filmmaker, this work is a bold and brilliant challenge to cherished notions of the Internet as the great democratizing force of our age. The Internet has been hailed as a place where all can be heard and everyone can participate equally. But how true is this claim? In this seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions, the author argues that for all that we "tweet" and "like" and "share," the Internet in fact reflects and amplifies real-world inequities at least as much as it ameliorates them. Online, just as off-line, attention and influence largely accrue to those who already have plenty of both. What we have seen so far, she says, has been not a revolution but a rearrangement. Silicon Valley tycoons now coexist with Hollywood moguls; a handful of giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook remain the gatekeepers. And the worst habits of the old media model, the pressure to seek easy celebrity, to be quick and sensational above all, have proliferated online, where "aggregating" the work of others is the surest way to attract eyeballs and ad revenue. When culture is "free," creative work has diminishing value and advertising fuels the system. The new order looks suspiciously like the old one. We can do better, the author insists. The online world does offer an unprecedented opportunity, but a democratic culture that supports diverse voices, work of lasting value, and equitable business practices will not appear as a consequence of technology alone. If we want the Internet to truly be a people's platform, we will have to make it so.-- Publisher information.

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Edition Availability
Cover of: People's Platform
People's Platform
Apr 07, 2015, Picador Paper
paperback
Cover of: The people's platform
The people's platform: taking back power and culture in the digital age
2014, Random House Canada
in English
Cover of: People's Platform
People's Platform: And Other Digital Delusions
2014, HarperCollins Publishers Australia
in English
Cover of: The people's platform
The people's platform: taking back power and culture in the digital age
2014, Metropolitan Books
in English

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The People's Platform

Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age

First published in 2014



Work Description

The People's Platform argues that for all our 'sharing', 'up-voting', and 'liking', the Internet reflects real-world inequalities as much as it reduces them. Attention and influence accrue to those who already have plenty of both. Cultural products are primarily valued as opportunities for data collection, while creators receive little or no compensation for their efforts. And we pay for our 'free' access to content and services with our privacy, offering up our personal information to advertisers.

We can do better. Employing a mixture of reportage, research and her own experiences working in a creative field, Astra Taylor not only offers an audacious rebuttal to the current Internet orthodoxy, she also presents viable solutions to our predicament. If we want the Internet to be a people's platfrom, we will have to make so.

Excerpts

Instead of the old start-up model, which tried to sell us things, the new one trades on our sociability – our likes and desires, our observations and curiosities, our relationships and networks – which is mined, analyzed, and monetized.

To put it another way, Web 2.0 is not about users buying products, rather, users are the product. We are what companies like Google and facebook sell to advertisers. Of course, social media have made a new kind of engagement possible: they have also generated a handful of enormous companies that profit off the creations and interactions of others.
Page 14, added by Prasanna Venkadesh.
A great Web 2.0 site needs a mob of people who use it, love it and live by it – and convince their friends and family to do the same. Mobs will devote more time to a site they love than to their jobs. They'll frequently build the site for the founders for free.

These sites exists because of unpaid labor, the millions of minions toiling to fill the coffers of a fortunate few. "Social networking, media and user generated content sites tap into – and exploit – core human emotions.
Page 16, added by Prasanna Venkadesh.
We are living in a world of “digital feudalism”, where sites like facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc., offer up land for content providers to work while platform owners expropriate value with impunity and, if you read the fine print, stake unprecedented claim over users creations.
Page 18, added by Prasanna Venkadesh.
When General Electric acquired NBC, for example, the CEO assured shareholders that the news, a commodity just like “toasters, light bulbs, or jet engines,” would be expected to make the same profit margin as any other division.
Page 26, added by Prasanna Venkadesh.
Understanding what sites people visit, what content they view, what products they buy and even their geographic coordinates will allow advertisers to better target individual customers. And more of that knowledge will reside with technology companies than with content providers. Google, for instance, will know much more about each user than will the proprietor of any one news site. It can track users online behavior through its Droid software on mobile phones, its Google Chrome Web browser, its search engine and its new tablet software. The ability to target users is why Apple wants to control the audience data that goes through iPad. And the company that may come to know the most about you is Facebook, with which users freely share what they like, where they go and who their friends are.
Page 15, added by Prasanna Venkadesh.

Links outside Open Library

The people's platform

taking back power and culture in the digital age

This edition was published in by Metropolitan Books in New York.


Edition Description

From a cutting-edge cultural commentator and documentary filmmaker, this work is a bold and brilliant challenge to cherished notions of the Internet as the great democratizing force of our age. The Internet has been hailed as a place where all can be heard and everyone can participate equally. But how true is this claim? In this seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions, the author argues that for all that we "tweet" and "like" and "share," the Internet in fact reflects and amplifies real-world inequities at least as much as it ameliorates them. Online, just as off-line, attention and influence largely accrue to those who already have plenty of both. What we have seen so far, she says, has been not a revolution but a rearrangement. Silicon Valley tycoons now coexist with Hollywood moguls; a handful of giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook remain the gatekeepers. And the worst habits of the old media model, the pressure to seek easy celebrity, to be quick and sensational above all, have proliferated online, where "aggregating" the work of others is the surest way to attract eyeballs and ad revenue. When culture is "free," creative work has diminishing value and advertising fuels the system. The new order looks suspiciously like the old one. We can do better, the author insists. The online world does offer an unprecedented opportunity, but a democratic culture that supports diverse voices, work of lasting value, and equitable business practices will not appear as a consequence of technology alone. If we want the Internet to truly be a people's platform, we will have to make it so.-- Publisher information.

Table of Contents

A peasant's kingdom
For love or money
What we want
Unequal uptake
The double anchor
Drawing a line.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
302.23/1
Library of Congress
HM851 .T39 2014

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL25649042M
ISBN 13
9780805093568
LC Control Number
2012042645
OCLC/WorldCat
761850064
Goodreads
13168201

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