Very interesting article in The Guardian the other day. The writer was working from a premise that the internet isn’t the egalitarian, customer-empowering, democracy-supporting resource that many claim it to be.
He pointed out, for example, how the internet is actually killing (and has already killed) many art forms. Exhibit One: the music industry. People now steal their pop music instead of buying it. Artists struggle to make even a reasonable living because of the above and, perhaps more shockingly, because the legal channels to market – like iTunes and Spotify – take such a massive proportion of their revenue.
You can sell a million copies of your latest single release and make barely anything from the royalties. So, unless you’re Beyonce or Rhianna, forget it.
And of course it’s because the internet is mostly a massive, insidious cartel of monopolies.
Oh yes, Google is very jolly and they have bouncy balls instead of chairs in their groovy Californian offices – wow! cool! etc. But,let’s be honest. They have, to all intents and purposes, a monopoly on what you and I can find on the web.
They control your internet marketing completely. You want your website to be found? You need to suck up to Google. Either by paying them via Adwords or by doing your SEO to conform to their latest mysterious, top secret algorithm.
You want your new rock vid to be found? You suck up to YouTube (owned by, er, Google). You want to run targeted banner ads to follow your site visitors around – remarketing as they call it? You suck up to Google.
How can this be healthy? They virtually force you to use the utterly impossible-to-fathom Google Plus to get decent search engine optimisation results.
Nobody uses Google Plus out of choice. It’s a hopelessly bad copy of Facebook.
And Google’s partner in crime, Apple, is now the world’s biggest company. Brainwashing our kids into believing that unless they have the very latest iPhone they are somehow less valuable members of society. Not healthy, folks.
And then there’s eBay. Who now take a whopping 10% of your selling price, then add another 3.4% onto the bill if you use Paypal to sell something (owned by eBay, naturally).
All the stuff you used to take to the charity shop is now sold on eBay as Vintage and Rare. You make a little money, eBay makes A LOT and the poor and needy suffer. Nice.