Here are three trends that support this idea:
Think about the things that have shifted from mass to micro overtime. Think about culture in the 1950’s 1960’s and 1970’s. There was always the feeling that there was one unified mass culture where everyone was into the same stuff. Everyone watched the same TV shows. Everyone got their news from the same newspapers. Everyone went and saw the exact same movies. Then everyone went to work and stood around the water cooler and talked about these common cultural touchstones.
Even before the web was invented things like variety on video and cable TV had started to fragment the cultural front. Keep in mind that “Video Killed the Radio Star“. This was just the start. With the advent of the web people started finding new ways to connect with each other. Web users also discovered new content that might be more interesting than the main stream content. As consumers discovered their own thing we saw a splintering from mass culture to thousands of micro cultures.
The second big trend was the rise of social media. Mass media was commanded and controlled by a few companies with big means. These big companies owned the apparatus for content creation and content distribution. Things like blogging, podcasting, and social networking come along and change everything. Now instead of just having a few companies like CNN and BBC there are thousands of people like me transmitting their own thoughts and ideas. It could be content about fly-fishing, stamp collecting, or music. Anything goes!
The third trend shows us that main stream content is shrinking. Things like books, magazines, and newspapers are still there. People are still consuming media in its macro “mass” form. However, everyone has observed a huge rise in micro formats. Things like two –three minute videos and blog posts have become popular. One also thinks about micro-blogging sites like Twitter, Tumblr, and Posterous. These sites make it quick, easy, and friction free for people to constantly share and consume lots and lots of small bits of content. These trends allow people to devour lots of bits and bytes of information from different sources in the form of tweets, status updates, links, and posted photos … This tendency is undeniable.
There is a definite shift from:
- Mass culture to micro culture
- Mass media to micro media
- Big content to micro content