Check wikipedia for an interesting history of Citizen Band radio. It was an amazing phenomenon in which consumers chatted with each other. Even “chat rooms” developed. But it was not the CB radio but the cellular phone that survived and transformed all our lives (about a billion cell phones are sold a year).
Now a lot of people know (what some of us knew over ten years ago) that the media industry as we know it is dead. I guess dying would be more accurate. And many people think that the new world order of media is user generated content. And while I believe user generated content is a big driver of change (was it not email that was the early driver of the net), it is just one component of a 21st century media company. I am not sure what form new media companies will take and I think it is good to keep an open mind. Many people mistake a transition for a new phase. And frankly I think we are in a transition. Over the next five years there will be major changes in how and when consumers interact with media and definitely user involvement will play a major role as it should. But I think we will see branded content. Some individuals who have the talent and drive to consistently produce “products” that many people want to see. Eventually they will get “agents”J.