The democratization of information media: we’re all royalty now.

It seems appropriate to comment on the blog phenomenon and the web, in terms of giving thinkers/writers access to an audience. Earlier today Tom Bruce posted on Facebook a mention of a posting by Scott Rosenberg at, excerpted from his book, “Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters.”  I think Rosenberg has it right, but I’ll add a few words of my own.  In 1996 or so, after we had set up our web site at the Duke Law School, and before blogging came into its own, I remarked to my colleagues that the World Wide Web would be the great media equalizer.  Up to that point, to reach a mass audience you pretty much had to have millions of dollars, or even tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, to afford a major newspaper or broadcast station.  At that point the web let you do it with a server and software for a few thousand dollars, and today you can do it for virtually free.  Blogging, wikis, media sites like YouTube, have delivered on this promise of democratization of the information media – most of you have seen some Mentos dropped in a bottle of Diet Coke; the mainstream media has covered the amount of tweets and Facebook entries coming out of Iran since the election;  the web was buzzing about the death of Michael Jackson, beginning with the TMZ post.  Michael was called the “King of Pop,” Elvis “The King,” and Howard Stern has referred to himself as “The King of All Media.”  Forget them. We command the media.  We’re all royalty now.

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