Yesterday we held local elections in Denmark. Always a super exciting day where people come out to vote on the issues that matter the most in their everyday lives.
While ideology seldom gets a lot of room in the local election campaigns, the ingredients are still there to pit people against eachother in order to force a result and ultimately the way things will be run locally going forward.
So it matters what your message is, how you word it, the level of nuance (or the lack of it), how you get it out, and how you build a loyal following enough to stick at least until the fateful vote is cast on election day.
It’s essentially about your local ‘Worldview’ and getting the electorate to buy into that. And that got me thinking (a bit off the rails but please bear with me as I think it’s quite important):
If you are into the media business and have ever harbored doubts about the advertising driven business model in an online context, beware of the new dangerous animal in town:
The ‘Worldview’ biz model.
This is the business model, where content creators with a particular worldview go solo or band together in small groups to deliver media content with a certain ‘worldview’ that users can subscribe to for a fee.
While there is every reason to applaud a business model based on subscription, the danger of the ‘worldview’ model is that it is only successful because it is inherently polarizing.
Just as ads supported business models have an interest in creating sensation and conflict to get the eyeballs needed to monetize on ads, creators of ‘worldview’ media content have an interest in painting everything black or white according to a certain belief system to get loyal subscribers to fork out their cash to access the content.
This, of course, means we’re likely to get more and more of it. We can call it a wealth of niches of special interests. But we shouldn’t neglect the fact that probably a good part of it is inherently dangerous to the commonwealth.
Look at some of the people with the biggest subscriber followings for paid newsletters. You will see a good few of them coming from people who have very clear ‘worldviews’, who are excelling in flaming the views of others in order to keep them loyal, hungry for more – so they will keep paying the subscription.
The phenomenon should definitely be taken seriously, and it should also be scrutinized. We shouldn’t gloss it over out of sheer admiration in the ability of some to build a sizable subscription following in a digital media world, where we have struggled for viable alternatives to the ads driven business model for years on end.
This is serious. And could potentially become quite ugly going forward.