Monopolies are no bueno. Parker Brothers taught us this a long time ago with the board game.
We all know that by the end of a game of Monopoly – once all the power has been consolidated in the winners hands – Mom and Dad aren’t talking, Uncle Jim is no longer welcome at the house, and the kids are rolling around on the ground scratching each others eyes out.
It never fails, consolidation of Boardwalk and Park Place in the hands of the thimble leads to decisions made for the benefit of the few and a mass unrest for those on the losing end. And the board game is a decent corollary for the real world.
Yet, some how the masses tend to miss the formation of real monopolies…or more likely, fooled into missing the real monopolies.
Check out the below “Illusion of Choice” infographic.
- 6 major companies dictate about 90% of the media we have access to.
- In less than 30 years the number of companies providing our media has dropped from 50 to just 6.
- The six companies consisting of GE, New-corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS.
- One media executive to every 850,000 subscribers.
- To add to the craziness, check out how much GE paid in taxes…how about zero?!
- 57,000 page tax return and paid the big donut on $14 billion in profits.
The Illusion of Choice
So, this leads me to my main point. Blogging is more important than ever. Mass media may be monopolized and homogenized, but the interwebs is wide open.
Turn off the TV, stop reading mainstream media, and open your eyes to the rich information on the intertubes.
I’m a blogger, so I’ll admit I’m a bit biased, but I am amazed at the quality and quantity of independent media at our finger tips. Far more than we can keep up with, but choose your interests and pursue with vigor.
Let The Man have the monopolized media. The people have each other.
Quick tip: Between work and home, I currently follow 316 blogs. Crazy, right? How do I keep up? It’s pretty easy…and fun because it’s information I’m into.
- Get a Google Reader account – this allows you to consolidate all of your blogs in one spot. With the magic of RSS feeds, there’s no need to go out and look for new posts
- Setup an IGoogle page with Google Reader, Facebook, Twitter, weather, a surf report – anything you look at on a regular basis – and make this your homepage. Every time you get on your computer, you’ll see new blog posts that you dig.
- Don’t get caught up in reading every post. Scan headlines, and only dig into posts that catch your attention.
- To take it to the mobile level, you can get apps for your smart phones and tablets that give you the ability to check your Google Reader – I use “MobileRSS” for my IPhone and “Feedler” for my IPad.
As an example, here’s a look at my IGoogle homepage…
Thanks to Frugal Dad for the great infographic.