Part of ThoughtsOnNewMedia
Here's what makes new media special : to use a recent buzz word, it's peer-to-peer. People increasingly contribute as much "content" as they receive.
They just want to, even when it costs them financially. Echoes of this shift can be noted even in TV. Look at recent succesful interactive game-shows, "You've Been Framed", "Video Nation". And an interesting case : "Crime Watch", where viewers help to solve real crimes by contributing knowledge and reward money. Charity telethons can achieve the same behaviour.
One possibility in the future of new media is the arrival of viewer relationship management : tools and facilities that help organize the contributions of viewers. The community management capabilities of the ACS are just the first step.
Of course, when you suggest a P2P media future, you can be met with a couple of ObjectionsToSymmetry
One of the potentially coolest things about the deprofesionalization of a symmetrical P2P media means that it's cheap and doesn't need to feed off advertising :-)
JeffJarvis : The people we used to call consumers, readers, or viewers (let's call them citizens now) will take more and more control of what we used to call media (I don't know what new name to give it, but now it's as much about conversation as it is about consumption).
Yahoo's counterproductive pyramid : http://www.yardley.ca/blog/index.php/archives/2006/02/21/yahoos-counterproductive-pyramid/
See also :
** Talk back to journalism : http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2004/03/17/patterico_wins.html