Everybody Gets to Vote Nobody Cares

People love to talk about the democratizing power of the internet.  They tell us that less expensive distribution and production, means more people can make music.  We also heard that as the internet becomes more important than the radio we are coming to a time where everybody gets to vote.

The problem is nobody votes.

There are a million services that now allow for feedback.  Social media has exploded and now rather than a couple of services that are interactive the whole internet will interact with you.  You can rate songs on iTunes, Ourstage, Spotify, and Pandora, but the majority of people the majority of the time don’t and more importantly don’t want to.

On blogs people who read but don’t comment are called lurkers.  But this evil sounding term applies to most of us most of the time (everybody but Charles).  A regular commenter someone who is:

  • Outspoken enough to write
  • Comfortable enough with technology to do so
  • Interested in the subject enough to have something to say

Even this “regular commenter” does not comment on everything that they read, hear or watch. I would count myself in this class and it is routine for me to look at over fifty pieces of media on the internet in a day and I never write 50 comments I wouldn’t be able to get off the front page of the Chicago Tribune.

So What? This doesn’t mean that we all need to fulfill our civic duty and talk about everything all the time, though if you do that here I promise not to complain.

It means when we are thinking about social media we need to remember that most of the people most of the time don’t want to be social.  Sometimes we want to passively consume.