Credit: Niko Prencin
Credit: Niko Prencin

For the most part, old money looks down on new money, and when old money uses the term nouveau riche, it’s for a reason. For starters, the nouveau riche tend to lack a lot of the manners and tastes that come with generations of refinement. But more importantly, the nouveau riche lack longevity. You see, any a**hole can make money, but as the saying goes, “a fool and his money are soon parted.”

Specifically, the fortunes of the nouveau riche often don’t last more than a generation or two. Daddy makes some money, the children grow up spoiled and lazy, and the grandchildren are left back where most of us are: working for a living. So if you think about it, the manners and the tastes that come with generations of refinement are really just proof that your line has what it takes to stay rich and might actually be entitled to its fortunes.

This remind me a lot of new media. It’s easy to gawk at how the mainstream media (MSM) insists on doing business, but we forget that they’ve been around a long time. They’ve made a lot of money, and while their profits might be slipping, many of the top players probably have more than enough of a cushion to weather out tides of change (I know: a lot metaphors in sentence).

You see, as much as the nouveau media eats into the market share of the MSM, it often doesn’t know what to do with it. A lot of nouveau media often doesn’t know how to actually make money, and doesn’t last more than a generation. We see this in how Friendster was eclipsed by MySpace was eclipsed by Facebook, and in how Twitter still doesn’t really have a revenue model.

I think it would do a lot of “evangelists” and “thought leaders” well to consider this when sharing their ideas on “game changing” media or technology. ‘Cause while some new kind of media might be really neat or fun or useful, it might not commercially viable on its own. Rather, it might be something that’s more appropriate as part of a much more comprehensive media experience, and as an asset of a much more established media entity.

2 thoughts on “The Nouveau Media

  1. It’s a great point. I think longevity is something you need in order to be called legitimate. There are a lot of potential one hit wonders out there, but lets see where they are in 5 or 10 years.

  2. I think what’s interesting about all the fly-by-nighters is that they’ve each eroded the MSM’s grip on content, but MSM is still around after the fly-by-nighters have, well, flown the coupe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *