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Who is in Charge? Tech Elites or the Digital "Mob"?

Who is in Charge? Tech Elites or the Digital "Mob"?
By Keith Teare • Issue #241 • View online
That Was The Week - 2021 Issue #4

An Angry Mob
An Angry Mob
The urge to knock power off of its seat is widespread. From the “speak truth to power” instinct through to the Black Lives Matter rebellion and, yes, even the assault on the Capitol, people everywhere are open to participating in bottoms up power. And in direct proportion, others want to stop them.
In this week’s That Was The Week we include lots of content relevant to these trends. Key among them is David Sacks piece written for Persuasion outlining how the “outsider” is confronted with being silenced or stopped by “insiders”. He draws a straight line between Trump’s de-platforming by powerful elites in social media, the banning of Parler, by the same elites, and the more recent closure of the “wallstreetbets” forum on the Discord app. He seems them all as part of a slippery slope to top-down authoritarianism.
That is complemented by the All-In Podcast where Sacks, Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis and David Frieberg debate the issue - it makes fascinating viewing. My wife has decided she prefers it to Meet the Press and Morning Joe - for those news junkies among you.
Clubhouse is the most recent addition to the bottoms-up content toolset. After doing my first Clubhouse session last week, I now believe it represents the future of online streaming. Up until now, streaming has been passive and one-directional - as in, a stream. But with Clubhouse the software places individuals into three groups. Those on the stage who can speak - as if on Zoom. Those in the middle who have asked to speak, who are listening to the stream, can be brought onstage. And those in the audience can raise their hand and ask to be placed on the stage. They are stream recipients only. By combining streaming with interactivity, Clubhouse has created a more engaged, interactive medium. Hopin has done the same for events - with streamed keynotes, breakout rooms, exhibitors who can engage with visitors and so on. This is “watch parties” on steroids. We are close to adding “digital seats” to any event, have it streamed, and engaged with, in real-time.
With the advent of WebRTC streaming (see where low latency video and audio can co-exist with interactive groups, the old experience of a stream and a chat (Twitch for example) is being upgraded in front of our eyes into a fully interactive audio/video alongside a latency-free stream. With Millicast, this can scale to millions of viewers with thousands of interactive groups. The future looks like Clubhouse, only better. is capable of similar features for team collaboration and webinars and workshops, where people sit around the content.
Zoom represents the first 1% of the change coming. The next phase will be the unbundling of zoom - where key use cases for video, audio and sharing, with streaming at scale, are integrated into specific applications for specific use cases.
The mob is about to gain powerful tools for watching, listening, discussing and assembling. Democracy is about to be taken to the next level and the Elites may not like the consequences.
Lots more below.
See you all next week
Keith Teare
Who is in Charge? Tech Elites or the Digital 'Mob'?
Who is in Charge? Tech Elites or the Digital 'Mob'?
The Bottom up Revolution and the end of Elite power?
The Insiders' Game - Persuasion
Why GameStop is a warning on censorship: David Sacks
Why GameStop is a warning on censorship: David Sacks
E19: Robinhood's GameStop decision: Why did it happen and how can it be prevented in the future?
E19: Robinhood's GameStop decision: Why did it happen and how can it be prevented in the future?
Reddit co-founder on GameStop: ‘The collective public cannot unsee this’ – TechCrunch
Clubhouse, the future of streaming is interactive
A Few Good Minutes with Keith Teare
A Few Good Minutes with Keith Teare
Clubhouse is blowing up in China
The Future of Internet Media
Welcome, Facebook and Twitter. Seriously.
Individual Freedom and Identity
No, Getting Rid Of Anonymity Will Not Fix Social Media; It Will Cause More Problems
Venture Capital, Liquidity and IPOs in 2021
What It Takes to Really Raise Capital in 2021 with Point Nine Capital
Bill Gurley
So glad to see @Nasdaq with a high profile Direct Listing coming. Hearing the pipeline for DLs is quite long this year. Great momentum to a more advanced and elegant way of pricing an offering (...and an end to Silicon Valley companies being systematically exploited).
BitCoin is now Mainstream
Elon Musk: “I Am A Supporter Of Bitcoin”
VISA Announces Pilot API For its Banking Partners to Allow Customers Direct Bitcoin Purchase
Startup of the Week: UIPath
UiPath and Databricks set the stage for direct listings with huge funding rounds
Tweet of the Week
Quentin Hardy
Substack is solid evidence that editors were a good thing.
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Keith Teare

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Keith Teare, Palo Alto, California