They Need Us!

By David Glenn Cox

I want my M-TV! That was the future of music. It was the greatest music revolution since the invention of the electric guitar. It was going to change the way popular music was presented to the public and change the world. And it did change the world for a minute, and then it didn’t anymore.

Like many good ideas, it was defeated by the calculator brigade. A music video behind a hit song might make profits soar for the record company. But a music video could cost $400,000 and might not push sales high enough to recoup the cost of the video. So, while the artists all wanted music videos. They were rarely willing to bet their own money to make one.

That’s the way it goes, it was a good idea at the time. These fads come and go so quickly, and rarely can you point to any one reason as the cause of their eventual demise. Jell-O jumps, air guitar contests, embroidering on your blue jeans, they’re just not done anymore.

Back when I was a kid. The neighbor kid had a slot car and took me with him to the Slot Car track. I was so impressed, that I wanted a slot car too! That’s what I wanted for my birthday in November. But that was six months off. And by the time my birthday finally arrived, the slot car track was long gone. The bubble had burst.

And then there are the lucky ones. The teenager who put flyers under windshield wipers trying to sell CB radios. Then the CB radio craze hit town and the kid was suddenly bigger than Radio Shack. The right place at the right time. And the money just falls from the sky, until it doesn’t anymore.

There was the gentleman who had invented the 80 miles to the gallon carburetor. Sold that idea to GM he did, for several million dollars. GM never could get the damn thing to work right. They couldn’t get the invertor to work right either. After the initial bank deposit the inventor’s level of intoxication soared. “What do you mean it doesn’t work? It worked for me! Wanna see my bank statement?”

There are many famous stories of successful businesses who have torpedoed themselves. Isn’t that right Papa John? He had a good thing going, but just had to open his big mouth and give his opinion. All that work and effort. And Papa John ends up pushed out the door and despised. “Good Job! Well done!”

It was several years ago now, when Facebook advertisers began to complain about the placement of their products in the Facebook feed. Seems these advertisers were unhappy about their products being associated unpleasant Facebook pages. They didn’t want their products advertised on homophobic, bigoted, or racist pages.

The management carefully considered their requests. And then told the advertisers that if they didn’t like it. They could just go and advertise on some other Facebook! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out fellas! “Ha, ha, ha you stupid S.O.B’s! Don’t worry they’ll come crawling back. They need us!” But no, oh no, they don’t. That’s why they haven’t come back.

Then they came up with Facebook Marketplace, because everybody knows that flea market money is way better than General Motors or AT&T money. The original idea was social media wasn’t it, and now it has become a garage sale? It’s like they have a dart board full of bad decisions and handful of darts.

The share button is being replaced by the send button. If you would like to share this information with the whole world, then call them out by name! Curtailing conversation and limiting reach. Brilliant! Just brilliant! Limiting the transmission of any ideas except to friends and family alone.

But sadly, I already know how they feel about things in general and know what they care about. I don’t need Facebook to talk to friends and family. Meaning it will become a pointless echo chamber.

Congress is considering a bill supported by the struggling newspapers and media outlets. To force Facebook to pay them for their content. You know just like the cast of “Friends.” They did the work and feel they should be paid for it. Especially, If someone else is going to use their hard work. And post it on their own social media website to improve their own bottom line.

The same minds that told the blue-chip advertisers to go take a hike. Now threaten to pull all news articles from Facebook if the bill passes.

 “By God, we will show them! We don’t need your stinking news content!” (not if we have to pay for it!) They only come here to shop at the Facebook Marketplace anyway.

News articles don’t make us any money. Those news articles only draw people in and encourage conversation. And we’re trying to stamp that out anyway! You don’t get to be a billionaire by writing checks, you know.

So, if the bill passes. Facebook will strip out all news content. And then we can all come to Facebook to talk about nothing in particular. Nearly every Facebook group that I’m in has some historical or political content. Some of these groups have upwards 30,000 members.

And besides, I come onto Facebook to talk about what I want to talk about. If you take that conversation away from me and the tens and hundreds of thousands and even millions of others. What is left? What’s the point? It’s an empty cup.

Radio stations pay money to spin records. TV networks payout residuals to rebroadcast programs. Newspapers pay columnists to reprint their work.

So, what do you suppose is going to happen to Facebook once all the news content is gone? (My cat got sick on the rug yesterday!) When there is nothing left to see but funny pet videos and unimportant garbage and garage sales?

“That’s right! We don’t need you people! And if you don’t like it. Well then take a hike! Facebook will do just fine without an audience! What do you need with news content for anyway!

You wanna see what’s going on somewhere you used to live? Too Bad! Move back! It’s only the current events of the day and who really cares about that? Don’t you need a microwave oven or a mountain bike? (Good condition) How about a card table with three good legs?”

Not since they strangled the golden goose has there been such a case of Kamikaze management from the Elon Musk school of business. It’s very possible that Facebook would fail eventually, all by itself. Like the slot car track, hula hoops or high heels for men. There is no need to push, the end will come all by itself.

“That’s right, it’s going to be just like M-TV only without the music. Just like Nashville without that Country music crap. Just Disneyland without all those pesky rides and attractions getting in the way of the fun. Appearing tonight! For one show only!  The legendary, “Nobody!”

What do you mean ticket sales are slow? Are you trying to imply we should have hired a performer or entertainer to appear? Shit boy! That cost money! A nice seat in a big empty auditorium is all they really want. They’ll come around;  you’ll see, they need us!

“Do not push on the sick horse, he can fall by himself.” – Cuban Proverb

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