Cultural Access and the Web’s Wide World

On his OnlineMarketerBlog, DJ Francis put-up a post titled, “ROI of Social Media for Gen Y Audiences.” I’m on the border between Gen X and Gen Y, but I relate to his concept of access. When I was a kid, and a teen, I made weekly trips to the comic book store. And you sometimes had to try another store when your local shop was sold out. Living in NYC, that wasn’t much of a problem for me. But it must’ve been in smaller towns.

Let us consider film. In the past you were limited to see whatever the local multiplex had. If they didn’t have the movie you wanted, you would have to convince your parents to take a long drive. In the years since, there are more theaters with more screens per theater. And what about wanting to see a foreign film? Back then art-house theaters were rare and getting such films on video were nearly impossible. Now that you can order DVDs and Blu-rays online, a person can get access to any foreign film of their choosing.

The Internet has done more than provide easy access to information, it has provided access to culture. People can hear about a quality indie film in an online forum and then order it online. They can hear a track from a small band, and then search online for a venue they will play at. Those of us born in the 70s and early 80s grew up with a limitation on our artistic hobbies and creative prospects — a limit based on geography or parental culture. Those born in the late 80s and early 90s have grown up with a global culture with nearly limitless access.

It is a good thing, how wide a person’s world has become.KO