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Thread: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

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    Canada Avalon Member Spellbound's Avatar
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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Should I put half of Avalon behind a paywall — only half! — so that paid-up members will then have access to twice as much content?

    If not, why not?
    Hi Bill,

    No, I don't think you should put half of Avalon behind a paywall....first and foremost because again, it was never about the money. Avalon was/is about sharing knowledge and information about this crazy messed up world we live in (and well beyond). Another reason I don't think you should do it is because I don't think it would be fair for some of the current members who perhaps could not afford to pay in order to remain a member. There is a "members only" section, not requiring payment, but for which the general public does not have access to without becoming a member.

    When one goes for years on the internet, social media, You Tube, and open forum, etc...and then suddenly wants to charge for it...it's kinda like jumping the shark, so to speak. And, once that happens it makes me wonder, what changed??

    Dave - Toronto

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    And that right there is a great point: Some folks simply can't afford to pay for every danged thing out there.
    Quote Posted by Spellbound (here)
    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Should I put half of Avalon behind a paywall — only half! — so that paid-up members will then have access to twice as much content?

    If not, why not?
    Hi Bill,

    No, I don't think you should put half of Avalon behind a paywall....first and foremost because again, it was never about the money. Avalon was/is about sharing knowledge and information about this crazy messed up world we live in (and well beyond). Another reason I don't think you should do it is because I don't think it would be fair for some of the current members who perhaps could not afford to pay in order to remain a member. There is a "members only" section, not requiring payment, but for which the general public does not have access to without becoming a member.

    When one goes for years on the internet, social media, You Tube, and open forum, etc...and then suddenly wants to charge for it...it's kinda like jumping the shark, so to speak. And, once that happens it makes me wonder, what changed??

    Dave - Toronto

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Hi Walter,

    Yes, I quite agree...make it separate. I'm not saying Richard shouldn't sell his books or profit from publishing other peoples books....of course he should (and rightly so). However, I don't think he should suddenly be charging money to interact with his fans (again, what changed to make this happen??).

    Dave - Toronto

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)

    I have a lot more to say about a number of things. Two themes that will be next up:
    • Alvin Toffler's prophetic and important 1970 book Future Shock. He predicted how within a couple of generations we hard-wired humans, with biology essentially unchanged for tens of thousands of years, would rapidly become stressed and overwhelmed by the information overload coming at us, faster and faster and faster, with widespread neuroses and breakdowns as a result.
    • Edward Bernays, the Godfather of modern marketing, manipulation and propaganda. And how the American government deployed sophisticated marketing techniques to feed the egos of the dangerous potential revolutionaries among the counter-culture of the 1970s, to tame and capture them so that they were no longer a threat to the establishment.
    Late here with that promised follow-up: apologies. I definitely want to speak to this, and each of these could warrant its own thread.

    To start with, here's Future Shock. Alvin Toffler left us a couple of years ago (he was nearly 88), but he lived to see his own forecast future all too clearly.

    That future, he said, would be one of
    • Not only change, but accelerating change.
    • Increased inability of people to cope with a steadily-growing avalanche of information (and demands for information).
    • Increased emotional instability, neurosis, marital breakups, violence, and mental breakdowns.
    • Increased reliance on the palliatives of food, sex, drugs, and alcohol, to self-medicate the 'future shock'.
    • Decreased attention span, and the increase of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
    • (in some) withdrawal from and reaction against innovation.
    We're right there, right now.

    I'd LOVE to know if there are any interviews with him in, say, the last 10-15 years of his life. There surely have to be.


    The connection with marketing is that this future is being PUSHED at us. SOLD to us. We're made to be convinced we NEED it.

    Even in our little corner of the universe. More and more and MORE interviews. Radio shows. Videos (including many faked 'new' ones, but really old.) Articles. Blogs. Posts. Tweets. Episodes of Cosmic Disclosure. Stunning new documentaries. Stunning new intel from David Wilcock. Conferences all year round.

    Where does it stop? When do we reach saturation, and turn off our phones or computers?

    But wait: we can't turn off. We're addicted.

    So, we just get more stressed.

    We have to log in again tomorrow.... we might miss something.

    And all the time, we're being bombarded with advertising. Why? Because we're a captive audience. Emphasis on the word CAPTIVE.

    'Captive', because there's no real personal freedom here. It's what Dr Bill Deagle in 2006 called the 'Electronic Cage' (a pun on 'Electronic Age').

    And in the middle of all this... @Walter, who reads books any more?

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media



    I was definitely very interested in his writings. It was riveting to me.

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    You may be somewhat right at times Bill

    Here a comment on Linda Moulton Howe video last night

    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...ive-broadcasts

    Quote sorry Linda

    Quote It’s work being done by the city on Sherbrooke st. Freaked me out too when I heard it but I went down and did some snooping and basically they’re lining old sewers between Fort and Guy with a process called trenchless pipe lining. The sound comes from pressure being released from a huge compressor (last night it was on st Mathieu and Sherbrooke)

    Here’s a vid about the process (3mins in shows what’s happening that uses air compressors that make the ungodly noise) https://youtu.be/LtZnpEedsg0

    And an advisory from the city: http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/port...0OUEST%201.PDF

    Anyway reality is always boring but hopefully it clears things up! Freaky Halloween vibes though I’m glad I got a recording.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/montreal/co...ises_downtown/
    Quote It was only fitting that ‘strange noises’ were heard in the streets of downtown Montreal on Halloween.

    Reddit user INDIGO, posted a video to Streamable, claiming the noises sounded like “a mix between a fire alarm, cars screeching, and aliens from a sci-fi movie.” The apparent haunting was recorded on the corner of Guy and Fort Street.

    Fortunately, we’re not part of a new Cloverfield movie. It’s actually the sounds of trenchless pipe lining which the City of Montreal sent out an advisory for, a couple days earlier.


    Sensible sure, but a Halloween haunting would have been more fitting.

    Montreal Redditors had their own theories of what the eerie sounds were all about:http://dailyhive.com/montreal/strang...eal-october-31
    It was a really easy search on google to find what happened.

    You see, there are actually monumental repairs throughout the city, but more a new highway is being built (the size of the Boston highway few years back) plus a gigantic new bridge, plus tons or repairs.

    In fact, truck drivers do not want to get into the city anymore, they lose too much time because of construction, and a city bus driver told me tonight that Montreal was now considered the hardest city to drive through in North America, because of all the repairs.

    Add to this the 100 years old whole sewer system that is being changed as well.

    So much that some work had to be delayed because of lack of construction companies availability.

    It is a nightmare. I live in Montreal and have to drive through.

    So yes, all kinds of weird construction or repair sounds in the city.

    I hope Linda will correct her statements. It is so easy to research.
    Here comes the danger of doing too much, no more time for checking or researching. And having wrong conclusions.

    If anyone want to send my post to Linda, you are welcome, I do not have her contact data
    Last edited by Flash; 2nd November 2018 at 05:36.

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    I'd not heard of Alvin Toffler before. Very interesting guy.

    An interview from 2007

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&so...6q5CTXiEc5Bq3V

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Should I put half of Avalon behind a paywall — only half! — so that paid-up members will then have access to twice as much content?
    In a perfect communist utopia, all property is unpersonal, transitory and voluntarily shared. Each contributes to and takes from the common pool of resources wisely and considerately.

    As a human civilization on Earth, we are obviously not there yet. So the fact that Avalon runs entirely on voluntary efforts and donations clearly attests to the development and integrity of everyone involved.

    The fact that Avalon keeps running also shows that charging any money is not necessary. It's optional. Maybe you could make more money with this if you have a paywall, it's not certain though. Maybe you would use that money to invest in something that would enable you to increase the audience and therefore your impact. That wouldn't be certain though either, for you might then in the end spread yourself too thinly. Some people might also miss out for lack of resources. Or you might have an even more committed membership, cause the ones who stay really want to be here so much that they pay for it. That might keep out some trolls as well.

    Money is a tool, and more money can potentially enable you to do lots of genuinely beautiful things. Many amazing people in the alternative arena sometimes forget this because they have come to hate money and commerce, because they equate it with "the system."

    For me, it all boils down to this passage from the Daodejing.

    Quote Therefore the good person,
    Is the not-good person's teacher.
    The not-good person,
    Is the good person's capital.
    One who does not honor the teacher,
    Or spare the capital,
    Is greatly confounded though knowledgeable.
    This is called the important mystery.

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Quote Posted by Flash (here)


    I was definitely very interested in his writings. It was riveting to me.
    Thanks! I definitely want to hunt down the rest of that interview.

    In that clip, Toffler is talking about advances in bioengineering in which humans would become increasingly 'nano-mechanical', while still remaining human. He speculates how and where the line would be drawn about when such a chimera organism might not be human any more.

    In his even more influential 1980 (1980!) book The Third Wave, he predicted the spread of the internet, e-mail, interactive media, cable television, and cloning.

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Quote Posted by christian (here)
    Money is a tool, and more money can potentially enable you to do lots of genuinely beautiful things. Many amazing people in the alternative arena sometimes forget this because they have come to hate money and commerce, because they equate it with "the system."
    I'll respectfully disagree with that.

    Almost everything wrong in this world can be directly or indirectly traced back to money. The only time money can do any good is in the hands of people that care so little about money, that the world could function much better without money, if everyone was like them.

    Unfortunately most people are not like that, and they think that there is no other way the world can work without money.

    And for my opinion on Bill's topic of the thread. You cannot have free ideas that are privately owned. For those that need further clarification, think the MSN. All marketing has interests that sometimes conflicts with the information.

    As for Richard Dolan, he can do whatever he wants, it is none of my business what he does as long as it is not illegal.

    I will say this though, I listen to people more closely that aren't making money at this. There will come a time when pressure comes to change the message because of advertisers or others, when you get too big.
    Last edited by neutronstar; 3rd November 2018 at 02:10.

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Even Paul Newman's family lost control of their food business due to a shady business manager Newman outsourced business oversight to because he didn't like that end of it. So how risky this all is to people with heretofore relatively decent reputations in the field could be potentially compromised by this person with a criminal background. It's understandable that busy people need to outsource certain mundane and technical tasks, but wow.

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Quote Posted by neutronstar (here)
    There will come a time when pressure comes to change the message because of advertisers or others, when you get too big.
    The problem can be epitomized by the events at the MUFON Symposium last year, 2017.

    MUFON sold out by showcasing a number of 'experiencers' with exactly zero evidence to support them. Corey Goode, Andy Basiago, et al. Their veteran researchers and investigators were appalled. Some resigned.

    MUFON wanted to go for filled seats, $$$, and cheap popularity. They were ONLY going for the numbers. Exactly what any marketing consultant would have advised.
    1. Go for the largest audience. Give them what they want. Feed candy to the kids.
    2. And if they don't know what they want, then tell them what they want.
    The ethical dilemma is that a marketing consultant isn't a PR consultant. The two are entirely different.

    A PR consultant is primarily concerned with the reputation and credibility of their client.

    A marketing consultant just doesn't care. That's not their concern.

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Quote Posted by neutronstar (here)
    You cannot have free ideas that are privately owned.
    Avalon is privately owned.

    The only free ideas are the ones that a person has privately without interference.

    You own your ideas, you take responsibility for them. That's freedom.
    Last edited by christian; 4th November 2018 at 23:10.

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Quote Posted by christian (here)
    Quote Posted by neutronstar (here)
    You cannot have free ideas that are privately owned.
    Avalon is privately owned.

    The only free ideas are the ones that a person has privately without interference.

    You own your ideas, you take responsibility for them. That's freedom.
    Yes Avalon is privately owned, but the ideas are only free if Bill (the owner) allows them to be free. Just as any other privately owned whatever. If you want a free media it must be owned by the people, then the message is in the best interest of the owners (the people).

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    First of all, it seems we mean different things when we say free. When I say free, I mean sovereign or self-determined. When you say free, it seems to me you mean costless or available at no cost.

    Quote Posted by neutronstar (here)
    Yes Avalon is privately owned, but the ideas are only free if Bill (the owner) allows them to be free. Just as any other privately owned whatever.
    So it's perfectly possible to have privately owned ideas that are free, both as in self-determined and as in costless.

    Quote Posted by neutronstar (here)
    If you want a free media it must be owned by the people, then the message is in the best interest of the owners (the people).
    All the best media outlets and journalists that I know—self-determined and sharing their valuable information either at a very low price or even at no cost—are not owned by the people. They are supported by the people, voluntarily, but they are owned by themselves and thus free, including Avalon.

    In fact, I can't think of any media outlet that is owned "by the people" as in "by the masses," except for state media. And I don't particularly like state media personally.

    I don't think that something collectively owned necessarily produces the best outcome that is in the interest of every owner. Because members of a collective will naturally have some diverging interests.

    For example, would you think that if you and I owned a news website, that this website would take a form that is in our best interest? Or would it be more likely that we would disagree over what to put there, how to do it, how to pay for it and so on? Wouldn't it be more in your and my interest if we each had a website for ourselves that we could fill with content as we like? And that if we want to work on it with someone, it would better be someone we choose ourselves, on terms we voluntarily agree on?

    Collectivizing ownership is not good per se. It's only good if it's voluntary and flexible, with a true common purpose. Otherwise collectivization leads to inefficiency, this is called the tragedy of the commons.

    ...

    Sorry for wandering off-topic here. To draw the line back from here to the case of Richard Dolan and PURSUING X, I think we would agree that Richard Dolan did fantastic work when he worked privately, on his own terms, and that his affiliation with PURSUING X is worrying because it might endanger his private autonomy and self-determination.
    Last edited by christian; 5th November 2018 at 15:20.

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Well, as it happens, I'm subscribed to both Richard and Linda's YouTube channels. This is by no means a criticism in any way about either of them. I really appreciate their integrity and their life-long commitment to their work, but its funny because I've recently noticed that when I open up YouTube each day, my feed is dominated by Linda's videos and has been for a little while. I'm sure some of you guys have noticed the same - both recent uploads and back catalogue. Its no exaggeration that I scroll through most of my daily feed and her videos dominate - one-after-the-other - Richard not so much, but he pops up daily too. I guess you could say that Lori is so far, doing her job lol! I assumed Linda was just stepping up the pace. How interesting. Now I know.
    I enjoy Linda's uploads but I can't do it everyday. Maybe Lori sold the package to both of them - that she promises their hard work will feature first in the feeds/searches (for a price)?
    This isn't good all round. I mean, there's only so many hours in a day and we need to share our attention across everyone's work. And its burn-out for them!! I can't really say anything more than what's already been so well expressed by you guys in the comments before me. But I think we all know, quality will decline. Who can possibly keep up with quality and vetted cutting edge research on a DAILY basis? I'm going to quote the biggest and probably most used saying in the world ever "quality over quantity.'

    Sigh …. I really hope this isn't the next stage forward in any kind of agenda we most fear …. the day that people like Richard and Linda (who have in the main, been the solid rock of integrity that we've relied upon in this over saturated world of content) have now been sucked in to the distasteful internet corporate system …. they'll have to censor themselves because the marketing company will be lining up first-and-foremost with YouTube as its about money. I don't know, maybe YouTube won't cull their content if the price is right, but I reckon its only a matter of time when Lori will be making suggestions and steering the narrative in the interest of both parties. Is this the system cleverly knowing how to reel-in the key players?

    I hope I haven't come across as being harsh or critical. Thank you for bringing this to our attention Bill xxx

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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Quote Posted by Bassplayer1 (here)
    This isn't good all round.
    Right. Someone's made a decision to go all out for quantity. Of everything.

    I can no longer keep up. I don't know anyone who can. It's so very, very dumb. Slowly, they'll be losing people.

    I no longer look forward to Richard's radio shows. Not because they're no good. But because I'm about a month and a half behind. At some point, I'll stop listening altogether.

    It's now work to try to keep up. It's no longer a pleasure. And I don't even have an office job, or a family. If anyone out there can watch several videos every day, it should be me.

    Richard, are you reading this? You should.

    Either drop your marketing advisor, or find a PR advisor to keep the balance. Your image is going to suffer.

    Quote Posted by Bill, above
    I can no longer keep up.
    This is what Alvin Toffler warned us about.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 6th November 2018 at 02:49.

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  35. Link to Post #78
    Moderator Joe from the Carolinas's Avatar
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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    I’ve got a couple points on the issue of oversaturation, electronic slavery, and cash. This is related to the topic but more based on the underlying foundation itself.

    Over-Saturation-

    The daily posting insanity is YouTube-wide and across all channels that wish to grow. This is ultimately the responsibility of the channel owner to balance the needs of their viewers, their own needs, and their own goals. 2 billion unique human users per month on the second largest search engine in the world.

    Simply put, and I mean this in all sincerity, youtube is broken. 80 million algorithms are tracking every account user’s behavior. Watch a few hoax ufo videos and share them? YouTube catches that, and despite your subscribed channels, YouTube will intentionally NOT notify you of new content if you don’t frequently visit subscribed channels.

    Instead, they start pushing you more of what you click on. They know what you share (even using copy and paste from your browser) and track the website addresses upon which you share their videos.

    It is all very subtle, over time. Turn off a notification? Might as well unsubscribe from the channel, because that’s huge in youtube. Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Comment? They’re all little variables that YouTube uses to push you content.



    Electronic Slavery-

    So the daily content postings is a response to youtube being broken and over saturated, and, business caught on to this one real fast.

    Evan Carmichael grew his channel fast by posting 2-3 minute videos 3 times a day. Flood the battlefield. Click on 1 of his videos, and all of a sudden YouTube realizes it can keep you on their platform longer by giving you more of his videos. He’s consistent. He’s good for YouTube to make money off of ads. And they give him a cut.

    But if Evan stops posting videos for a few weeks, youtube backs off. He’s not reliable, so someone else with a million subscribers gets electronically “pushed” more.

    Small channels (i.e. those with less than 100,000 subscribers) have to enter that race if they wish to have their content viewed. The reason why is because youtube is broken.

    The dirty little secret here is that as long as you don’t break the rules, youtube does not care about the quality of your content. They don’t care whether you use 1 picture and post 4 hours of audio with it, or spend money on a video camera and edit videos on your computers. YouTube doesn’t distinguish between the two. YouTube doesn’t care whether the audio is from 4 years ago.

    However, VIEWERS do care. And there are only so many hours in a day- so choices have to be made. I have over 400 videos in my “watch later” queue. And it keeps getting larger. I can’t keep with that either.

    There’s also the lifecycle of a video. Generally it is 3 days, unless it is highly active and highly engaging. After 3 days, youtube turns a blind eye. So viewers can’t find it easily, because youtube is busy pushing new content of consistent channels out to non-subscribers.

    It is an electronic form of slavery if someone is financially trying to support themselves on the second largest search engine in the world.



    Cash from a small channel perspective-

    I kept my channel unmonetized from 2013-2017. Then I realized that youtube was still making money off of my content - because once it’s uploaded, they own it. I have rights to it, but it belongs to them. You see, the longer someone stays on YouTube, whether a video is monetized or not, youtube wins because they are still tracking behaviors to keep that person watching youtube for as long as possible.

    Then I realized that a number of youtube clone sites were ripping off my unmonetized videos (automatically, using Wordpress themes) and making money off of them using google ads. Takedowns, right? Please. They’re private foreign websites that steal links to YouTube videos and clone the site using their own domain name. No chance for takedowns. Too much trouble.

    So I monetized to avoid feeling like I was being robbed of the time it took me to make the video.



    Conclusion-

    So it is an oversatured market and nobody has that kind of time on their hands. If youtube had a way of balancing quantity and instead rewarding quality, things would be a little easier for everyone- channel owners as well as viewers.

    Unfortunately, youtube says one thing but does another consistently on this point. I recently saw on twitter that a channel had become eligible for monetization, but youtube had a backlog of accounts to enable and were unable to assist. Their form letter response when the channel complained? Keep posting content.

    /rolls eyes

    /deep sigh

    I don’t think anyone can keep up with technology, and I do believe that burnout is a very real consequence of the platform itself.

    I see YouTube as a great free platform to share things with people and to try to make a difference.... I often fantasize about how youtube, advertisers, marketers, and channels would respond if users just stopped visiting the site altogether for a week.

    I’ll bet they’d figure out a way to do something about these problems.



    Last edited by Joe from the Carolinas; 6th November 2018 at 05:18.

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  37. Link to Post #79
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    Joe, many thanks for your thoughtful, detailed and interesting post immediately above.

    A question for you, if I may: where will social media (in general) be with alternative content in 5 years' time? What's it all going to be like for us all?

    Do you see Alvin Toffler's future hitting us hard round the head, where few people can cope any more, and all serious content will be drowned in commercially-promoted noise?

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  39. Link to Post #80
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: PURSUING X: Marketing, money and manipulation in the Alternative Media

    We've been talking on this thread about the wisdom (or otherwise) of alt media researchers and commenters utilizing various forms of commercially-driven promotion to try to make their voices better heard above the clamor.

    And we've looked at Alvin Toffler's 'Future Shock' forecast of a world in which more and more people would react and withdraw from an ever-increasing wave of information and accelerating change that they'd be powerless to resist.

    Here's another component. It's about the role of marketing engineering to shape our entire world (and the way our brains work).

    Hervé drew attention to it in his post #52, here.

    Quote Posted by Hervé (here)
    ... "they" have known it since Bernays (see "A Century of Self" campaign) because of this pervasive human condition:
    [ ... ]
    From Bernays to Cambridge Analytica and Media Matters with David Brock's well laid plan to bring down the whole of the Alt Media.
    Century of The Self was a brilliant (yes, brilliant) 2002 BBC TV documentary series by Adam Curtis on the impact of marketing on our world — and how it's been adopted cleverly and deliberately by those wanting to control and corral us.

    The Avalon thread is here.
    In my post #5 there, back in in 2010, I'd written:

    ~~~
    I'm delighted to see this recommended here.

    CENTURY OF THE SELF is the best documentary series I've ever seen. I can't recommend it highly enough.

    EVERYONE should see Part 3 : compulsory viewing to understand what happened to us all in the latter part of the twentieth century.

    In a couple of very inadequate sentences, it's how the rapidly growing (and threatening) Human Potential Movement of the 1960s and 70s was hijacked by corporate business, and self-aware people were tricked into compromising their new-found sense of personal power and independence by buying products that seemed to reinforce their individuality.

    In one brilliant swoop (researched by the CIA-backed Stanford Research Institute), the threat of the Human Potential Movement was emasculated.

    We might have changed the world: but instead, we were all duped. Learn from this, folks, and don't get fooled again.

    When it was first shown on the BBC in 2002 I was spellbound - and spent a long time trying to find it again. I eventually found it in San Francisco in 2005 where it was shown in a theater as a four hour movie with an intermission. I was indescribably pleased to find it later uploaded to YouTube for all to see.

    Watch this episode and emerge profoundly thoughtful - trust me.


    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 6th November 2018 at 14:01.

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