Media and communication

Flattr VI: Authenticity


We can see that the Internet provides an opportunity for amateur culture to disperse more widely than it has previously been able to, and it can also potentially be a business with networks such as Flattr. Although flattring of a content can be differently high in value; one type of material can become very popular and a different material can be completely without flattring, Flattr and the infrastructure nonetheless means that both materials can exist and be available to anyone who might interested. We can link this to the trend we have seen in the digital world where a foundation of voluntary movements have structured in networks which have then been able to turn into successful business models.


But we might also link it to Andersson Cederholm’s (1999) theory of authenticity which was originally regarding backpackers, however the idea can also explain how the network Flattr by the organization behind and members, may be perceived as more ”authentic ” and how networks themselves would allude to this. To associate themselves with amateur culture may entail that you stand for the promotion of creativity in all, big and small. But just as it was discussed with the help of Couchsurfing, how cheap or even free can mean that something feels more authentic which is more desirable in a capitalist culture, networks such as Flattr are helped by being linked to something authentic. It lies in the foundation of Flattr’s self-image that it is a network emerged as a reaction against capitalist institutions’ inability to create an infrastructure which allows users to pay for content online. 



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