Years ago I had a crazy friend who wanted to start a network. Not a cable network, mind you, a broadcast network. She had no experience -- except as a producer for a made-for-TV movie.
"Hmm, that’s kind of ambitious," I said cautiously, not wanting to sound strange, only supportive.
Fast-forward: While watching MSNBC the other day, I noticed a commercial -- on mute -- for what appeared to be a way of starting a business of rental DVD kiosks. Visual messaging said, "Build Your Own Network." So I guess my friend was just ahead of her time.
The commercial, for DVDNow Kiosks, has been around a while -- but the concept of people owning their own networks hasn't been.
It wasn't all that long ago that owning a website seemed adventurous. Now we are in the Facebook/Twitter world where people around the world exist almost as their own "networks" -- what they can share with their friends, and how much promotional spin their own personal brands can garner.
But those kinds of networks are primarily of a not-for-profit scenario -- with the outside promise of perhaps some capitalistic leaning for the most aggressive social media goers. Owning a network -- any kind of network -- now seems the right way to go, because it speaks to more than a just an individual, small, local business. It looks to a bigger future.
We are most familiar with the term as it relates to television and entertainment. Chiming in on this theme of late, a number of cable networks have been airing reality series that give average citizens their own TV shows -- The Oprah Winfrey's Network's "Your OWN Show" and Food Network's "Food Network Star," to name two.
In our superstar dreams, it isn't about owning your own business, it's about owning your own media company. The aim, of course, is to go higher -- gaining bravado, power, and the ability to cancel your own TV show.