THE BLOG
04/21/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Citizen media, Swedish style

There is much that can be said about the campaign from Swedish public broadcaster, Radiotjänst, encouraging people to fess-up and pay the annual TV license fee that underwrites the cost of television in that country. For starters, it's a great viral campaign that has earned it "Idea of the Week," from Ad Age and Cream Global. But the presentation resonates in our new media world today, accounting, perhaps, for the 6.1 million videos that have been created and shared in the campaign, so far.

The campaign (you need to be prepared to upload a picture of yourself if you intend to watch it) is intended to transform the idea of a fee into an investment that promotes ownership and accountability. Pull vs. push: citizens as determiners of the outcome and assurers of a free and open world. Against a backdrop of haunting music and images that describe a society clinging to hope, words such as "trust", "opinion", "voices" and "choice" pepper the dialogue, along with arguments for "alternatives to uniformity" and against being "scared into silence".

Those are Internet themes and mini-manifestos of our new media world. They explain the Long Tail, blogging, social-networking, the exuberance for content and citizen media, the global scale. They harken to the formation of the World Wide Web. They are its foundation code, the ones and zeros of its creation, recognizable to anyone who was there and anyone today who listens. They are rich in promise. They separate us from bondage. They reverberate, "First, do no harm."

It's only an ad campaign, of course. For a TV tax, no less. But it says a lot about the chance to sell anything in this new world if you can tap its DNA.