“Now, you can live anywhere you want in the world – melding the best possible elements of onsite and online living – and solely share your life, your hopes, and your dreams with those of like mind and a common spirit.” – Carter Clews
The virtual Walled Village construct below lays out in fairly comprehensive detail where much of the world – developed, developing, and undeveloped countries included -- is headed in the very near future.
As you will readily see, it is the logical extension of both the Dissolution of the Mass, of Carnot’s Theorem of Entropy.
More importantly, it opens up the very real possibility of individuals finally being able to live the lives of their dreams. Both onsite and online. Or in tandem.
In short, the best of both worlds.
And the truth is: It is inevitable, even ineluctable.
By “very near future,” we mean within the next 12 to 24 months to a very large degree. And that will accelerate as more groups with a commonality of interest decide they would prefer to live their lives online – or, more precisely, tied together by “Remote Reality” -- in the pleasant and productive company of those they embrace, rather in increasingly repellent bondage with those they abhor.
In short, the online Walled Village will empower you to live the life you love with (and exclusively with) those you prefer most. With those who share your beliefs, ambitions, values, virtues, joys, antagonisms, aversions, and, yes, occasionally even sorrows. With those who enrich your life, enhance your journey, and share your dreams.
Physically, your Walled Village internet virtual neighbors can live down the street, across the country, or on the other side of the world. They can be red, yellow, black, or white; rich, poor, or fair to middling. They can be old or young, male or female, straight, gay, single, married, committed, uncommitted, straightlaced, or libertine.
And they will always be as easily accessible as the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen!
Your Walled Village community can be political… or cultural… or social… or psychic… or intellectual... or even tied to a single all-encompassing singular pursuit (like wine tasting, or even raising pigeons if you so choose). Your choice.
It can be newfangled, or old fashioned. It can be for exercise freaks, or intellectual snobs. For those who seek the solace of eventide, or those who walk on the wild side.
A virtual, online, internet Walled Village can have a population numbering in the scores, the hundreds, the thousands, the millions – or eventually in the tens of millions.
The point is, it’s your Walled Village – originated and orchestrated from where you decide to be. Anywhere in the world.
So make it as inclusive – or exclusive – as you wish. Make it center around and be populated by the people, places, products, services, activities, and events you deem worthy and worthwhile.
And keep in mind that it can combine the best of both worlds – brick and mortar as well as click and modem. It can be as rock-solid as the earth beneath your feet – and/or as remote as the troposphere through which you transmit it.
The goal of this concept paper is to lay out in general terms why and how a virtual Walled Village can become an expansive, exciting, and rewarding home for all those who choose to be part of one. And to provide the roadmap for any who want to establish a virtual Walled Village and populate it with like-minded friends, loved ones, and associates who are ready to live and prosper online.
The Walled Village construct clearly stems from the concept of the “Walled Garden,” defined by Mediarythmics as “a closed ecosystem in which all the operations are controlled by the ecosystem operator.” In its discussion of the Walled Garden, Forbes elucidates upon that definition, adding, “Theoretically, it is more convenient to stay in the proverbial garden than to venture outside.”
From our perspective, the problem with the concept of the Walled Garden as defined above is that it is too delimiting. Not in the first instance – i.e., the ecosystem is both closed and is controlled by the ecosystem operator(s). That is fine. But, in the second instance, which refers to the idea that participants would simply find it “more convenient” not to venture outside, that is far too proscriptive.
So, for our in this paper purposes, we combine and expand the two definitional elements into the intellection of an all-encompassing Walled Village construct, where: (1) all who interact are the very broad-based ecosystem operators, and (2) the myriad elements of the ecosystem are so comprehensive and variable that for those within (to wit, like-minded individuals with a commonality of interests), there is never any need – nor even the slightest desire – to venture outside.
In short, the isolation and insulation are not matters of convenience, but of convergence. Populated to whatever extent you wish by both corporeal and “virtual” friends and neighbors, the Walled Village is the ultimate “Online Hometown” – where everything you want is close at hand, and you nothing you don’t want is allowed to intrude.
It is the ultimate, alternate reality – with the emphasis on reality. Because you formulate and fashion it to your own wants and needs, likes and loves.
Think of the Walled Village as analogous to the hymnist Henry Alford’s “harvest home:”
All are safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied.
Not to seem blasphemous, but in terms of the Walled Village, those who inhabit their own Walled Village are the earthly manifestations of “God, our Maker” (which, actually, is pretty Biblical). And the millions of like-minded individuals across America – and throughout the world, for that matter -- are all “safely gathered in” to their own exclusive and effusive ecosystem, with all of their “wants to be supplied.”
Right from the outset, those “wants” to be supplied will include companionship, conversation, information, hobbies, pastimes, products, mutual interests, engagement, caring, and sharing. It can include interpersonal, even intimate, relationships. From an interpersonal standpoint, nothing will be left out.
It will also include continually burgeoning entertainment, socialization, and acculturalization. And, it will include a massive marketplace – so that Walled Village citizens can buy from and sell to those they know, trust, and consider their friends. Kind of like small-town, community-oriented America once was.
All of that will be provided through every medium (traditional and technological). In short, think of everything that you now can do on the internet – and imagine the joy and security of doing it only and always with those you esteem (and who esteem you!) in your own Walled Village.
In short, the virtual Walled Village will be all things to all people – who substantially share a commonality of interests and buy into our each other’s ideals and ideology, philosophy, orientation, values, virtues, and strategic/tactical plans for their lives.
Within any single Walled Village, those with a commonality of interests could number in the thousands. Or in the millions. Your Walled Village could include only those within a certain geographical area. Or (more likely), it could span the globe.
And above all, your Walled Village will be your own special place – or places: remember, your Walled Village can be both online and onsite, combining both the earthly with the ethereal -- where everybody you care about knows your name and everything you share about is comfortably and companionably the same.
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
You want to be where you can see,
Our troubles are all the same;
You want to be where everybody knows your name.
The Target Audience
What is vitally important to the success of a virtual Walled Village construct is that it is built around a cohesive target audience: again, that is people who share a commonality of interests and largely embrace the same morals, mores, want, needs, attitudes, and latitudes.
Your Village does not allow interlopers who come in claiming that everyone else should bow to their whims and wants. They are free to go form their own Walled Villages, where all of their friends, neighbors, and kindred spirits can do as they damn well please till the cows come home and hell freezes over. Whatever they want can be theirs. But they have no right to encroach upon and corrupt that which is yours.
So, quite simply, don’t let them in.
As St. Paul wrote, “Avoid vexatious people.”
Instead, think back on all that you ever enjoyed in life – and the people with whom you most enjoyed it. That is what and whom you want within the walls of your Village. Chat over a good, hot cup of coffee with them. Virtually go to a sports event with them. Worship with them. Walk with them. Talk with them. Laugh with them. Bitch and moan with them. Even, occasionally weep with them.
Buy from them. Sell to them. If you need to fix your house, ask them how. If you know and they don’t, give them a hand. Need financial advice? Who better to ask than a respected member of your own warm and welcoming Walled Village? Have some advice to give? Well, there’s someone in your Walled Village more than eager to hear it.
Your target audience is that large subset of individuals throughout the web – upon whom you focus for inclusion in your Walled Village. Here is how one highly respected communications theorist explained accomplishing that in his seminal paper on The Plenum:
Allow me to present what I believe are the Three Key Concepts essential to understanding how products, services, and ideas are to be sold -- and massive amounts of money are to be made -- on the internet in the future.
First, it is necessary to understand that the internet is the plenum. It is the whole. The allness. The universe. The big enchilada.
It is THE Mass.
As of April, 2020, 4.6 billion people were regularly using the internet. Which means, it is ubiquitous. Which means most marketers will be tempted to try to sell everything to everyone. And they will die trying.
Which brings us to the first of the Three Key Concepts essential to exploiting The Plenum -- an understanding of which is essential to succeeding where so many others will fail:
- The Fallacy of the Mass – Middle-run (invariably vacuous) marketers now believe that since they can, in essence, seek the whole world, they can also sell the whole world.
No, in fact, they can’t. No matter how amorphous they make their product.
At least not on any single product, service, or idea.
The Fallacy of the Mass in the marketplace is why you so often hear the inevitable losers opine online that, “Well, we just need to broaden our message in a way that will enable us to reach out to those in the middle – or even to those who actually disagree with us. And then we can persuade them to join our ranks!”
That, in a word, is utter bilge (bilge being the operative word; utter is just the adjective to drive the point home).
To borrow from Field of Dreams: No, just because you “bilge” it does not mean that they will come.
The 4.6 billion internet users worldwide en mass are not your target audience.
And they likely never will be -- largely because the vast majority of them have little or no interest in what you are pitching, or, perhaps, don’t even like you.
So, don’t try to reach out and touch them all. Because it’s a waste of your mortal bandwidth.
For example, I am one of those in the 4.6 billion who hates yucca root. I have always hated yucca root. And I always will hate yucca root.
So, do not try to sell me on the idea that yucca root tastes good.
By the same token, I hate liberalism. I have always hated liberalism. And I always will hate liberalism.
So do not waste your time, energy, or money trying to sell me on the idea that it is in my mind something akin to the spawn of Satan.
In short, do not water down your message – whether it be about your ideology or the product or service you are pitching -- in hopes of attracting those who have no taste for it.
They will not be buying what you are selling.
And to try to so disguise or ameliorate it so as to convince them to do so means you have fallen into the deadly trap of the Fallacy of the Mass.
Where perdition awaits you.
And rightly so.
Which brings us to…
- The Paradox of the Mass – The unfortunately vacuous marketers who fall prey to the Fallacy of the Mass will inevitably (usually sooner, rather than later) learn firsthand that the more they buy into it, the more quickly they will fail, go broke, and be swept away with the debris of history.
In the product world, just ask Ford about the Edsel.
Embracing the Fallacy of the Mass, they all thought that by selling their own souls (such as they were) they could gain the whole world.
And what they gained was ignominy.
The paradox is that by trying to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing to anybody.
And the greater the attempt you make to encompass and embrace the Mass, the more time, money, and energy you will waste – with naught to show for it but a track record of…
And sheer failure.
Fortunately, it is remarkably easy to avoid the pitfalls of both the Fallacy of the Mass and the Paradox of the Mass simply by focusing all of your attention and energy on…
- The Segmentation of the Mass – which means that smart marketers will define, target, and play to their A Group.
Think about it: we know that 4.6 billion people regularly use the internet.
We also know that it is a fool’s errand to waste time, effort, energy and money trying to market to all of them – largely because the vast majority have no interest whatsoever in buying that which you are selling…
And, in fact, a significant number are going to hate what you are selling.
So, suppose that instead of indulging yourself in the Fallacy of the Mass – and falling prey to the Paradox of the Mass -- you instead took advantage of the Segmentation of the Mass to reach out to the key prospects you have specifically defined as those who are most going to embrace your product, service, or idea.
And let’s say that out of the 4.6 billion, that is only 1%.
Think you could make a pretty significant impact with – and profit on --46,000,000 customers?
Then, clearly, that is who you should go after.
Forget about the other 4.5 billion-plus.
Let them eat yucca root.
Define, target, and play to the 46,000,000 customers in your A Group…
And get ready to get rich … powerful – or whatever else it is you want to get.
But, again, define the group specifically!
Decide what A Group you want to talk to – and talk exclusively and directly to them in no uncertain terms.
In fact, the great online marketing guru Frank Kern takes it even further.
As you will see in his video interview with Tony Robbins, he suggests segmenting your audience down to a person – the person you believe would most want to buy your product, service, or concept…
And then tailor your pitch to his or her wants, needs, and emotions.
That is the Segmentation of the Mass at its very best.
And in today’s world where the Fallacy of the Mass and the Paradox of the Mass can be not just dangerous – but deadly…
The Segmentation of the Mass is the Holy Grail…
The Keys to the Kingdom…
The Power, the Glory – and the Profits – forever and ever!
So that is the critical Segmentation of the Mass. And how do you apply it to your Walled Village?
Simply put, the target audience segmented from the mass in your own exclusive (yet, expansive) Walled Village is the subset of society that shares you own personal “Million Dreams” (as beautifully enunciated in “The World’s Greatest Salesman”):
Cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it's gonna take
A million dreams for the world we're gonna make
There's a house we can build
Every room inside is filled
With things from far away
The special things I compile
Each one there to make you smile
On a rainy day.
They can say, they can say it all sounds crazy
They can say, they can say we've lost our minds
I don't care, I don't care if they call us crazy
Run away to a world that we design.
Sound like hyperbole?
Well, maybe in the cold hard world of naysayers, doomsayers, and dreamslayers, it would be.
But not in the virtual world of the Walled Village – where you choose your friends, you create the trends, you compile the “special things,” and the words and music are from the songs you sing.
In short, you create your own lifestyle paradigm for others to enjoy and embrace.
The key is to select your target audience (your preferred loved ones, friends, and neighbors), focus on it, fondle it, exploit it – and channel its members into total immersion in your own uninhibited, selectively inhabited, free and easy virtual Walled Village.
To wit: you make them “raving fans.”
You do that by offering them every single service, product, interface, resource, informational package, and entertainment bundle they could possibly need or want. Either in person, or online.
And at that point, they will gladly – even eagerly – gather within your Walled Village, for “all of their wants to be supplied,” in “a world that we design,” including…
What programs, products, perks, features and benefits will your Walled Village want to offer to what could eventually be its millions and millions of fellow citizens within its exclusive confines?
In a word: Everything.
And that is vitally important, since, at present, the various online entities now posturing as some weak variation of online “communities” offer the people little or nothing; mere crumbs, rather than the whole cake. On which they attempt to make an absolute fortune.
That being the case, to be successful – which your Walled Village can and must be – you need to become the ultimate (and, eventually, the only) alternative. The “one-stop-shop” for like-minded individuals worldwide.
Again, part and parcel of their entire lifestyle.
You need to be the first place they turn to in the morning. The single place they return to – time and time again -- throughout the day. And the last place they turn to before they turn in for the night. The transom and the turnstile. Where they eagerly complete all of their transactions.
In short, your Walled Village must become a way of life. An integral part of their being. Axiomatic. Invariable. Rewarding. And fulfilling.
And that means you must offer them compelling sustenance, not just daily – but hourly. In every fashion. In every form. From every angle. On every format. Through every means and medium.
Importantly, the individuals whom you bring within your Walled Village must never again feel the need to be dependent upon any other outside source for information, entertainment, influence, companionship, commodities, fun, or fulfillment. They must not think it is necessary, “convenient,” or even conventional for them to “venture outside” – because everything they need to know and do is contained within the Walled Village.
Here are the seminal components of your Walled Village (and, again, remember: your online Walled Village can be combined with an onsite entity – commingling both a tangible community and a Remote Reality:
Your Walled Village Website
In terms of your Walled Village website, suffice it to say must quite literally become all things to all people. It likely will not start out this way. You have to crawl before you can walk. But, that has to be the end goal endgame. And that strategic approach will guide every step of the way.
So, what does that entail? Your Walled Village website will include a Village Bulletin Board… discussion forums… quick and easy access to Village shops and stores… a Village social calendar… and a full roster of Village clubs, among many other things.
In short, it is an complete, comprehensive, convenient, and all-encompassing destination – and habitation – whether it’s a quaint community, a thriving metropolis, or a virtual nation-state.
Your choice in terms of size, scope, scan, layout, and make-up.
Your Walled Village Daily Chronicle –
The Daily Chronicle (or whatever you wish to call it) will be the flagship publication of your Walled Village. As such, it will go out each morning to every citizen of your Walled Village.
It will feature top news stories generated by the Village, commentaries from TDC staff and contributors, and curated world and national news and commentary from other publications. The material will include not only digital material, but videos and audios as well.
Also unlike many other online publications, whenever possible, TDC will incorporate its video sound bites and audio actualities as part of the news stories themselves, Rather than as separate entities.
TDC also will regularly feature full-length interviews with TDC staff, select newsmakers, and Walled Village citizens. The interviews will be available in online print, video, and audio formats. No other mainstream media online publication currently offers such a feature.
In short, your Walled Village daily email publication will be the ultimate engagement device.
Your Walled Village Broadcast/Podcast Components
Walled Village TV-- First, some nomenclature clarification: In the following discussion, when the word “television” is used, it refers to everything produced in a video format and (1) put in the various Walled Village news media, (2) disseminated online to Walled Village audiences, and/or, in some cases, (3) actually placed on broadcast or cable television (nationally or locally). That said, the Walled Village TV components would be as follows:
- The Walled Village YouTube/Podcast Channel -- In today’s media world, a YouTube channel may well be the single most effective medium for reaching those in the under-40 age group. The fact is, everybody goes to YouTube -- as in 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. And we watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos a day
- The Walled Village will produce far more programming than any other YouTube entity. Most channels are now hit and miss. Walled Village will be hit and score. Over time, it will provide Walled Village supporters with commentaries, interviews, finished productions, round-table discussions, live-streamed Q&As, and even handheld camera onsite news reports – and eventually even entertainment. All around the clock.
- The Walled Village will promote its programming more assiduously than other YouTube channel entities. This promotion will occur not only through the mainstream media, it will occur directly to Walled Village citizens -- and it will occur through the key social media platforms currently most popular with other YouTube entities:
- Walled Village Online Podcast Network -- Eventually – and this is very likely at least a year off – a Walled Village online Podcast Network can do what Glen Beck did with TheBlaze.com TV – only do it far more aggressively and not torpedo it. Simply put, the Walled Village Podcast Network will start out with limited live streaming and grow from there. How will it grow? Well, here, essentially, is the recipe from the CEO of TheBlaze.com TV (from a Blaze article back before it collapsed):
“Today marks the one-year anniversary of GBTV (now TheBlaze TV). When we launched, our stated goal was to deliver TV over the Internet, not Internet TV. And while streaming video over the Internet was not a revolutionary concept, nobody had ever tried to launch and new, online-only, HD-quality TV network before. But that’s Glenn—innovation and risk-taking are part of his DNA. Where others see impossibility, he sees opportunity. (That is one reason why the first-ever show to run on the new network was live from Israel! Glenn never thinks small.)
“Twelve months later I am happy to report that we’ve succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. Despite the technical hurdles that are unique to watching our network, over 300,000 people have chosen to subscribe, giving TheBlaze TV a paid audience that’s larger than most free cable channels!
Here’s how the Wall Street Journal reported on the success of TheBlaze.com TV as far back as March of 2012:
“On Fox News, Mr. Beck averaged 2.2 million daily viewers and was paid $2.5 million a year. GBTV, which jumped on the scene in September, is expected to bring in at least $40 million in revenue this year, supported by advertising and more than 300,000 subscribers paying as much as $9.95 a month for full access to GBTV, according to a person close to the company.
“While it is significantly smaller than his audience at Fox News, it’s still more than an established network like CNBC, which drew an average of 189,000 viewers over the course of the total day in February, according to Nielsen.”
Can the Walled Village Online TV Network do as well? Given the Walled Village’s propensity for promotion, the established reputations of its principals, and the aggressive nature of its marketing paradigm, it could over time actually do even better.
The Walled Village will have its own built-in target audience numbering in the hundreds of thousands. It will have its own nationwide flagship publication, its own online news service, and its own online radio/podcast network. Plus, it will have top spokespersons on conventional TV and radio news talk shows on a continuing basis. And then, there is the programming.
Walled Village programming will be original and captivating – and at the same time, low-cost and highly personal. Especially at the outset, much of the programming will formatted along the lines of Yahoo and ESPN sports TV programming: live on-air celebs talking about what’s going on, taking calls, answering emails, and making the audience part of the show.
Once fully operative and ongoing, the Walled Village Podcast Network will be 24/7 around the clock, around the world. For Village citizens, it will obviate the need for any other form of entertainment, or source of information.
In short, it will not just resonate, it will dominate.
Your Walled Village Social Media Components
The social media component of the Walled Village will be an integral part of the overall program. In fact, the answer to the question, “What will comprise the social media component of the Walled Village?” would rightly be “All of the above. And more.” That is how pervasive social media news dissemination is at this point in time.
Consider the following from a recent Pew Research study:
- Half of Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites as do 62% of reddit users.
- Overall, three in ten adults get at least some news while on Facebook.
- And 50% of all social media website users shared or reposted news stories, images, or videos. In short, they became “influencers.” And these influencers are those the CRPAC wants to directly reach.
What all of this means for the Walled Village is that you need to take each component discussed above and make concrete decisions about how to incorporate it into the Walled Village construct. That being the case, in all that you do, we need to keep three key concepts in mind:
- You want the components of your Walled Village print and broadcast media seamlessly incorporated across the board into the entire social media news, entertainment, and information dissemination construct;
- You want a program that aggressively incorporates the key elements of services like SocialMedia.com, Hootsuite.com, and TweetDeck.com to ascertain who is discussing the Walled Village and the key issues with which the Village is involved; and
- You want to design a program that has a multiplicity of “engagement devices” in order to take advantage of the propensity for social media users to get deeply involved with the topics in which they are most interested. And we want to then utilize those engagement devices to entice them into the Walled Village, make them feel welcome, and make them active Patriots and Partners.
So, that’s it, in a nutshell. The Walled Village takes life out of the mundane, circumscribed, dreary, and restrictive. Instead, it makes it as exciting, rewarding, enjoyable, and expansive as your own imagination and determined commitment to personal freedom.
It removes the bars and bondage of geographic restraints – and let’s you live as large, lavishly, free and easy as you desire. And deserve. It let’s you create your own reality with those who share your dreams – in “a world that could be… a vision of the one you see.”
It combines the “real” with the remote, the concrete with the abstract, the home based with the homepage, in ways that build a better world. Anywhere. And everywhere. At once.
Will it work? Well…
"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."