In this, I think you’re right on point. New eras of technology bring us completely new forms of media, realignments in older media types, and evolutions of previous non-media into storytelling material. Two concepts I think you’ve seized on — democratization and the concept of limited to no gatekeeping — are important because they underscore the evolution of media-creation dynamics as much as the media itself.
In pervious eras, media creation/production (from printing books and recording music) to distribution (selling paintings and arranging marketing) has been controlled by a relatively small number of entities who acted as gatekeepers to the awareness of potential consumers. These gatekeepers were able to sell both producers and consumers that they were helping to weed out the “good” stuff from the “bad,” a myth inherently false as neither “good” nor “bad” exist within the context of subjective art.
What excited me about Hardbound is your apparent commitment to two seemingly at-odds ideals, which I believe actually go hand-in-hand: 1) high-brow media creation and discussion, and 2) democratization. In keeping the standards high, but democratizing the ability to create, those of us in the media universe now have the opportunity to explore new avenues in what media and creation can be.
Awesome job, looking forward to seeing the next step.