Transmedia is still a country for pioneers & prospectors. We are embarking on the big gold rush. Those who believe in it go all in and endure tough times finding financial and creative partners.
Al Swearengen clearly runs the whole camp and decides about the fate of every person living within. By building up a sophisticated network of informers, prostitutes and underlings he got a tight grip around this community. Yes, he is a businessman and all his decisions result in his personal benefit. However, he also knows running a business is subject to a functioning community. Thus, he constantly adjusts his business model and market strategy towards the situation at hand. At first, for instance, he offers discount promotions when a settler family gets murdered allegedly by Indians outside the camp: "God rest the souls of that poor family... and pussy's half price for the next 15 minutes". Later into the series, his interests change and become more focused on the functionality of the community, making him merge with other peoples' agenda in order to keep the camp's infrastructure intact.