Saturday, March 07, 2009

Internet v. TeeVee

Essay here by Paul Graham.

Discuss. Dissect. Not necessarily in that order.

H/T to Ted Hopefor finding this.

Rushing off to see Watchmen.


TheGamut said...

I dunno. It is still conjecture. Is it that simple? I doubt it. Did those things influence it. Possibly. How much influence? I don't think it was so much the availability of the services as the fads that popped up surrounding them.

Fads are wholly unpredictable (though many will analyze them to death trying to cash in on what makes society move in one direction over another). Being socially networked became the in-thing, but such things existed for a very long time and never caught on. Is it new features? No. They've been around, too. Is it better bandwidth? No. The stuff barely uses any.

I'm fairly certain what ignited the powder keg was just a random fad that spread like wildfire (like fads often do).

We think this fad is just a logical conclusion of things given how tech has made it available, but why did it take off just now when the opportunity has been around for a while? I think someone noticed it and told someone else, and it spread like a virus. (That is really oversimplifying it, but I think the point is present.)

This is how all fads start, though, and we think that they are just the logical conclusion at the time (despite many attempts in the past to accomplish the exact same thing).

Yet as I mentioned, people will analyze this trend to death hoping to understand what makes something popular in order to sell books or seminars or make something popular on their own.

I think it was just a fad that became standard, and in that case, we're talking about butterfly wings. The slightest change in flow makes it happen or makes it fade away.

Jon Molly said...

It's an interesting take, TheGamut. I would just add that it's okay to be a fad. Everyone thinks fads come and go, but I'm not so sure that's true. Sure, no fad will stay at its peak forever, but often enough the stick around in one form or another for a long time. They're still selling Slinkies, after all.

Cunningham said...

Gamut - given that most music industry execs were COMPLETELY clueless as to the powerhouse that the ipod and itunes became should give you a clue that:
a) social networks operate far faster to consensus than music companies...
b)studios were completely clueless or PROBABLY just didn't care about the needs and wants of their audience. They were making too much money marking up content 400%.

TV as we have known it in the past is GONE. The stake has been driven into its heart. The fact that new shows MUST put episodes online is evidence of this.