Yesterday evening I happily spent some time following the Journalism Leaders Forum through Twitter and a live video stream. There was much debate about the vague pointlessness of one of the sessions – “Why isn’t more media translating into more money for mainstream media companies?” – with the feeling that the time for talking about this is pretty much over. It’s time to start getting out there to find the answers.
Ironically, this morning I woke up to find some excellent blogging around the session (much of it critical, mind), the choice meats of which I present for your enjoyment:
- “I get annoyed when people suggest that the only people who can deliver
news to the public are newspaper journalists. I believe that is an
arrogance based upon fear.” – Joanna Geary.
- “Er, sorry to be the one to break it to you guys (and it was all male), the horse hasn’t just bolted, he’s built his own nice new stable in your garden.” – Sarah Hartley
- “In case some of the mainstream media haven’t got this yet – ‘THE WEB DOES NOT OWE YOU A LIVING’. It doesn’t care that you have been doing this for years, you have to earn your eyeballs like everyone else.” – Andy Dickinson
Like many of those actually present in the room, I do find myself wondering how often we’re going to have to answer the same questions from our journalistic colleagues about the web.
The BBC is carrying what amounts to a "no shit, sherlock" story: Web is in its infancy, say Berners-Lee. And I suspect that the creator of the web is busy wondering why anyone thinks that this is news. (Update: It appears that quite a lot of people are thinking the same thing)
After all, the web is a scant decade and a half old, yet most of the innovations that people are using daily, from streaming flash-based video, to social networking, have only come to prominence in the last half-decade. And, as Alan makes clear, that's just a blink of the eye in terms of most technological adoption.
We're only just beginning to understand what the implications are of moving from a static web to the live web (as Doc Searls has so delightfully termed it). His presentation at Le Web 3 '07 has stuck in my head for the last few months, and has finally bubbled its way into something meaningful in my conciousness. And here it is: .
Om Malik is suggesting that the slowing rate of broadband adoption in the US will lead companies to try and boost their speeds to upsell consumers. It makes sense, as it will allow them to continue growing, even as the early boosts from the initial wave of broadband adoptions start to fade.
Now, that’s a much more positive angle on the broadband industry than the UK is showing. Virgin’s call for the BBC to contribute to the bandwidth costs of the successful iPlayer is just ludicrous. For one, the BBC is already paying its own supplier, and at the other end, the customer is already paying for the bandwidth. If the ISPs were genuinely committed to serving their customers, they’d have been following the rapid growth of audio and video streaming and downloading amongst their users, and putting plans in place to facilitate it. Penalising another company for being popular with their customers is just not the way forward.
This is an important debate for those of us in the media to keep a watch on. This fundamentally affects both the major future content delivery platform for our work – and our costs for accessing it.
One of those days.
We’ve been planning the upgrade of our Movable Type servers for months now. I thought – hoped, even – that we’d press the button and do the upgrade this week. Ah, well.
It turns out that a particular testing resource we need before we’ll get full internal approval to do this won’t be available until the weekend – which means that the big server update will happen next week at the earliest. And that means I’ll need to re-arrange a week off I had scheduled. Which was to get the flat on the market…
…life is rather too much like one of those domino collapse movies people with too much time on their hands enjoy making, isn’t it?
I had a very weird, very retro experience this lunchtime. Lorna and my in-laws are back from their Florida holiday, and I offered to take my mother-in-law’s film (yes, film) in for developing. As one of my colleagues remarked “Do they still do that?”
I handed over my film and cash – and was surprised to be handed back a free, replacement film – that was 36 exposures, rather that the 24 I’d handed over.
And somewhere at the back of my head, I got a strange feeling of deja vu – like this was something that used to be quite common, and which has come back into fashion. Am I right? Or am I just mis-remembering?