Three Huge Media Technology Trends

I’m not a big “technology for technology’s sake” kinda guy. The biggest benefits of using technology is the convenience it brings to my life. At Technology Evangelist, we have a lot of online and offline conversations (yes, we actually talk face to face from time to time) about what technologies make our lives better. Here are a few trends we at Technology Evangelist have identified involving products we love. This article focuses on the trends. Later articles will take a closer look at the various applications mentioned below and how they make our lives better.

1. On Demand Content

TV is dead. At least, how TV is largely delivered today is dying fast. People LOVE watching TV, but they want to filter through the junk to get to the shows that are actually worth watching.

“Channels” are a dying concept. Consumers watch TV SHOWS not channels, and could care less about bundled cable packages. Television networks and cable operators are way behind on this, The FCC is starting to put pressure on cable operators to unbundle their channels (LA Times Registration Required) based on consumer demand for more control over what’s coming into their homes. That’s a start, but savvy television viewers are already well beyond the impact that will have on their viewing behavior.

What do consumers really want? To watch the shows they like on the time frame of their choice. Napsterization.

Don’t make me sit through Joey to watch The Apprentice.

Examples: TIVO, CinemaNow, Purchasing TV Series on DVD, iTunes

2. Aggregating Content

There is no shortage of incredibly interesting content worth consuming on the web, but how do you manage to filter for the content that’s truly remarkable? Here’s my personal challenge: I try to keep up to date on technology trends, companies I find interesting, political news & opinion, and international, state, and local news. Can I get the best of this type of content from one source? Not even close. Fortunately, a combination of web tools like Bloglines, and news review sites like Digg are making it easier for me to find content that interests me and roll it up on a custom homepage. This allows me to read more content, and more interesting content in a timely manner.

If I can’t access your web site’s content through Bloglines, I won’t be a regular reader.

Examples: Bloglines, Digg, Del.Icio.Us

3. The Participatory Web

Media gatekeepers such as publishers and television programmers are being outsourced. To whom? To all of of us. We’re creating custom TV “channels” using TIVO, our own “newspapers” using Bloglines, and our own “radio stations” using iTunes. Sites like Digg, Shopping.com, Amazon help us figure out what’s worth reading or buying based on feedback from a huge network of consumers.

Yet, we still need editors. Content creators need editors to help organize their thoughts. Consumers need editors who can help get them to quality content quicker. Freelance RSS reader optimization consulting will be a new career option for smart newshounds as a service to busier newshounds.

Wikipedia lets everyone become and editor allowing the site’s knowledge base to improve as people contribute what they know. Flickr uses a combination of “sets,” “most viewed,” “interestingness,”  “pools,”  and  “tags” to point you to content that may interest you. MNSpeak lets anyone submit and comment on news stories. The submissions are moderated to make sure they’re topical to the site, but the content is generated by the site’s network.

The people who point me to the best content on the web don’t work for media companies.

Examples: Wikipedia, Flickr, MNSpeak

The takeaways:

Consumers who take advantage of new technologies will be more productive, better informed, and live more interesting lives.

Businesses who let consumers decide how they’ll consume their business’ content will have winning strategies.

2 thoughts on “Three Huge Media Technology Trends”

  1. Ed, I agree with your article, just today I read web content using Bloglines (learned a great new technique to clip content in Bloglines) I watched what I wanted on Tivo, and I arranged a new Christmas music playlist on iTunes

  2. I saw an ad on NBC this morning for Monday’s NBC Nightly News where they’re going to do a report on the unbundling of cable channels. If someone was really interested in that topic, why wouldn’t they just hop online where they could easily find the information NBC won’t report for another day?
    In fact, NBC affiliates reported this story five days ago:
    http://www.nbc17.com/news/5424611/detail.html
    By the time NBC Nightly News stops holding the story, it will be a six day old, and likely told in less depth than the original story.
    What kinds of opinions will NBC present with the story? Chances are, they won’t be as in depth as what’s been available online for almost a week.
    TV is so slow and shallow.
    Given that, NBC deserves a break on this one because the story is actually reporting on what may be done by the FCC this Tuesday, making Monday a good night for a lead-up report.

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