July 9, 2006
Old Media part 1
I've just drafted two rambling posts about this, but I'm going to let them ferment a little longer because I'm not yet happy with the thrust of them. However, the hand-waving version goes something like this:
'That's so old media' is a common insult in the blogosphere. Scoble seems proud of the minimal production values of Microsoft's Channel 9; Amanda Congdon slates her former business partner in rocketboom as 'very old media'; heck, I've used the phrase myself, recently, when comparing SciCast to a superficially-similar project being planned by a major national media organisation [cough-can't-talk-cough].
As insults go, slamming something for being 'old media' is not only patronising, it's self-defeating. Sure, let's throw away the baggage, excess, and surrounding bollocks of broadcast, but let's not pretend that we know more about what they do than them. Think 'all TV is crap'? Think again. Sure, lots of people watch TV because it's all they've got, or out of habit, or whatever. But the proportion of the TV audience who watch because they like it? Tiny, you think? That group is still bigger than your audience, sunshine. Even if you're RocketBoom.
And that audience isn't built just by being lucky. It's built by caring about the details, making deliberate choices, and getting it all right. You can dismiss that expertise if you like, but be very clear exactly what you're dismissing.
Just like 'Web 2.0,' 'Old media' is a label that's wrong enough to be occasionally useful. But it's still wrong.
There will be more on this.