Once again, the web goes both ways

January 31, 2003

Earlier this week, I wrote about why Content doesn't matter. Here are two posts that eloquently elucidate on that theme:

Doc Searls, on AOL/TW and The new record (loss) business:

The masses want broadband, and AOL is what they're leaving to get it.

Worse, they don't want broadband so they can watch Warner Brothers pictures or listen to Warner Music recordings. Worse than that, they actually want broadband so they can share their own movies, records and pictures with each other. Freely. For no money.

Pretty soon, they'll want to serve their own stuff from their own machines, in their own homes. And why not? The Net was built for fat, symmetrical, end-to-end sharing of everything, with no value-adding intermediator in the middle. It wasn't built so big dumb companies could use it as a one-way sluice for their own "content." Yeah, the Net'll support that, but that's not what users want it for.

Jonathon Peterson (at his new Amateur Hour at Corante): Reclaiming Amateur: Death To Consumers:

Despite the best efforts of multinational media conglomerates (what I call "Big Content") to turn the Internet into television, the broadband Web is rapidly becoming a personal two-way medium that is revolutionizing human communication. While this sounds like an echo of the breathless dotcom bubble, I don't say it lightly, or without knowledge of those millions for whom the basics of human survival are a daily struggle. Unlike the marketers of the dotcom bubble, I'm not trying to sell anything...

While Big Content is trying to convince us that larger, higher resolution screens and more channels of audio are what is important, tens of thousands of people are bringing the emotional impact of personal storytelling to digital media. Which matters more? You be the judge.

The one sentence summary: The Internet is much better at communicating than "consuming." If it is to be no more than a replacement for TV and radio, why bother? Posted by Andrew Raff at January 31, 2003 02:46 PM
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