The 1992 Election was won on the simple-but-effective mantra: “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” Worth remembering as people alternatively gnash their teeth, wring their hands, or go all Google-eyed over all of the geeky techy innovations of the Wired world: What actually is the stuff that we’re putting into those handy little boxes of code and shooting all over the world into fancy gadgets? I’ve noticed that Web people tend to talk about “content” as if it were a commodity, like “coal” or “rice” or “grass.” The reality, of course, is that “content” is PROGRAMMING, which involves heads and hearts and taste and passion. Reason for this rant: A great line from Jerry Del Colliano‘s Inside Music Media blog today:
The thought of a TV network as first and foremost a delivery system is as frightening as a mobile phone company being a content producer. But in our interactive day and age, smart people are making not so smart decisions.
Bingo. Subsitute the word “programming” for “content” in the above line and you have a truly scary scenario. Making good, high-quality, original programming is hard, time-consuming, and often expensive. I’d rather have my phone company fixing the miserable battery life in my so-called Smartphone then sending me a “V-cast.”
Rest of del Colliano’s post is not on this topic, but more about how the media barons are missing the point of today’s most important consumers:
The real problem is a lack of understanding of the very generation that has foisted all this change on the media barons — Gen Y? How can media barons make business decisions with implications so dire that they forgot to consult with the next generation? To get to know them a bit better is an eye-opener. It’s more than they are demanding, impatient and fickle. It turns out that they are proving to be wiser than the media barons in many ways.
Gen Y is bringing the record industry to its knees — latest example is the coming demise of digital rights management (DRM).
Gen Y all but banished terrestrial radio to being irrelevant for neglecting them and focusing on consolidation instead. They’ve got nothing against satellite radio — they just can’t afford it. And if they could, they’re waiting for WiFi to make everything that’s free on the Internet portable in their lives.
Newspapers — forget it. No young person is going to hold in their hands what they can click with their fingers and read.