Will You Survive The Coming Changes?

Get ready for a world where everything is on demand and à la carte. Traditional broadcasting is going to change whether it wants to or not. Marketing will be forced to change in profound ways. As a result, content-making will also go through a major metamorphosis.

Marketing and traditional broadcasting have long had an interesting relationship that has had a potentially detrimental effect on the quality and quantity of available content. Television in particular has long been known as “a vast wasteland.” If one thinks about how this lowest-common-denominator programming can exist, the realization emerges that anxious, aggressive television advertisers have often been willing to sponsor junk programming content to capture passive viewers. In the pre-Internet world of broadcast TV, people would surf channels in order to find what was often the least-boring programming. Also because of the hypnotic potential of this type of TV watching, many viewers were willing to sit in front of virtually any programming without really caring about what they were watching, using TV viewing itself as a sort of nightly drug. Marketing messages get programmed into viewer’s brains, but more importantly using this type of passive TV viewing as a drug has definite detrimental side effects to both the individual, the family unit, and society at large.

After a few months of agonizing, I recently cancelled my Dish Network account. I was already a Netflix customer and was watching more stuff from Netflix than I was from Dish Network, so it has been a remarkably easy transition.

There are differences. One of the differences is that I’m now forced to choose what I want to watch when I want to watch TV. Being forced to choose necessarily forces me to choose something I find personally interesting. The net effect is I’m making a conscious choice of my television influences. Of course, another difference is that streamed Netflix content has no ads.

Hulu.Com offers streaming content with ads, and recently started offering an inexpensive monthly premium streaming content option, which also has the added benefit of vastly expanding the list of devices they will stream to beyond the desktop/laptop computer to include media extenders and cell phones. Like Craig’s List cannibalized the local newspaper ad business, Hulu.Com and similar emerging streaming services are going to further cannibalize the now-breaking and broken broadcast TV model. I say this not to blame Hulu and other services as I believe this push for choice has been well underway for a long time and these emerging streaming services are simply accelerating it.

The ad-supported content will be forced to change because the programming must be appealing-enough to consumers to get them to choose the particular content. Non-ad supported content will continue to have a market but will be forced to appeal just the same to induce consumers to choose that content.

ROOT/ VAULTS is the first bank for your attention data

I was aware that this site had launched and till today had not given it much of a look just because I have been pretty busy. But reading essentially the vision statement behind the site made me look a little deeper. I will report back in a couple of weeks after using the service but I think their are real possibilities here. Attention is important I am trying to determine if this site meets my approval but it is well worth the look.

I also think you should read the vision statement of the creator before you visit the website. [Root.net]

Jeff Jarvis wants his Attention Data

I have talked about “Attention” for a while now, and think it’s a important for everyone to understand how valuable their attention is. Jeff Jarvis is calling Yahoo, Apple, Google Reader, NewsGator and other RSS newsreaders to task in wanting to know specifics about how his feeds are being used.

I know for example if I visit bloglines.com how many people are subscribed to the Geek News Central RSS feed but they among others cache that data. Since most companies are caching information the raw hit info is not being reported back to the source where this information can be registered within the servers log files.

Personally I don’t care who is reading the info from this site and where they are coming from literally, but I would like a better way to measure article impact. Honestly though I don’t dwell on it to much but as I have said in some recent articles the tools that are out their now to measure RSS are pretty bad.

Jeff gets called to the carpet by several of the readers, but I think many miss the point and do not understand the value and the importance of Attention. A recent comment by a reader of GNC and listener of the podcast made me do some thinking about Attention, in understanding that not only is Attention data a two way street with you the reader and I, but it also should be a two way street between me and those that make a lot of money by providing my content along with a large number of others content to a centralized audience.

So in principle I agree with Jeff but to be honest I think it will be a long time before most of these companies every get on board and realize that if they provided us some semblance of good statistics it would ultimately help those of us that keep track of this stuff.

Some of you that are very vocal will drop me a comment of e-mail on articles that peak your interest most will not. For more info on Attention please visit the AttentionTrust.org which this site is a member of. [Jeff Jarvis]