Broadcast Engineering & Telling A Story

On Michael Holloway’s recent blog on the future of Web 2.0 / Broadcast Media, he talks about that age old problem of compatibility of component parts.

“…All applications should ‘snap’ into place like Leggo or work togeather like a Mechano Set…”

michaelhollowaysblog: Web 2.0 (refined)

The making of a wide array of applications that can fit together is certainly attractive and, even in its imperfect manifestation in today’s web technologies, has made the construction of complex web sites very easy.

I’m not sure I agree that ALL applications should snap into place. The non-standard is essential to the world too.

As a broadcast engineer I know that I want every item to meet stringent technical criteria so I can be certain that everything plugs together nicely so I can deliver a seamless, dreams-to-screen service for my content maker. But as an inventor, a developer, a story creator, I want raw materials. I need to have bits of equipment that DONT plug together with other things; lengths of fabric that can be cut to whatever shape and size I fancy.

The cost of making content has fallen across the board, provided one wants to make the same content as yesterday. But a broadcaster who only shows the same material (whether by internet, cable or radio wave) as in the past, but cheaper, is going to find themselves with a dwindling audience. People will find ways of adding MORE technology to tell the story, ways that are ground breaking (ie Non Standard) and each time they do, to begin with, it will cost more.

To summarise, I think Michael has made some good points and it leads me to consider whether we really are on a path to cheap content. My guess is that we’ll engineer more expensive content for broadcast to drive audiences with money towards the advertisers.

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