Posted by: Rob Hof on May 18, 2005
First blogs, now even more challenges to traditional media are on the way. And if panelists at last night’s Churchill Club panel are right, those challenges will be here sooner than later, because the technologies aren’t far off: ubiquitous wireless Internet access and new display technologies.
Phil Wiser, the chief technology officer at Sony Corp. of America, said both of those will likely disrupt media companies that depend on their current lock on branding and distribution. Wireless Internet access, such as WiMax, means people can get personalized content whenever they want—and they don’t care whether it’s the New York Times or their friend’s blog. And new display technologies such as E Ink’s small, flexible sheets, will make it easier for peole to get that content wherever they want, too.
All that, noted Farzad Nazem, Yahoo!’s CTO, means that the future is “not about mass media, it’s about ‘my media.’” Does that mean a lot of traditional media is doomed, as some folks such as Stowe Boyd predict? Some certainly are, but panel moderator Paul Saffo isn’t so sure. “The old media order really is collapsing,” he said, but added: “The media finally get what’s going on,” and they’re likely to shove many pioneering bloggers off to the side.
No doubt about it, it’s going to be ugly for a while. But that’s not a bad thing if it means the “former audience,” as Dan Gillmor calls readers, gets more of a voice.