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Barry Diller's Dreams

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 05, 2005

Web 2.0 conference coproducer John Battelle is asking IAC’s Barry Diller why he bought the search engine Ask. Diller paints it not as a defensive move but an offensive one. His plans? For one thing, a whole bunch of specialized search engines, for travel, for tickets, for everything else that IAC owns. Maybe a clue to where Ask might go.

He’s also apparently pinning his hopes on the convergence of traditional media and the Internet. That, he says, could lead to a change in the leaders—and I think he means in both realms. Hard to tell yet if he’s right, or just wants to be right.

He’s not convinced there’s much for the masses in participatory media, though. “There’s not that much talent in the world,” he says. Talented creators of movies and the like, he adds, “won’t be replaced by 18 million people with their [self-produced] videos.” Challenged by OurMedia cofounder and executive director J.D. Lasica, he shrugs, “That may be an utter birdbrain statement, but it’s mine.”

That said, he says there has never been a greater opportunity for people with a good idea, thanks to the Net’s knocking down barriers to media creation and distribution.

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Reader Comments

Andreas Ramos

October 12, 2005 10:25 PM

Diller is right about the lack of talent. There are some 300 million people in the USA, but only a few hundred thousand books are printed each year. Only a few hundred thousand people are organized enough to go through the process of writing a book. Blogs aren't the answer: of the 300 million people, there's still only a few million blogs, and of those, the vast majority are abandoned after a few entries. What's the total number of active (posting at least once a week) blogs? Certainly less than a million. Blogs have been around for years now, so it's not going to suddenly increase.

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