More broadband-shmoadband, I’m afraid.
The forehead-slapping is happening with disturbing regularity these days; as is my writing something here in response to the increasingly-infuriating new media section of the Guardian. The folk at the online section of the paper should walk across the office every so often and give the media folk a good clue-slapping.
Remember the Pew report on habits of broadband usage? Here’s the entry on boingboing.net with a link to it.
Well, David Docherty, “MD for Broadband Content, Telewest” in his weekly
free advertisment column in the new media section of the Guardian has stumbled across it, and spun it in a spectacularly strange style towards the ‘broadband-needs-high-quality-content’ arguement.
Docherty picks up the main points of the report: that those with broadband connections enjoy creating as much as consuming. And, that their patterns of usage are those of frequent ‘snacking’ of services and information plus, longer sessions of creation or sharing services and information.
He even admits to having his own blog, but forgets to share with us the URL (or whether he allows vistors to comment on his posts…)
However, he attributes this to the speed of the connection, and the mysterious allure of that ‘dark matter’ of the web: “rich content”*. The speed of the connection, or more specifically the lack of latency in the reponsiveness of the web might be part of the appeal of broadband (it certainly is for me) but this then becomes inversely-proportional to the ‘richness’ of the content (cf. ‘Loosemore’s law’).
Always-On is still the killer property of broadband connections; the speed of the system is a close second. The speed of that system is, still however, contingent on the design surrounding and containing the information and services** going through it. ‘Rich content’* smacks of cholesterol-laden cream pies clogging up the newly-widened broadband arteries of the web.
Of course, even the most fit and healthly of us like to pig-out on something that’s bad for us every so often. Does that mean that we create industries that we later try and sue because we didn’t realise how bad they would be for our health?
The Pew report’s main message for Mr. Docherty should be that the always-on, connected-community would rather bake their own tasty treats and share them with each other, than be force-fed the dubious confections dreamt-up by ‘rich-content producers’. Maybe Telewest would be better off looking after it’s delivery business that trying to play master pattisiere…
* please, can someone tell me what makes ‘rich content’ so, well, ‘rich’??
** I’m experimenting with forcing myself to replace the word ‘content’ in anything I write with what I actually mean in that context, with revealing but often excruiating results.