Sifting through the (Inter)net

I recently stated that: "Steve Rosenbaum argues that consumers are inundated by too much choice." I probably should have tweaked it to say "inundated by choice," since Steve corrects me:

Let me clear
one thing up… i don’t think consumers have too many choices, far from
it. That’s like saying the world has too many books. Or too many songs, or too many poems. Rather – i think TV must evolve from a time wasting, brain numbing
pacifier into a stimulating, informative, engaging, important medium. I’ve been real world testing user-created video on MTV, CBS, and the net for 10 years  and i’m sure that what is missing is an essential filter/finder/sorting system.

(Interesting how much difference a single word can make. Sorry, Steve.) I essentially agree with Steve, who is focusing more on some of the exciting new content that the Internet has given room to grow. It is exciting to see the radical changes in how content is being distributed–and how that enables alternative forms to become more financially viable. The other reality, however, is that elimination of friction in the distribution system also allows a lot of inferior content to be generated (see the reference to Christine Rosen‘s essay on "egocasting"). That is why I have been arguing that the "exploding" of media we are seeing will not completely eliminate the need for content mediators. And there will also continue to be room for more universal ("popular") media.


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