Now we're starting to get somewhere. Almost from the moment Peter Hirshberg's show ended, On Hollywood got down to the business of identifying what exactly is going on now that we're entering the Post-Link world. You can get an argument about that thesis in any of your favorite blogs and conference hallways, but soon we will see fatigue setting in as media types realize the page view rat race is falling apart.
Sony would have us believe that content will reign supreme, not just in semi-real time, but as a legacy stream (Dr. Zhivago, Don Larsen's perfect game, etc.) Fox would have us believe that 24 will move from one outlet to federated release, regaining the massive audiences collapsed by cable and offering challenges only in wrapping the micro-community payments in a a revenue model that will float blockbuster budgets. And Microsoft sees joy wherever they venture, ignoring the road littered ahead with silo and lock-in fettered vestiges of the Golden Age of Windows.
But look at what happened with The West Wing. Last week's episode was the height of Hollywood magic, because it's over. If it had somehow been rescued, Arnie Vinick would have won, eliminating the achingly sweet moment when he and Santos found the lurking Leo at the cusp of our one-party system. The Hollywood system is ill-suited for the coming storm, not because the talent isn't here--of course it is -- but because the silo model is like the airline industry. Frequent flier programs have doomed the carriers (pun intended) and a slowly emerging open shared pool will inevitably take down the current infrastructure.
On the Silicon Valley side, the same myopia is in place. Startups jockey for a seat at the blockbuster table. Incumbents pretend to listen to each other but can't see beyond today's Journal headline about Microsoft spending the $2 billion on buying Yahoo. Inside Yahoo, Jeremy Zawodny pokes for weakness in a user-controlled model. Outside the kring, Kevin Burton comes up with the same exact concern about users somehow gaming the system by taking over the Pool for evil intent. Good luck guys; talk about swimming against the tide.
Meanwhile the GestureBank 100 continues to grow--the finest collection of thieves, spies, whores, and grifters I've ever had the pleasure to work with. Whatever Hollywood throws up against them in the next two days, the Cartel will be hard pressed to match them in insight, hunger, and disinterest. Remember, it's not what you're paying attention to that really counts, it's what they're ignoring that adds up. As John Lennon said, See how the other half live.