I just spent the last three days immersed in the strangely parallel universe of public broadcasting and the Integrated Media Association's New Media Summit. Parallel in that, as I said to one of the organizers, "I figured you guys existed; I just didn't know who you were." Strange in that, while not in a one-to-one mapping, I eventually identified a group of dopplegangers from "my" world of RSS, attention, and the digital enterprise: here comes "Dave Winer" or "Adam Bosworth" or "John Battelle" and so on. They have names like Stephen Hill and Mark Fuerst and Dennis Haarsager
, but trust me, you know these guys.
The good news is that they are looking at the elephant in the room from a completely divergent perspective, and yet a radically similar vision of the shape of the beast is emerging from the fog. They, like us, see the disruptive synergy of broadband, iPod, and time-shifting technologies creating Adam Curry's (or someone's) battly cry of "We don't need no steenkin' transmitters." We call it podcasting or RSS or TiVo, they call it MyTime. We both call it what it is: what the user wants, when they want it, how they want it.
I told them they needed to get into the conversation, that they should hurry up adapting to the world and economics of page views and unique visitors and even more quickly move on to the burgeoning world of relationships, subscriptions and attention. I told them that the browser is dead, that RSS is about time, and efficiency trumps everything. They told me they have a deep bench of content, community, authority, and best practices, and they're working to make it available to our search and attention engines.
As Dana Gardner said on this week's Gillmor Gang
"The competition here is much deeper and broader than I thought. When you open up these archives of content to what we view as the 'podosphere', it really could quickly turn this into a high quality, deep and wide, rather than just the new stuff. It becomes a much larger proposition, therefore the competition will be greater, and therefore the drive to quality, and potentially the drive to a sustainable business, is much more likely."