By commenting on a blog posting on Internet Evolution about one of our companies, statSheet, I ended up having a great conversation with Joe Grimm the author, who ended up inviting me to an online chat about Valhalla and Journalism 2.0. I had never done a chat before, but it’s essentially marathon top-speed IM-ing with a live audience whose comments are moderated but real-time.
Terrific group. Mainly journalists trying to figure out how to make sense of the new world. The remark I made that was most enthusiastically received by the group was that the transformation of the journalism industry produced “opportunities to make lots of money”. Good luck, I know the journalists of the world will migrate to the new world of Journalism 2.0 and make out well.
Here’s a widget with the whole chat:
Valhalla’s Art Marks had an insight about one way the Internet transforms existing businesses: it weakens the value of special-purpose networks.
Consider what is happening with pay TV today. Today some $56B flows into the cable providers, satellite providers, and other “MVPD” organizations who essentially control special-purpose networks for distribution of video entertainment content. The “entertainment-weighted” equivalent flowing into Internet Service Providers for so-called “over-the-top” video is something like $5B.
It doesn’t take a genius, reflecting on the history of music distribution, software distribution, and news distribution, to conclude that most of the $56B will flow over to the Internet providers over the next four or five years, and the Internet will eat the lunch of yet another special-purpose network. What VPNs did to VANs, what VoIP does to TDMA, an Internet video stack will do to pay TV.
At the same time that networks are converging, the devices attached to the Internet are diverging. Yesterday we had PCs, then laptops, then netbooks. Now we have smartphones and tablets. Tomorrow we will have so-called net-tops (desktop appliances with Internet access and cloud-oriented computing), connected TVs and set-tops. And the day after that, perhaps the full-blown “Internet of Things”.
It makes sense, and to paraphrase what, for example, David Isenberg said in 1997: “dumb network, smart edges”.