Has mass media slipped the surly bonds of programming?

Terry Heaton has been laying down some serious thoughts on the future of television as unbundled bits of media, and his model scales to newspapers easily enough.

One of the features of the “pull” technology deployed in everything being called Web 2.0 is the natural-but-new condition of the separation of program and schedule.

We think of this as time-shifting when we talk about TIVO or podcasts of mass media product (think ABC/Apple), but when it comes to shattering our newspapers into individual stories, we’re really shifting time, space and structure.

I think it’s that structure shift most people have the hardest time wrapping their brains around. RSS cuts up the brand, the continuity, and the layout of the page (or the prime-time network TV schedule).

There are no more lead-ins, there are no more “Stay Tuned for scenes for the next X-Files” notices when the credits roll. The context of information is now created by the user.

Tagging and aggregation let the consumer of information reshape the media landscape — editors can no longer depend on leading the reader to the next story — the reader has already chosen the next story by subscribing to an area of interest rather than a particular source.

Then again, I’m still subscribed to different methods of information organization. I categorize my feeds into channels and usually read the newest posts from one channel at a time – Media, Technology, VoIP, J-School – it’s an imperfect taxonomy, but it allows me to focus my attention on one area of research at a time.

So we create our own channels, our own networks, our own newspapers, our own conglomerates. Information is no longer bound to the page or the airwaves.

[Bonus link to Chris Pirillo’s interview with Heaton]

[tags]television, newspapers, web 2.0, rss[/tags]

2 thoughts on “Has mass media slipped the surly bonds of programming?”

  1. Heh – good question.

    What’s imperfect about it is that it IS a taxonomy. I’d prefer an aggregator that would let me label feeds with multiple tags and automatically mark a post as “read” across the system.

    For example, I want to subscribe to Om Malik’s blog, but I want to tag it: voip, wireless, technology.

    Then, if I’m catching up on voip reading, I want to read the latest posts from Om’s blog – once. If I’m reading about wireless later, I don’t want to see the same posts again.

    As far as my existing little taxonomy goes, I find it limiting in that I’m prone to just read a handful of feeds consistently. The more time I have to read, the more varied my reading. When I don’t have any time at all, I’ll just check what Scoble or Winer or Gillmor or Gillmor are talking about to get a feel for the day’s tech/media news.

    The best thing about my current categorization scheme is that I can build a folder full of searches on a topic I’m researching (right now I’ve got searches running on the FEC, VoIP, J-School, etc.) — when I switch to working on that topic, I read the relevant feeds.

    How do you organize information, Jason? Folders? Piles? Tagging?


Comments are closed.