MITX Panel: The Future of TV

I participated on a panel discussion today, organized by MITX (Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange) and sponsored by One To One Interactive.  The location was beautiful and turnout was strong, despite a major accident that totally shut down the morning commute.

It's tough to take good notes and participate actively, so I'll point out that the panel's moderator, David Weinberger (Fellow, Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society) has posted about it already; so has Christopher Herot, who was an active audience participant.

So here are some more concepts raised in audience discussion:

  • CBS 4 Boston:  "The future of TV will be driven by the news product.  The value of news is local."  Therefore the future of TV is local.  Sounds a lot like search.
  • An unspoken gap between passive and active viewing seemed to be forming; passive as the domain of "traditional" TV and active as a requirement of emerging channels, e.g. internet video.  There's room for both in a viewer's life.
  • "When you have a million channels, what's more interesting: a network
    or your inbox?"  Google's answer: "Search."  However, David pointed out
    that search is merely one of many ways in which a viewer can exert
    control over media.
  • What I found to be the most interesting insight of the morning:  NBC Universal has someone on the set of its most popular shows, who keeps an eye on how content can be adapted for short form, e.g. digital.  Brilliant - great example of understanding the difference between multi-channel (good) and integration (better).

MITX was also producing a videocast of the event, which I assume will be available on their site shortly.

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