Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
December 11, 200810:07 PM

Bad TV

How long does it take for you to find something good on TV?

You could spend more hours just watching other people click on the remote, navigate the on-screen menu and stumble through hundreds of channels before finding something decent and relevant. Bruce Springsteen was on to something with his song, '57 Channels (And Nothing On)'. And while there are those who swear by their TiVo and DVRs, it's not like there are 600 channels with great programming to choose from. Most people use their DVRs to avoid the vast majority of television programming (and we're not even talking about the commercials).

Contrast that to the Internet.

Through the power a decent News Reader (like Google Reader, My Yahoo and Netvibes), you can filter the content you want to receive (and you only receive it when there is something new). An online news reader is like a PVR for the Internet - it helps you avoid a lot of the noise that's out there. But, here's the difference, there is so much good content on the Internet that it is overwhelming. Where both systems enable you to avoid a lot of the noise, the Internet just has way too much relevant and good content - no matter what your varying interests may be. From text and images to audio and video, stumbling through a News Reader can be overwhelming, even for the more voracious content consumers.

When you compare TV to the Internet, it becomes abundantly clear where more and more people will wind up getting their entertainment in the coming years. 

It's also plainly obvious how disconnected the major network producers are to their audience. TV certainly caters to a very specific audience and it's easy to get trapped in the "I don't watch that much TV anymore, so other people probably don't either." We know that watching TV recently hit an all-time high in terms of usage and hours spent (you can read more about that here: TV Viewing Is Down As Internet Usage Continues To Rise? Not Exactly), but people watching video online is also skyrocketing and it just keeps on improving. None of those statistics change the general feeling that you have to struggle to find something good on TV, but it's a struggle to find something bad in your News Reader.

Your choice: Publishing 2.0 or Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?. Jon Udell or Ryan Seacrest?

Bad TV or Good Internet?

By Mitch Joel