Back in 1996, at the dawn (or at least early morning) of the browser age, UK television producer John Wyver published an essay in an apparently now-defunct publication, Abacus, that looks visionary in light of web/media 2.0 developments and the trend toward democratization of production and distribution. Someone out there linked to this recently and I ran across it yesterday but, unfortunately, have lost who that was. But it's good reading. --Dennis
Wyver writes: "... We used these new media to bolster our old medium of television. But we knew their potential far exceeded the uses to which we were putting them. Five years from now, the roles will be reversed. Some (although not all) parts of the broadcasting world will naturally migrate onto the Web. Here, television broadcasting will become an adjunct to Web-based interaction, rather than vice versa, and the broadcasting industry will be rapidly evolving towards a future very different from that which today's media giants now envisage. ...¶... What if television supported the Web? What if Web sites were the organising force for television shows rather than an adjunct? This vision has much to recommend it. It opens a new range of creative opportunities for programme makers. It offers a broader range of revenue sources than either the BBC's licence fee or ITV's advertising. It offers real viewer participation. On some subjects, the Web could gather broader, deeper content more cheaply and quickly than trad-itional television production companies could. Here's how television - new television - could work five years from now. ...¶... The key to creating community, however, is a complete rethinking of the role of the producer. No longer will producers have more or less the final say about content and organisation and no longer will they be more beholden to commissioning editors than to the viewers. The independent production team will still contribute its own televisual segments - some inspired by information on the Web site - and it will edit the broadcast show. However, in this new world, the most important job of the production team becomes structuring, indexing and enhancing the Web site, and one of the most time-consuming tasks will be "weeding" the site, stripping out superfluous, superseded and out-of-date material. ..." Abacus via Internet Archive.