Why TV Lost: a merry jig on the gogglebox's grave: "Paul Graham's 'Why TV Lost' is a sweet little schadenfreude bomb lobbed at the telly people, half neener-neener and half keen analysis and every word of it is lovable:
About twenty years ago people noticed computers and TV were on a collision course and started to speculate about what they'd produce when they converged. We now know the answer: computers...
The somewhat more surprising force was one specific type of innovation: social applications. The average teenage kid has a pretty much infinite capacity for talking to their friends. But they can't physically be with them all the time. When I was in high school the solution was the telephone. Now it's social networks, multiplayer games, and various messaging applications. The way you reach them all is through a computer.  Which means every teenage kid (a) wants a computer with an Internet connection, (b) has an incentive to figure out how to use it, and (c) spends countless hours in front of it...
After decades of running an IV drip right into their audience, people in the entertainment business had understandably come to think of them as rather passive. They thought they'd be able to dictate the way shows reached audiences. But they underestimated the force of their desire to connect with one another.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal described how TV networks were trying to add more live shows, partly as a way to make viewers watch TV synchronously instead of watching recorded shows when it suited them. Instead of delivering what viewers want, they're trying to force them to change their habits to suit the networks' obsolete business model. That never works unless you have a monopoly or cartel to enforce it, and even then it only works temporarily.
Why TV Lost
(Via Boing Boing.)