July 17, 2007
How Much Have Industry Developments Changed in the Past Year?

While thinking today about how this issue between the Writer's Guild of America and television producers seems to have been stretching on for quite a while now, I began to realize that a lot of the issues I've been covering for the Consortium since we started our blog a little under two years ago, and especially since I've been the primary contributor to the blog since last summer have not changed that much.

So, while people talk sometimes about how fast change happens, it is important to realize that the falsity that nothing is ever going to change is often countered by an equally tall tale, that things are changing extremely quickly. The truth is that industry practices, corporate infrastructure, technological lagtime, and an endless variety of factors causes everything to move slowly.

I was told by an industry executive not too long ago that the upfronts this year didn't feel that much different, as if this person were somehow disappointed. I think that's how we all feel when we realize that the new environment feels only slightly removed from yesterday's...and that's because we as human beings can only move in steps. The first cars really did resemble horseless carriages, and the first mobile phones looked quite like landline phones. Change necessarily comes one step at a time.

That being the case, I thought it might be interesting to revisit the stories that were posted here on the blog during this same week last year. You'll see a few stories that have fallen by the wayside but a few more that could quite possibly be easily plugged into this week's headlines and still seem right at home.

IN2TV En Espanol Begins Wednesday. The Spanish-language online television station features 1980s American television programming dubbed in Spanish. The initiative combines the burgeoning rise in demand for Spanish-language content, as well as the growing market for online videos.

Jason Mittell on The Lost Experience. C3 Faculty Adviser Jason Mittell examines the Lost alternate reality game.

Stefan Werning on Indy Filmmaking and Live Arcade. Stefan Werning, a German scholar affiliated with the Convergence Culture Consortium, looks at how the model for the X360 live arcade service might serve indy filmmakers whose films are primarily distributed for free online with a service that would provide them with royalties.

NBC Offers Previews Through Netflix. NBC will be offering the pilot episodes of two of its most promising new shows online, in addition to trailers for several others, on a disc made available to Netflix subscribers.

Wal-Mart's HUB School Your Way Sparks Internet Debate. The new Wal-Mart brand community social networking site is sparking a debate about the feasibility for company-controlled brand community sites for teenagers and whether the site is an authentic place for teenagers' communication or nothing beyond a marketing ploy.

CinemaNow Makes Burn to DVD Available. The online movie distribution company CinemaNow has released Burn to DVD services for a few select titles that will allow viewers to download and burn a DVD that has all the features of one purchased in the store for significantly cheaper. Will the experiment lead to a full-fledged Burn to DVD service?

NBC Launches Daily News Video Blog for Nightly News Program. The NBC news site launched a video blog for Brian Williams to preview the content for the nightly news in the early morning after the initial news meeting. This comes in addition to an afternoon daily blog for the show as well.

C3 Director Henry Jenkins Publishes Work about MySpace. Sam Ford looks at Jenkins' recent interviews and comments about MySpace and the significant ways it is changing the way people communicate, as well as the current legislation discussed to ban MySpace for libraries and schools.

The Weather Channel Picks Up Nielsen Minute-By-Minute Ratings. The Weather Channel is the first network to set a deal based on minute-by-minute ratings, focusing on breaking down each minute of programming rather than averaging all the commercial minutes in a particular show. The network is the first largely based on the nature of its programming.

Internet and Spanish-Language Ads Drive Sales Increases. While traditional advertising sales rates are not particularly impressive, the growth in the Internet and Spanish markets show great promise in expanding content and advertising to new segments of society and new platforms.



Your linking to two articles about Spanish is noteworthy.

At Imvite, we see many of our users are expats hungry for the same television and media that they used to have at home.

Which only goes to show you that, as you say, people want as little change as possible at a time.



I do think it's significant, Jon, to always keep in mind that the use of new technologies are as much, if not more, about helping people stay better connected to people and media from their past than it is about expanding their horizons.