November 20, 2005

I have no television

I made it one week closer to the end of the semester and for that, I’m content. I took my final midterm Friday, leaving only a couple presentations, document editing, and a handful of online quizzes to take before finals. On Wednesday I went with Kristen to see Wal-mart: The High Cost of Low Price at Kraftbrau. I enjoyed the film for what it was, and awareness pic, but felt very slighted by it’s overwhelmingly one-sidedness. As usual it threw numerous statistics out, and presented the Wal-Mart leaders as unquestionably evil people with out any explanation for their actions. Specific faults I had with the film include its blaming of Wal-Mart for certain regulations in China that are out of their control, and the lack of any solutions given for Wal-Marts dominance over small, local businesses.

On Saturday I went with several friends to see the WMU hockey game. WMU tied MSU, 3-3 in East Lansing and both teams were set for a rough rematch on Saturday night. The game was filled with penalties from after whistle roughing, but in the end WMU upset the formerly thirteenth ranked team in the country, 5-3. Again, WMU shows up against a tough, ranked opponent after falling to lesser squads the past two weekends in LSSU and Ferris State.

This week I read Crimes Against Logic by Jamie Whyte due to my Amazon shipment arriving earlier. I had never read a philosophy book so I found the book incredibly interesting but I had to read slowly to make sure I picked up on the most basic of philosophical jargon. It was also refreshing to read a modern day British writer, and it didn’t hurt that he was wickedly funny.

I promise, I’ll spend some time over thanksgiving doing a brain dump of all my latest ideas and projects onto the blog, but for now I leave you with this:

Today I spent a lot of time thinking about television. This is kind of odd for someone who’s TV sits in his room unplugged due to not having cable or an antenna. A lot is being discussed about how media’s inevitable switch to all digital technology and the freedoms that it would seemingly give to consumers. I have read several articles on Business Week (which I unfortunately can not link to due to their subscription service) and around the web on how TV companies are rushing out their broadband services. ESPN, MTVU and Comedy Central have all begun to move content to broadband services in hopes to take advantage of those college students who will soon be graduating, getting jobs and have been hooked into high speed internet access. However, as I am finding more and more common, the most rational, thought-out ideas come from Mark Cuban. The lack of bandwidth necessary to turn the internet into a global, on demand video source will definitely hold many dreams back for the foreseeable future.

However, like most of my crazy ass thoughts, what I find most interesting is the customer-company relationship. As many companies have found out before, part of building a successful brand is creating the perfect relationship between customers and themselves. Today this is done with ever progressing technique of community building. What community building offers is the ability for consumers to be directly connected with each other in hopes of building a better system. Just as Live Journal, Amazon, and TheFacebook have learned, consumers have a desire to learn from each other and will, if given the opportunity, will create their own sub-communities. Could not the same work for television? If I had some advanced digital cable system, why couldn’t I sign up to be part of certain communities. Global communities such as “West Wing Fans” (and its many sub categories), “Hula Hackers” and “1420 Party Goers” give me the ability to share my thoughts on episodes as well as recommend other shows to people. Each community could be combined with certain online services as forums, mailing lists, wiki’s, and chat to create bonds between users who share things in common. In the end, only one rule dominates, you can only provide the tools and direction, its up to each community to decide what to do with it.

Posted by gasiorek at November 20, 2005 05:41 PM | TrackBack