Bandwidth woes, etc.

I’ve been having terrible problems with my net access for the last few days, and the experience has taught me two lessons. One, how barbaric it is to connect to the net at sluggish baby-modem speeds. It really feels like a terrible handicap once you’re used to zipping from page to page. This must have been what it was like living out on the frontier. Lesson two is that Bloglines and RSS newsfeeds shine all the more brightly in a low bandwidth situation, since I can check on the contents of many sites without paying the download cost of all their fancy ads, decorations, and Javascript gewgaws.

This reminded me of something I had recently read on Jay Rosen’s PressThink blog: Top Ten Ideas of ’04: “Content Will be More Important than its Container”. In it he talks about how mainstream media is losing control of the branded container that surrounds their words. He quotes Tom Curley, CEO of the Associated Press, as saying “Content will be more important than its container… That’s a big shift for old media to come to grips with… Killer apps, such as search, RSS and video-capture software such as Tivo — to name just a few — have begun to unlock content from any vessel we try to put it in.” Later in the same piece, Rosen mentions that John Markoff glibly plays down blogs and feeds.

When Markoff said that in ten years he would still be “writing for paper,” he had overlooked something rather important. Already in 2003, a majority of Times readers were online. Markoff and most of his colleagues believe they work for a print newspaper with an online edition. Psychologically, they’re still writing for “the paper.” For most of the readers, however, the New York Times is an online newspaper that also sells a print edition.

Perhaps I should assume that many of you have never seen the print version of the Paracelsus Rambles weblog. So sad.

One thought on “Bandwidth woes, etc.”

  1. As a matter of fact, I’ve been meaning to com plain about my copy of Paracelsus Rambles winding up in the bushes or on the garage roof, but your Customer Support line is always busy….Have you considerd outsourcing? I hear Russia is the New India.

    It’s funny you should mention the Times. I was just considering a subscription to be read at work…on PAPER. I envisioned myself leisurely turning the pages in the breakroom or even in my cube whilst sipping a strong cup of coffee…WHo am i kidding? No one has time for that anymore and besides it’d look like you were slacking. Online is easier to hide, but I don’t know if I’ll ever completely give up paper for plastic.

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