Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Media, the iPad and CD-ROMs


Not as random a collection of words as you’d think at first glance. Scott Rosenberg of Salon fame has a post up on Silicon Alley Insider where he relates the excitement of Big Media over the incoming iPad as parallel to their clueless exuberance over CD-ROMs in the early 90’s. The web showed up soon afterward and the CD-ROM became a historical curiosity.

It turns out that nothing can compete with people connecting with each other around common interests. While the iPad will likely have some of those features, the Big Media hope of creating new walled gardens through apps is likely just that, a hope. Personally I would but a New York TImes or Wired app, provided the price was cheap enough and it took advantage of the platform in ways I couldn’t experience with any other medium. BUt I think there wil likely be quite a few misfires as big media outlets try, and fail, to turn back the clock.

Does that mean the end of the Ipad? I don’t think so. The tablet form factor is advantageous not just for reading media but a host of other applications, including ones we haven’t yet come up with.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

One Response to “ Media, the iPad and CD-ROMs ”

Todd Sieling says:

I haven’t read Scott’s article yet but definitely will; he writes good stuff.

There will definitely be misfires, and likely some early breakout leaders in the first two months or so. While the exuberance may sound the same as it did for CD-ROMs, the iPad makes a critical break away from the idea of ‘reading at your computer’, and adding location awareness and a consistent reader profile to build a reading experience on gives publishers new ways to think about their content.

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