Commentary

Information Superhighway Within Reach

The Internet has evolved into an omnipresent force shaping, or destroying, all that swims in its wake.  There had been a time back in the early 1990s when the dream of an information superhighway was greater than the promises of the Internet. A place where families could connect via teleconference to a remote doctor or where a class could be taken on the opposite coast.  Perhaps I am a romantic looking longingly at the past promise of the superhighway.  But today's push into cross-platform analytics seems to me to be the gateway to the information superhighway.

The hardened silos of the Internet, mobile and TV have instilled belief systems inside the industry that have made true disruption nearly impossible to identify. It is easy to look at today's Internet as an efficient delivery system. But our hard-wired business processes -- born from the silos --hide the fact that the Internet is really just a patchwork of non-communicating technologies stitched together. If the Internet and TV remain as independent data silos then all forms of communication will continue to be "patchwork" solutions. This is why cross-platform initiatives are so important not only to our industry, but also to the very future of our country's communications infrastructure.

During the 1980s and 1990s the common vision for the information superhighway was that fiber optic networks would be the backbone.  Today, while the infrastructure of fiber and coaxial is here, absent is a protocol to link TV and the Internet (cross platform).  Cross-platform "clicks" -- remote clicks from TV which are then captured inside the Internet -- open the potential for billions of "click" messaging combinations, thus providing an addressable and privacy-compliant experience for all consumers. Cross-platform linking is, at its core, the foundation of the information superhighway.

I have tremendous passion for our industry. I am not blinded by my passion, but rather I feel empowered by it. Commerce and advertising-- embedded in video and Internet content -- will be at the intersection of the information superhighway. The advertising and media industries are also found at these same crossroads.  By default, it is our job, therefore, to collectively become passionate about cross-platform technologies.

The industry has put its toe in the cross-platform water through the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM).  Hopefully CIMM will discover that linking the television platform to the Internet  will provide stable metrics for decades to come. Cross-platform linking will also bring efficiency to message delivery and provide consumers an even deeper emotional connection to television content.
 


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1 comment about "Information Superhighway Within Reach".
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  1. Richard Percy from Liquid Media, October 30, 2009 at 1:15 p.m.

    Michael
    Interesting article.
    Thought you may be interested to know we are a UK start-up developing just such a cross-platform linking solution. We will be showing the first glimse to select media companies early next year, and will keep you posted.
    Cheers
    Richard

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