Running my yap about an app

ABC News’ App for iPad features a fisheye globe that the user can touch and spin to select a news story. Yap

The “TV anywhere” model has always been the Holy Grail of the content creation community. It holds the promise of giving end users control of the content they consume when they want, and where they want.

I guess it’s pretty cool, but spinning a news roulette wheel seems like a strange benefit. I mean was the democratization and disintermediation of the mainstream media by the Internet really about just being your own producer who could stack stories in the order in which you wanted? Really?

I think it’s an illusion. The same mega-corporations are producing the same stories the same way – consumers are still consumers. The wave of citizen journalism that was supposed to break out on a variety of platforms has been a bust. Why? There’s just no money to drive the innovation, technology and staff required to do good work and monetize it.

Several former local TV newsies are building their own channels in a couple of markets around the country trying to take-on their former employers. It’s a nice idea. Without the brand and marketing power to sweep enough eyeballs into a pile large enough to warrant advertising dollars – it’s probably going to be a hobby rather than a living.

At the end of the day, if “the public” isn’t going to produce its own content or use the Internet to produce something beyond talking oranges or other generally dumb stuff destined for Youtube – I’m not sure what the point is.

Does a random spin really trump the editorial process used to determine the sequence of stories presented in a traditional newscast? Does the “buzz” about a story really mean it’s the most important? Does the fact that consumers get to choose only the topics that interest them, or that they agree with politically, really make for a more engaged and competent electorate? Boy, I dunno’.