To: John Fahey, NGS CEO
Re: The end of television
Remember a few years ago when you told us that television — and all those advertising dollars — were the future? And that the National Geographic Society’s well-being depended on the success of the National Geographic Channel (which is majority owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation)?
Well, Doc Searls — who is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University , and author of an upcoming book titled The Intention Economy: What Happens When Customers Get Real Power — seems to disagree:
“… [A] station won’t even need a “channel” or “channels” after the next digital transition is done. That’s the transition from cable to Internet, at the end of which all video will be either a data stream or a file transfer, as with a podcast.
All that keeps cable coherent today is the continuing perception, substantiated only by combination of regulation and set-top box design, that “TV” still exists, and choices there are limited to “channels” and program schedules. All of those are anachronisms. Living fossils. And very doomed.”
You must know this, of course. But it begs the question: What’s your new plan?
all the best,
Your friends @ Society Matters
P.S. Here’s an idea — although it will require someone at NGS to provide a coherent explanation of what defines us as a Society, and what the benefits of membership might be. (If you need some help, please don’t hesitate to call.)
≡ photo of Doc Searls via bethemedia.com