Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The changing face of the Web

Way back (1996) when I was studying my MBA with the OU we were looking at Business strategy and the nature of convergence in industries and the topic is again hitting the headlines.

The focus in the 90's were on convergence in products in telecoms and PCs and the
standards debate in the PC industry .

It now seems apparent that convergence is not so much about products, where there is an increased variety (mobiles, PDAs, laptops, PCs, TVs etc) but about content. It doesn't matter what products we have
"content is king" .

In this context the Guardian's article
Rolling News RIP is an example of the changing face of content. The article argues that Rolling News (News 24, Sky News) is not 'the future of TV News' as once was claimed for it. Now people want more than talking heads and live feeds "reporting live to camera from the fence lines and police tape at the edge of minor crises" as the Guardian puts it.

What is wanted according to the article is a news agenda that they shape, so rolling news headlines would be accessed via Broadband (See
Sky and BBC) not when they are shown every 15 minutes on TV. This allows users to do there own background and comment reading alongside the video or audio news. The use of weblinks linked to content and to blogs enables a whole new dimension of interactivity.

As a News junky, this is really appealing to me. But it has implications for my job too. Now that students can link to sites as they learn, we become much more clearly researchers who lead the way to
research based learning, rather than keepers of knowledge who have all the answers locked into their respectively but do not share, reuse or create new knowledge in the learning process.

This is exciting for me, as I love searching out new things. But may be a real challenge for those who might have joined Higher Education with other motives!!

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