Sunday, April 27, 2008

Interesting Observation

I was riding in the car with my father-in-law yesterday and he said something that stuck with me.

And I paraphrase:

'Man, the media sure can't get enough of that story of the swimmer being eaten by that's on the news constantly...'

If you have not heard the sad, shocking news: a man was bitten- and killed- by a great white here in San Diego, about 150 yards from shore! The attack occured- by the way- about 5-10 minutes from my house!

But so I guess it's been all over the news. Local or national, I don't know. My in-laws watch alot of local news. But I did see it on the front page of DRUDGE, so I guess it at least made a few national ripples.

But what struck me as interesting about this comment is how much it says about the way many of us consume media these days.

In the last year- probably two- most of my media has come from the surfing the internet and from playing video games on my tv. Yes, there are still some shows I TIVO and love...but nowhere near as many as back in the day. And sure, I go out out to the movies alot/Netflex stuff,etc. But my sort of bread and butter/daily media-and certainly my NEWS media- is net based. Which means I get to CHOOSE what info bombards me. And if I don't choose what someone else chooses- or if I don't choose what the cable networks are telling me is important- I really do have alot less of a sense of how important something has been deemed to be.

And I sure as hell ain't complaining. I just find it interesting.

For example, these days, based on the info I surf, my view of what has been deemed important is:

-Iron Man opening on Friday
-GTA IV hitting on Tuesday
- Indy IV fluff news
-What certain colleagues of mine in the industry are up to on a personal level
-Why Obama lost PA and what it means for his bid to be the Democratic nominee
- How to get two Asian women and a small, Uraknian folk dancer named Mimi to bend over in juuuuust the right way as, wait...that's...that's private, that's just for me :)

But you see my point. This is the stuff that's on MY radar.

And it gets me wondering something...something that- by the way- I am WELL aware that much smarter and better writers from places like Wired magazine have been pondering for so long, they're bored of the discussion by now...but for me, it gets me wondering: what happens when tv is pretty much dead and we are ALL getting our personalized info off the net? What happens when we no longer- in the real world-have many/any of the same shared info/experiences because our frames of reference have become so specialized? Is this good? Bad? More importantly, it's going to happen so what will the world look like when it does? Will we treat each other better? Worse? No different? What will tie us together then? Maybe we'll then have to start to talk about issues that are more universal regardless of where you get your news.

It also gets me wondering about my father-in-law. He is in his sixties but loves the net and uses it like a pro. Why in the world is he still getting his news from television?!?! Old habits die hard, perhaps? I will ask him next time I see him.

Ok, going shopping- chat soon. later ya'll!


ps. don't forget! Our first LIVE BLOG BROADCAST (is it blogcast?) is this Wednesday afternoon so stop by at 5pm Pacific and interact with me and Brady as we talk the game biz! Just scroll to the bottom of this blog, click the POPUP/POPOUT window tab, and join in the discussion!


Anonymous said...

The internet has become the main source of entertainment, the only thing left for television is when things are displayed live, like news and politics. Seeing something live adds to the value of it, it deals with something about being current and up to date, or being first to hear something. For everything else, the internet pwns tv.

da criminal said...

I get much of my live content off the net as well...I watch the primary debates- for example- live on the net 3 hours before they were on here in SD. I watched the Michael Jackson jury verdict live on the net as I dunno if I agree that live is the sole domain of tv.


Anonymous said...

Oh dude definitely live stuff is starting to be on the internet too, pretty much all big events could be streamed live now. But if there was any reason for tv to still be used in the future, id imagine it will only be for live stuff like news or CSPAN stuff, or sports too 24/7

Anonymous said...

You checking out the hour long gta 4 special on G4 tomorrow dave?

Anonymous said...

I think for some, who still wish to be connected to the world at large, will still get news that is important in the world at large, rather than just news that is important based on specific topics.

For instance, I mostly only get my news online as well. I subscribe to a number of feeds and also subscribe to some keyword-based Google News feeds. I'm interested in games and technology, so this is the bulk of my news.

However, I also visit the Google News home page. I keep certain modules such as "entertainment" and "world news" and so forth on the customized home page. So, even if certain news items don't match my specifics (games and technology,) I still get notified of certain events (such as shark attacks or bombings in Iraq).

Where I DO think things are going to change are that media agencies usually push news items THEY WANT you to see or THINK YOU WANT. With automated systems such as Google News, you will start seeing news items that TRULY interest the people at large, and are not just interesting to the large media outlets.

In the meantime, since it it the large media outlets which push certain topics, these become popular topics and, thus, tend to dominate Google News automatically. Once these large media outlets become less important, Google News will start to morph into a completely democratic news aggregation site. Of course, since these articles are merely culled from certain blogs and media sources, we'll still rely on the existence of these organizations... just not to shout out to us... simply to provide the facts (or opinions) as the case may be. May the more popular facts (opinions) reign.

Unknown said...

I'm a digital man myself.

I initially stopped watching the news or reading the news paper because it was depressing or poorly presented. If I wanted to get my information, it pretty much had to come from the Internet and that was fine by me.

One thing I think is appealing to people - whether they think about it or not - is the "second opinion" nature of the medium.

Take your 5, 6, 7, or 11 o'clock news, most people ONLY watch one network. Each network has their own "spin" they give the news and it limits you to their beliefs or standards. With the Internet you can find a story about the shark attack at multiple sources and each one may have it's own specific view of it.

Take the acquittal of the NYPD officers earlier this week. Everybody I knew was appalled at the verdict but some sources seem to praise the decision. You can find news that caters to you. Or find multiple sources, each providing different pieces of the story, and eventually get a much fuller picture.

On a whole I dislike television. I watch two TV shows, and one of them seems to have been killed by the writer's strike (Heroes). So I use my TV for DVDs or BDs, and video games. Only reason I even have cable is because I get it free from working for the cable company. Watching the news means I have to sit still for an hour to get what they think is important or I can get my news as the day goes by getting a more "real time" picture.

And of course, if the news gets boring, it's the Internet! I can find music to listen to, videos to watch, or games to play. 6 o'clock news never did that for me.

Anonymous said...

I still watch my local news on tv once and a while, but ostly I get my info off the net.

I started watching a political show on TV today but 2 min into it they were spewing their own POV and bluring the lines of reality.

One reason I like the net for info is I can read multiple POV on the same issues and make a choice based off a gathering of bits of facts.

Getting the facts seems to be one of the hardest things. Everyone wants to put their own spin on it.

I can say the same thing about game reviews. I want to know about features, how they work, what works and what issues a game has...I really dont care to hear the stupid hype or shock.

I remember one review touting how awsome a game was with it's online play and how well it worked and how great the modes were...yet the review failed to mention there was no online communication of any kind...seemed to be a pretty importaint feature missing from an online team based game. I was pretty pissed to discover this little unmentioned fact after I purchased the game.

Anonymous said...

Actually, your observation isn't really that interesting, other than the fact it shows what you are interested in (which turns out isn't that interesting)

Jesper Bylund said...

It's a really interesting question Jaffe, thankfully wedon't have too much to worry about. It's called the network communication theory and it was recently disproven by a marketing genius in the USA.
Network theory states that some people are more connected to people then others and can therefore start trends about whats really true. But this marketing guy (sadly can't remember his name) pointed out that these super-connected people don't start trends more often then normal people.
This means no one will control a node network communication. So basically it's down to what you believe about humans: Either you're a socialist and believe that most people are evil, in which case the world is f*cked with the new media. Or you're a capitalist and believe that people are smart and good, in which case we end up with news sources like DIGG.

It's really interesting and probably impossible to predict. We'll see over the next 10 years I guess. ;)

Anonymous said...

I think one strong point of NATIONAL news on T.V. is how they gather together a bunch of well-educated people and have them discuss controversial subjects with eachother, and most of the time their specialized on whats being discussed. It can be interesting to hear their different view points. Have you seen the Lou Doubs show, thats a perfect example of what I'm talkig about.

Fourzerotwo said...

I am definitely on the same page in terms of media consumption. I try to swing by at least once a month to at least get some TYPICAL news, but for the most part I know more about what games are coming out and what game developers are doing far more than I know about what's happening around the world. Speaking of the surfer who was bitten by the shark, interesting 6 degrees of separation there. A co-worker's best friend's mom's sister's husband, was the surfer.

Fourzerotwo said...

ALSO - wanted to let you know I recently downloaded Calling All Cars on the PSN (I know... I'm late to the party) and wanted to pass on how much I enjoyed it. Best PSN purchase to date by far.

Joel said...

what will it mean when all of our fames-of-reference are so specialized?

well.. although we may not be all unified in some cause that a network executive deemed important, i think it definitely will unite people in a different way.

for example, what if it were YOUR duty to tell your friends about the shark attack, which you read about online, and they tell you about the gta4 preview they found online.

its a great way to share things people around you find important..

your circle of friends, whether in real life, or online, can really have a huge impact on what you will end up learning about, and caring about..

i think that paints a far brighter picture than fox news deciding what matters to me in my life.

i think there is certainly less censorship that way.. and hopefully it will stay that way. hopefully the internet is never regulated or all of that may be lost forever!

Anonymous said...

Your Twitter on this blog is really nice :)

Michael T. said...

It seems that's where I get all my news now. The new has become my own personal news bitch, and igoogle is a Godsend.

Anonymous said...

jaffe your forgot to update twitter. It doesn't say that your hooked on gta4.

Anonymous said...

oh man, I am going to miss the live blogcast. I hope you record it and post it in full afterwards. Starting a job doing testing for Vivendi Games tomorrow. Might be cool.

Anonymous said...

You gonna be playing GTA IV? Next to Twisted Metal, Grand Theft Auto is my favorite game series. I have it and it just kicks ***. You have to play it!!! Remember watch every cutscene and don't use cheats!