10 November 2008

The difference between "can" and "should"

I agree wholeheartedly with Amy Gahran - CNN's hologram technology was an unnecessary distraction from their otherwise solid election night coverage.

There may be a time when the addition of a hologram adds value to a two-dimensional television news broadcast. Sometimes it takes a while to discover the strategic application of new technology tools.

I don't know how much time or money CNN spent on this. But it reminds me a bit of companies who get the thinking backwards - they have this cool new tech gadget and they try to find a place to force it in to their existing strategy. It's like they decided to debut it on election night because they knew a lot people were watching, and not because they had a strategic need for a tool like that. I always thought you add things to your newscast to get more viewers, not the other way around. Maybe more people will tune in now that CNN has holograms, but I tend to doubt it.

It's like when a company spends a chunk of money to get into Second Life, without really having a need to do it. Virtual worlds may indeed have strategic applications, but when all you get for the money you spend is an article in a tech publication that says you're now in Second Life, well, you should have bought an ad. Better ROI.


PunditMom said...

I couldn't agree more. It was so distracting all I could focus on was Jessica Yellin seeming like Princess Leia in Star Wars and I heard nothing she was saying.

Prof Mark said...

I did not watch a a second of election coverage because, in my mind, the outcome was never in doubt. But you know what was one of the best tools ever?

Tim Russert's eraseable whiteboard. I don't need Princess Leia telling me what's going on. I need intelligent commentary breaking it down into terms that makes sense.

And rest in peace, Tim.

agahran said...

I second the kudos for Tim Russert's eraseable whiteboard. That was great news tech.

- Amy Gahran