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Friday, February 27, 2009

Crystal Ball Time

Every month or so this tech mag Streaming Media shows up in my in box. Like most of that ilk, it has long articles about which codec is the best for uploading to the web and which CDN is really hot. I mean, boring. But every once in a while I find something in there that peaks my interest. The January issue had an advertisement section asking web tech CEOs to tell us what they saw for the near future. As you would expect, most said that their particular technology was poised to help us all monetize and maximize the user experience. They seem to like that kind of language, kind of an arrogantly friendly approach to selling their wares.

But a few actually had something to say. Here are some of their more interesting quotes for your consideration.

"It's an exciting time for video on the Internet. Online video has become mainstream and represents a viable alternative to traditional television viewing. Video played a larger role than ever in the recent election with millions of people using their broadband connections to watch the presidential debates. Online video will become the typical 'web experience' that users associate with the Internet, and will become just as instantaneous and real-time as web page browsing is." --Grant Kirkwood, CTO of Mzima Networks

"We believe Internet TV is poised for new, rapid growth because of the financial downturn. As enterprises, associations and government agencies scramble to cut costs the potent value proposition offered by Internet TV stands out." -- Dave Gardy, Chairman & CEO of TV Worldwide

"I'm often surprised by claims that the rise of online video represents a huge shift in consumer behavior. Looking at the videos that people watch, the actual information being consumed hasn't changed - the medium of delivery has. Instead of surfing for a funny web page, consumers are now surfing for a funny video. The truth is ... video has become the vehicle for conveying that information." -- Dan Castles, CEO Telestream

So, I think what one see's in one's crystal ball depends a lot on attitude. There has always been an ebb and flow in demand for projects in our industry. But looking at the past few years the web and other virtual venues have created a whole new area for video. So just as the typical length of projects has shortened (remember when a typical client video would be 20 to 30 minutes?) the need for different forms and approaches (like podcasts) has grown. And I believe there will always be a need for good judgment, clear thinking and creativity. For me, that's what effective communication is all about.

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