Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
While I was making my breakfast this morning it occurred to me just how
snobbish and introverted the TV industry was when compared to the Net.
As I rescued two slices of flaming bread from the clutches of an over-enthusiastic
toaster, I tried very hard to think of any Net-specific programmes currently
screening on free-to-air TV.
There's certainly plenty of Net-based content dealing with TV programmes -- but
it appears that this is very much a one-way street.
Why is this?
We all know that the Net is no longer very "fashionable" in the wake of
the 2000 tech-wreck, but surely, given the levels of Net use in NZ, there
must be some interest amongst the viewing public?
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The last locally produced TV program dedicated to the Net that I can
recall was that thing hosted by Fiona McDonald and sponsored by Xtra. It did
a reasonable job of covering the basics but was fairly "dry" and lacking
in entertainment value.
The BBC has a pretty good programme in the form of
but it screens at some ungodly hour of the night so probably doesn't get
the NZ audience it might otherwise deserve.
Quite frankly I'm rather surprised by TV's seeming avoidance of Net-related
programming. They're still pretty quick to report the latest porno-ring
busts, viruses, and other negative aspects of Net use but seem hell-bent
on ignoring the many hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who are Net users.
The most non-sensational Net coverage we seem to get on the box are those
little segments in shows like Good Morning where someone gets a five minute
spot to review a few websites they like (yawn!)
Where's the really interesting stuff?
Surely there's enough material for a weekly 20 minute (plus ads) programme covering
all the topical material that affects the Net and its users these days.
Online piracy, virus protection, the future of Net/TV/games-console/etc integration,
and all the stuff that I cover on a daily basis in this column.
While it must be acknowledged that a certain amount of this material might
be a bit geeky for a general audience - an awful lot of it (if presented
properly) would be of interest to a far wider audience.
Need an example?
How many "average" Net users (as opposed to Aardvark readers) and parents
in particular, know exactly what's legal and what's not when it comes to
copying and sharing music, pictures and video over the Net?
How many "average" Net users know how to really go about finding information
on the Net -- outside of typing a simple query into Google?
How many "average" Net users know whether it's worthwhile paying extra
to get wireless Net capabilities in their next cellphone, PDA, etc?
What about the bewildering array of ISP and connectivity options that
new and existing users must choose from? Does a fast PC improve surfing
speed? Does satellite Internet really work?
The list things goes on and on -- or at least it *would* if TV weren't seemingly
determined to ignore it.
Or have I got this all wrong?
Would you (or your less Net-aware friends/family) actually bother watching
a program that dealt with the Net and other hi-tech subjects? Or would you
be too busy browsing the web instead?
If you want to have your say on the contents
of today's column then please do so.
Only comments marked "For Publication" will (if I have time) be published in the
readers' comments section.
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