Bob's Blog

Tech for Tech's Sake

The internet – undeniably – was a very large boulder dropped into the millpond of incumbent media. It made a splash. That created a wave for make a quick buck before we get rumbled entrepreneurs to surf on until the ' bubble' burst. These guys started to hype 'Web 2.0' – whatever happened to that? - a much smaller wave on which to surf, and then we had the downturn. That was as bad as they said it was; no hype there then. So we wait agog for the hypists’ next scam, er, brilliant idea, sorry. So with all ripples, peaks and troughs, they start to cancel each other out.

Consider this. Geoffrey Chaucer was a story teller, and that's how he earned his crust. Then someone invented printing, printed his stories, and he became the first author. Great for Geoffrey, but a little disconcerting for the other story tellers of the day doubtless; scrap-heap beckons as we're not needed any more. Years passed. Then along came the radio – wireless, actually – and the authors started to get nervous; no need for books any more, they just have to listen. Then television; radio gets nervous, then internet; television gets nervous; pattern emerges.

When the internet first arrived and television was at its most nervous, it was called a cesspool, den of iniquity and something that would corrupt humanity and spell the end of civilisation as we know it. Now, a decade or so later, most television ads are either for websites, or will mention the advertiser’s URL. Radio advertising is still breaking records; the biggest online retailer started out selling books; and today's Geoffrey Chaucer is still reading the news to us on the telly.

Convergence is a natural by-product of technological advancement, not what the hypists tell us to buy now, and it will always be there, and always find its own level. Technology will continue to deliver great things, but should not be viewed necessarily as a bandwagon on which to jump as soon as it comes in to view. Many will, which funds progress and keeps the hypists happy, but the wise marketer will wait to see what it will deliver in time. I've no more watched a film on my phone than tried to make a call from my TV. Don't worry; you won't miss out that much by being patient.