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Hypergene MediaBlog » Not what we were hoping for

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Wednesday, 23 Oct 2002

Not what we were hoping for

Merill Brown gave the opening speech at the 3rd Annual Online News Association Conference last week. We were unable to attend but looked forward to reading the transcript of the usually quotable Mr. Brown. For those unfamiliar, Mr. Brown helped launch the wildly popular MSNBC.com news site. He is now working at RealOne Services.

What makes the transcript worthy of a post is precisely because it has no original thoughts in it. That is a shame. In this economic drought, editors and news executives are thirsty for new ideas. Mr. Brown served them nothing but outdated ideas of convergence while reinforcing the mentality that the Internet community should still be viewed like an TV audience. For example: “Video will be routinely viewed on handhelds and in cars, planes, buses and trains,” Brown said.  “Our content will be distributed around the world via refrigerators, clock radios, and via ubiquitous handheld devices.” Refrigerators? Give us a break, puhlease!

Staci Kramer over at OJR serves up this complete overview of the ONA conference, noting Brown’s one valuable piece of advice to online news creators “… press your bosses and their bosses to demonstrate the same patience the cable industry showed in building its array of services just a few years back.”

Don’t get us wrong. Merill’s a bright guy, and will probably do some great things at Real - a company sorely in need of some vision. Maybe we’re off base with our reaction to Brown’s speech. Leave us a comment and tell us what we’re missing.

Posted on Oct 23, 2002 | 3:34 pm EST
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