I’ve written before about my frustration with big media using the web as a supplemental mechanism for reusing content first delivered in a traditional format. When the web is viewed as a table of contents or handout to your main presentation, you miss the entire point of what the web is all about. Today I’m reminded of this once again by my wife, who foolishly tried to use the CBC website to get info from a past show. Just so I’m not accused of only being a skeptic (I’m am actually, but that’s not relevant here), I wrote a post just yesterday about how wonderful big/traditional media can be when it gets things right. Big media got big in part because it knows how to do things like radio, television, etc. well. My point here is that what works in one format doesn’t necessarily translate into another.
So after breakfast, my wife was telling me about this wonderful Ontario winery that has an event each Thanksgiving. They invite volunteers to come and help them harvest their grapes, and then at the end of the day, serve a large harvest dinner, with wine from their winery, local food, and seasonal items. “I heard about it on CBC this week, but I can’t seem to find any info.” We went back to the CBC site, and sure enough, it listed the main topics for the show that day. None of them were clickable. None of them used any names or other info from the show itself, “A winery in Ontario.” The only thing we could do to recover the info was to listen to the entire show again. We didn’t do that, and gave up on CBC, instead relying on our own search powers.
The web isn’t a conveyor belt for moving your cultural inventory around an aftermarket economy. It frees (or should) its users of the linearity of traditional media. I don’t want to watch, or listen to, the entire show again. I want the information from it. I want to use it as a starting point for further inquiry. I want to move through it, not to it.
Because the CBC isn’t capable of doing what my wife did, I’ll share a link with you, and even spell it out in full, in case anyone at CBC arrives here and needs to know what a link to an external site looks like: http://www.normanhardie.com/