Michael Eisner: Exclusive, Professionally Produced Content Will Define The Internet

from the wanna-bet? dept

It’s no secret that former Disney boss, Michael Eisner, has a rather confused (and incorrect) view of how intellectual property works, so it should be no surprise that his current business efforts continue to be influenced by his incorrect assumptions. Robin writes in to point us to an interview with Eisner in the NY Times, where he explains that the key to success on the internet will be “professionally produced” exclusive content. This shows a profound misunderstanding of the internet, but one that certainly fits with Eisner’s background.

Specifically, Eisner still doesn’t seem to realize that the internet is a communications medium more than a content medium. That’s not to say that there isn’t room for professionally produced content online, but focusing on the “exclusivity” part may lead to trouble. These days, people want to be a part of the content they interact with. They don’t just want to watch it. They want to share it, they want to comment on it — they want to be a part of that content. Focusing just on professionally produced and exclusive content is missing the point. We already have media for that: television and movies. The internet is nothing special if it’s just yet another way to deliver professionally produced, exclusive content — and sooner or later perhaps Eisner will realize this. Perhaps it will be the same time that he finally learns that Abraham Lincoln had nothing to do with defining modern intellectual property laws, as he’s insisted for years.

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Comments on “Michael Eisner: Exclusive, Professionally Produced Content Will Define The Internet”

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PaulT (profile) says:

Personally, I don’t care if content is “professionally produced” or not, I care if it’s any good. Of the two new projects mentioned in the article, one is a horrible-sounding reality TV show, the kind of thing I go online to escape.

The other thing mentioned “Back On Topps” at least gets one thing right – I’m allowed play it from outside the US rather than being faced with a block. It doesn’t look like my kind of thing, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to see it at least. If there’s a key to online success, actually letting the whole Internet access the damn content (unlike Hulu, etc.) is a good start…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

@ #2:

The Christian God did tell them to think for themselves. It’s that whole “free will” thing. Unfortunately, people seem to enjoy being told what to do and those that don’t are largely shifty bastards that treat the thing as their own personal game usually.

As always, there are exceptions but the point was God already told the Christians to think for themselves. Just no one seems to be listening to Him.

Richard Deadman (user link) says:

Browsing is not interacting

While I tend to agree with most of your post, I can’t help but feel that the statement “These days, people want to be a part of the content they interact with” represents an inside-the-business myopic view of the internet world.

I run some websites for small communities — school councils, community associations and the like — with sizes up to several hundred members. We have set up on-line forums, enabled comments on posts, and turned on other collaborative features on the web sites and been rewarded with… spam (which we filtered with askimet). Even up to the level of 300 – 400 users we could not generate any meaningful discussion outside of email.

My conclusion from all this is that oft-promised interactive web only works in certain situations:
– highly technical people
– very large groups where the small fraction of people willing to participate is sufficient to generate real levels of content
– Social Networking sites where there is an expectation and need to contribute if you want to be part of the group
– perhaps the young

I don’t mean to imply that the web is not an interactive media, but simply to note that for most people the web is a browse-only experience. Most people do not want to be part of the content they interact with.

robin (profile) says:

Re: Re: Browsing is not interacting

counter-point: small community forums are usually not popular because of a lack of leadership.

it IS possible to build on-line communities, no matter how local or arcane the subject matter. it requires leadership in the form of creating momentum (participation, posts, ideas, discussions, etc etc). education too can’t be discounted, even as simple as “this is how to make a forum post”, nor can evangelizing.

not to denigrate the tons of work richard deadman did for his sites, but “if you build it they will come” can’t be a strategy for success.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Browsing is not interacting

I don’t believe that is true at all… what people want is a small community that provides CONNECTIONS to other small communities, while still providing identity, common goals, focus, and personal interaction that the small community provides.

The perfect example of this is the sub-communities of people working in open source projects who share the same common goals (a better OS) but work at it in smaller groups that can accomplish something. They communicate effectively on mailing lists and sub-lists that let them focus their interactions on specific material. There are however the CONNECTIONS between those groups on larger forums and between distributions home pages and support structure.

It is the overly large, poorly managed, and directionless mega-community that makes a small community feel insignificant and obscure that becomes useless even while ‘popular’. See slashdot/myspace. Small communities serve people’s needs to communicate, they don’t need to become popular to do that.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Re: Browsing is not interacting

Richard Deadman wrote:

…I can’t help but feel that the statement “These days, people want to be a part of the content they interact with” represents an inside-the-business myopic view of the internet world.

And yet here you are, browsing and interacting with this site by posting your comment, providing a direct counterexample to the “myopia” that you claim should apply.

Dave says:

yes, he's a dork

It’s funny how stupid these bigwigs are. When you’re at that level, you have so much cash that stupidity really isn’t punished significantly.

I think I recall reading that brain researchers found that as people get more powerful, rich, and famous, parts of their brains stop working, in partcular the parts that let you know that you’re being an idiot, or are ever wrong at all.

And this may explain this sort of Eisner dumbness. He’s paid to be an expert, is no doubt surrounded only by sycophants, and doesn’t get fined for making stupid remarks.

And the phenomenon seems to be ubiquitous – look at Bill Clinton, George Bush, on and on, including every celeb who flagrantly breaks the law, and then is shocked, shocked when they’re arrested, and starts busting out the “do you know who I am?” nonsense.

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