David Carr, over at the NY Times, has a good column pointing out not just how silly NBC's efforts to block all websites from showing the Olympics opening ceremony before it broadcast the (long delayed) ceremonies itself was, but also how it didn't make much sense
. Comparing it to the story last week concerning the Philadelphia Inquirer's braindead policy to delay stories
until the print paper comes out, Carr notes the difference between viewing online as solely a "broadcast" medium, to one where much more is happening. For example, the stories Carr heard from his friends who got around NBC's media blackout resulted in him watching the official broadcast:
I was one of them, in part because as the day wore on, I saw all manner of oohing and ahhing on the Web from bloggers and friends who had peeked in and found themselves awe-struck. By the time the broadcast rolled around, my daughter and I had been nicely primed by the Web fanatics for what was, after all, a kind of epic movie made in real time that was best enjoyed on a big screen with good resolution.
In other words, rather than trying to block all the internet broadcasts of the opening ceremonies, just let them drive more interest in catching the full broadcast. He also points out that the internet isn't just a system for broadcasting content, but it's a way for people to interact with the content. That can be about promoting it to others (as people did concerning the opening ceremonies to Carr) or it could be in letting them contribute to the story, as others did in telling Carr's colleague about getting around NBC's block:
On Saturday, Mr. Stelter's wonderful article in The New York Times on how people were working around the blackout on the Olympic ceremony began as a post on Twitter seeking consumer experiences, then jumped onto his blog, TV Decoder, caught the attention of editors who wanted it expanded for the newspaper and ended up on Page One, jammed with insight and with plenty of examples from real human experience.
These aren't new ideas, but it's nice to see a media reporter from such a mainstream publication as the Times schooling other old media properties like NBC and the Philadelphia Inquirer in how it's done.