Thursday, June 24, 2004

Comdex Crumbles: Consumers and Content Calling the Shots?

What started as a shot in the dark by a Las Vegas casino owner in 1979 appears to have run its course for the moment. CNET News covers along with others the (at least temporary) passing of the once-seminal and megalithic Comdex exposition in the face of a changing I.T. industry and the growing success of the consumer gizmo-oriented Consumer Electronics Show. Comdex rode the wave of a huge interest in all things Internet that just doesn't hold people's attention as a mass-market phenomenon anymore; Elisha Otis drew huge crowds to see his first practical and safe elevator being demonstrated at the New York World's Fair in 1853; within a few decades it was technology that was taken for granted. In the meantime the quiet revolution of content moves on, unimpeded by whether it's underlying technology is popular or not. This whole concept of treating people in personal roles as "consumers" and people in business roles using essentially the same personal equipment also lies at the heart of the matter, a distinction that seems to divide the world of content, as well. As content technologies have become vastly more powerful and affordable, both the content industry and the institutional I.T. industry are having a harder and harder time grasping how to approach the sale of products and services that span the personal/business world without getting pigeonholed exclusively into "consumer" and "professional" boxes that may hamper them in the long run. Geez, I wonder how the inventors of papyrus handled this one...
Post a Comment