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Is it media or technology? Who cares?

With the nanosecond changes that perpetually define today's digital media, it sometimes seems that people aren't even talking about the same Internet.


Case in point: According to various panelists from television and publishing at the Media Summit in New York this week, media and technology will remain separate industries. Yet at the very same time on the opposite side of the country, MSN's new general manager was telling's Elinor Mills that Microsoft's portal would have "a whole new personality built around video and user-generated content," turning it into an entertainment powerhouse.

That sure sounds as if MSN is in the "media" business, as are Yahoo, Google, AOL and a ton of other "technology" companies. It seems that whatever distinction there is between media and technology ventures--if any--is one of semantics. So as "old media" types continue to deny that the two will ever meet, people who couldn't care less what it's called will continue using their technology for media or anything else, any way they want it.

Blog community response:

"It is John Nicol's job to build out MSN as a 'media network' that is the future of all media networks. That means you can expect to see your media universe connected."

"This suggests to me that MSN is following Yahoo's lead and trying to become a similar media portal. Which gets them into the same 'Hollywood' territory that Yahoo has been flirting with--TV over the Web and so forth."
--Web 2.0 Explorer

"What's interesting is that MSN has completely backed down from even remotely calling itself the 'MSN Media Network.' Most likely because after breaking ties with MSNBC, Microsoft certainly doesn't want to raise any more concerns [again] that it might become the next media network like Disney or Viacom, which was the whole concern back in 1996 with the creation of MSNBC. I'm not saying the whole PR debacle we just noticed means anything particular, it's simply interesting; we present the facts, you make the decisions."