Monday, 17 October 2005

Norway's public broadcaster sells out taxpayers to Microsoft

By Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing.

There is no much point in repeating a post from a blog which has much larger circulation than mine. However, there is one point I want to make from an e-learning angle.

The value of the content being locked up could be more than the value of producing the content in the first place.

Some content's initial value has relatively short life-span. An example in case is the stock market quotes. Years ago, stock price on the spot was very expensive. A day-old data only worth the price of a newspaper. However, the aggregation of the stock market data takes on a complete different value. In this case, the older (or the more comprehensive) has more value.

Some newspapers publish their daily news free. However, they charge for access to archive of previously free news articles.

From a learning point of view, the availability of the content is only as good and useful as the need of having the content immediately at the time you need the content. In some situation, it may be "just-in-time" to meet the need of solving a problem at hand. At others, it may be "just-in-the-right-mood" when your curiosity brings you to that content. It is about the "flow", the continuity of experience when dealing with an aggregate of content. You may be doing a comparative studies. You may be following the life events of a person.

Media enrich the experiences, most probably in the second category above. It is very difficult to associate a value of providing that "flow" of experience. After all, missing a particular piece, among many, may not even seem to worth the effort to count. The problem is, you may not know what you have missed and how vital, or otherwise, the missed part may have modified the experience!

According to the post linked to by BoingBoing,

Microsoft Media Centre Edition was chosen because it is the first media centre to be released in a version for the Norwegian market.

and more importantly,
Based on the experience from this service NRK will explore possibilities for adding support for systems like Apple Front Row, Mediaportal, MythTV, Beyond Media and Meedio.

I can see a business case here for Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation to release its archive of content immediately for Windows Media Centre Edition. It is about the value of being one of the first to release such collection AND make them available to their citizens immediately, compared to lost of that value when the release is delayed to allow the potential value creation by Norwegian software houses.

We just hope that other versions will follow.

On another slightly different note: BBC has plan to release its comprehensive document. [quoting from BoingBoing again, my emphasis]
...most excitingly, it describes a free and open Creative Archive intended to provide Britons with access to the material in the BBC's vaults for free viewing, remixing and reuse.

If it is about global access and about global domination, limiting the use to the Britons is against that objective!

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