Friday, November 07, 2008

The transition from traditional media to Web 2.0

How did you watch the election returns Tuesday night? Did you watch on TV, your computer or both? The networks provided a dizzying array of graphics. CNN even used holographic images of reporters and analysts that looked like something out of Star Wars. All produced with computers of course.

But the razzle-dazzle often times got in the way of what most people want on election night, what candidate or issue was winning or losing.

I heard one report that stated as many as 28% of you monitored election results on your computers. Most networks, newspapers and radio stations provided election night web sites that let you be the producer for election coverage.

Web 2.0 played an important part in Campaign ’08. The same held true when the vote was being counted.

While the networks may have been focused on one state, if you were interested in a different race in a different state, there were online options for you. It’s yet another example of how computers and Web 2.0 empowers you and puts you in control of the information flow.

Most election night web sites offered a full map of the United States. You simply clicked on the state you were interested in, and could drill down for more detailed information from there. Another plus was the ability for you to interact with these sites, post comments and blogs.

I try and never take any of these advances in computers for granted, thinking back to the days when we introduced our first lesson on MS-DOS. There have been huge technical advances in computing during the 21 years we’ve been in business at Video Professor, and there was no better proof than what we all experienced on election night.

More changes are coming as “traditional” media makes the full switch to the Web. The Christian Science Monitor will no longer publish a print edition. Everything will be online. Print circulations for newspapers continue to decline, while viewers shift their attention to the online editions.

Radio station web sites now offer multiple video clips. When radio uses video, you know the times are indeed changing.

I’ll make a guess that many of the 10 million people we’ve taught over the years, were watching election results online this year. Good for you. We’re happy to have helped you do so.

John W. Scherer
John is CEO and founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at