This is a very important column by David Carr on the effects the Web 2.0 Games are having on the containment of content by the mainstream media. Very important. This is it ladies and gentlemen. Image of little boys with their fingers in leaking dikes comes to mind. Take 10,500 athletes, give them video cameras, cell phones, whatever, and watch them share what they see with the world.
“On Friday, NBC spent the day trying to plug online leaks of the splashy opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in order to protect its taped prime-time broadcast 12 hours later. There was a profound change in roles here: a network trying to delay broadcasting a live event, more or less TiVo-ing its own content.
Consumers have no issue with time-shifting content — in some younger demographics, at least half the programming is consumed on a time-shifted basis — they just want to be the ones doing the programming. Trying to stop foreign broadcasts and leaked clips from being posted on YouTube — NBC’s game of “whack-a-mole” as my colleague Brian Stelter described it — was doomed to failure because information not only wants to be free, its consumers are cunning, connected and will find a workaround on any defense that can be conceived.