Tuesday, December 02, 2008

When the Internet Acts Like TV

The convergence of media -- TV, radio, Internet, and print -- is one of my favorite subjects. It isfascinating to see how the various media compliment each other and how the lines between each of them continue to become more blurry. For quite some time the move has been towards making the Internet "more legitimate." In the history of the World Wide Web, sites have evolved from print, slowly added audio, and now has video. The "on demand" power of the Internet makes it the rising star of all media.

How great the influence of the Internet was recently demonstrated when I was watching my TV and turned the channel to CNN. As I watched the network a "button" popped up that reminded me of something you would see online. The blue image on the screen said "Press Select for CNN Enhance." Of course, I quickly succumbed to temptation.

I hit select and a minute or so later (it seemed rather slow), my TV became even more like the Internet. It is interesting that media sees a web page as a more "enhanced" media than a television set. So much for its self-esteem. The site (I am not sure what else to call it) has CNN wallpaper in the background, the CNN logo in the corner, video on another top corner, images lined across the bottom that reflect a category you are on that goes from top to bottom. You can see the top stories, review US and world news, get the latest in business content, find out about technology and science, and more. As you hit these major categories, you find images of numerous subcategories, and when you hit them you find multi-page articles.

To get you more involved in the CNN experience, you can see how people are voting today on a policy issue under "Quick Vote." In order to participate, you are encouraged to go to CNN.com to state your opinion.

I view the enhanced features of CNN to be a significant win for the Internet and only further demonstrates how that media continues to grow. I have been to websites who offer the type of features on CNN Enhanced and it begs the question, do we actually need TV? Only time will answer that question.

Kevin Price is a syndicated columnist whose articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media. Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at PriceofBusiness.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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