World Cup Lessons

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World Cup
Originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

I walked past the Odeon in Shaftesbury Avenue and they are advertising the fact that they well be showing World Cup matches in live digital high-definition video.At first I thought that it was a gimmick, kind of like bringing back news reels, but the more that I thought about it, the more I released that it showed the limits of the online world.

Watching a common event in a group setting will add so much to the enjoyment of the match, probably even more than on a small screen down the local pub.

Its an experience that would be very hard to replicate on the web, despite the talk of communities and social software, the cinema will come closer to emulating the terrace experience. The very benefits of the web, being able to receive customised content becomes its weakness as servers and networks struggle to cope with a common demand.

We’ve already seen this, when September 11, and July 7 struck people usually heard of this via the TV or the radio as the web slowed to a crawl. I heard of what went down during July 7, when I got an instant message from the PR agency that I had working for me at Yahoo!.

The team at Bite had the television on in their office and IM’ed me; IM being a newer form of communication with different ports for different brands (MSN, AOL, Yahoo!, Skype, Jabber etc) did not slow down in the same way that reading web pages or email did, which I guess was a benefit of multiple competing standards with no clear winner.

Meanwhile the Yahoo! UK editorial team and engineering rebuilt the home page to make it load easier and provide our users with up to date information. By finding the things that bring us together, the old media can thrive and prosper alongside the new.