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Saturday, February 8, 2014

A very late response to Framerate

I suppose we don't actually have to treat this as a response, but I heard a bit from a "Framerate" podcast back in October.

There was an extended discussion -- well, okay, a two-party rant -- about Netflix and their looking into adding a Netflix app to cable settop boxes.  @shwood 's argument against was that this would tend to convince people that "Hey, I've got cable, I've got Netflix, why do I need to cut the cord?"

Well, yeah, but...

Back when I Was A Youngster, there were a couple of "walled garden" services called AOL and CompuServe.  Actually more like oases, because it was mostly a vast empty desert out there, before the Web became a Thing.  They had a lot of content provided through them, because that's what there was and that was how you got it.

At about the same time I had a BBS (bulletin board system) that offered conversation forums, games, downloads and such off of my home computer.  Much of the content was updated via the Internet, using FTP clients and alla that.  And for folks like me, that's where you went for such.

And then along came the Web, primitive as it was at first.  And AOL and CompuServe said "hey, people want the Interwebs, we can offer the interwebs and they'll keep coming to us."  And yeah, people who used those services initially said "I've got what I need, why change to something else?"

And BBS Sysops like myself started adding dribs and drabs of Internet access.  My experience was that BBSes handled conferencing and discussions much much better than the Web forums do, but maybe that's just me.  But we tacked on pieces that connected our BBS conferences to the Internet, cause people wanted the Internet..

But over time, their users found that most of what they were using was out on the web, and decided it wasn't necessary to pay AOL or CompuServe or name-your-walled-garden (or use a BBS) when all they really wanted was out on the Web.  They got their own ISP connections, and moved on.

There are still people that use AOL, and they usually access that via the Web.  Don't think CompuServe as such even exists anymore.  And of course my old BBS and the network it connected to are gone, too.

And that Web thing?  Still there.

Initially the Netflix app on the cable box, will be the same, I'd expect.  And then as long as Netflix has better content, not guaranteed, people will realize they don't -need- the cable box to get Netflix...

So yeah, @acedetect , what you said.

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