Out on a budget
I couldn’t resist a dinner invite from Paul Walsh (CEO, Segala) to join him and a few buddies (including Ben Childers, who recently moved himself and the family to Ireland to set up the European MSN Mobile Dev Centre) at an Indian restaurant in the city. It was budget day, and on the drive into the city I was listening to the radio trying to catch the main points of the minister’s speech and work how good/bad my finances for the coming year were looking. Instead of the raw details, I was getting endless streams of political commentary. So, on reaching the car park, I flipped open a smartphone and quickly got a detailed summary from the news site of the national broadcaster. The same broadcaster that was giving me the endless (and unnecessary) stream of commentary.
Joining the gang at the waiting area in the restaurant, questions were asked about the budget, and as it was fresh in my mind (from the surf in the car-park), I could quickly divulge the relevant figures.
So I got to thinking: the same broadcaster was responsible for the budget summaries, but the mobile medium forced them to focus, and the need for navigation made them put structure on the material. In contrast, the radio drifted in and out of focus, and there was no apparent structure. I’m sure the programme makers had a structure in mind, but as a mere listener I was unaware of their intentions.
Several hours later, on the drive home, the radio was still going on about the changes in taxation and all the other recently announced measures. I switched over to a music station and contemplated the end of infotainment radio shows in favour of highly focussed “surflets”.
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