Not so convergent

Talking about “convergence” is like talking about “the war on terror.” They’re two incredibly broad terms with unforeseeable outcomes. Convergence has been vogue for a while and I’m a little skeptical about its usage to describe media convergence. At this years SXSW, for the first time, someone summed up what I’ve been trying to understand.

When I think of convergence I do so in terms of the classic media outlets converging with the Internet. There is a lot of convergence rhetoric at my job and in the field of news. Advertising is also experiencing the pains of understanding what the web is and how to leverage it. Convergence seems more like a trojan horse to me, creeping into peoples minds making them think it will deliver harmony between old and new. It’s just not true.

While old media tries to “converge” over the next few years we’re going to see more Salon’s, Newsvine’s, and Digg’s take over. They’ll do so because they don’t have to change old minds. The Google / Viacom battle (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/features/columns/e3if463a30783104b1095bfd087a35ac0f5) will be nothing short of entertaining. This is how the old always dies off, clinging to what they know and understand.