Saturday, August 9, 2008

Professionals vs. Amateurs

I don't have a problem with professional athletes competing in the Olympics. I do, however, prefer watching collegiate sports over major league sports, because of the raw energy and greater likelihood of seeing mistakes or spectacular plays. Both ends of those spectrum are removed in the major leagues.

On a similar note, the professional broadcasters are apparently trying to keep the amateurs out of the olympic coverage business. With the collaborative tools available to us now, the global community can share video and other information faster than the professionals can block it or take it down, as Ephraim Schwarts points out, based on an article from the New York Times.

I'm already looking forward to the next Olympics to see how much further technology has progressed. The amateur broadcasters are providing more real-time access than the professionals, although the quality is not as high. In two or four more years, there will be both higher quality video and audio from the amateurs, as well as better distribution methods to broadcast to the masses. Just as mainstream newspapers are starting to feel the pinch from online news sources taking away their subscriber base, the television networks are soon to follow.

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