I Don't Want To Consume Media That I Can't Interact With

That’s the bottom line. When I come into contact with media, I want to do something with it. Tag it, post it, reply to it, comment on it, favorite it, share it, gift it, quote it, whatever.

And that’s one of Scoble’s big beefs with the Kindle.

When are people going to understand that digital media, be it a book, a song, a film, an article, or whatever else, is not passive media. That was analog’s gig.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. European

    I’m pretty sure you can tinkle on the Kindle

  2. Web 2.0 Asia

    Hey Fred – I’ve never seen a statement that got to the bottom of the so-called media 2.0 more succinctly and clearly than this post. BTW it takes about 2 days to open your site from here in Korea 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      i am sorry about that. i have way too much javascript on this page. it’s in need of a “cleansing”fred

  3. vruz

    actually with analogue books you could, and you had the right to scribble on books, cut pages of it, quote them, highlight them, make collages out of them, etc. etc.the worst thing about the Kindle is that its benefits are miniscule when compared to the freedoms and flexibility Amazon has decided to take away from readers.it just doesn’t compute at all, it’s an AmaZune.but hey… at least the web 2.0 fanboys will start paying attention now Scoble says it’s crap.hope to hear back from Fried and Kawasaki too. pffffft….

    1. Jason Preston

      This is true – you could scribble, cut, quote, and highlight your old paper books, but what makes the action so appealing to Fred (I think) is that when he does these things they get shared with other people.I benefit from his dissection, which leads me to make my own thoughts and contributions, which will hopefully stimulate his brain, and so on…This is the power of newer media, and why it is so important that it be interactive.

  4. mediaeater

    Consumption ends with the impression if you fail to enable engaging behavior. one of many great digital crimes.

    1. fredwilson

      i want to know what the other ones are mark.we need mediaeater’s 10 commandments of digital media!fred

  5. howardlindzon

    its because no normal people will friend him face to face. Short scoble, long kindle.

    1. fredwilson

      be long amazon, but because of s3, ec2, and everything else they are building in web infrastructure and hosting.kindle is a mistake. they thought they could be apple. they will be. circa 1993fred

  6. Giordano

    Hi Fred,I would agree for most media, but a book is a book. I normally don´t want to “tag it, post it, reply to it, comment on it, favorite it, share it, gift it, quote it”. I want to be absorbed in it, get lost in it, forget about everyone else while I´m reading it.For me, a book is the only example of “anti-social media”. When I´m reading a good book, I want everyone else to disappear.Cheers, Giordano

    1. fredwilson

      i agree. i’ve been meaning to write a post about books – the only analog media that will survive the digital revolution.fred

      1. Giordano

        On the other hand, books make for one very powerful social denominator, much more than music.Match me with someone who likes Daft Punk, Underworld, Kraftwerk and Miles Davis, and I will probably have a good night out and a fun conversation with that person.Match me with someone who likes Salinger, Hemingway, Stephenson, Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer (et al), and I will have found someone who probably has a similar outlook on life.Bottom line: Amazon has a oh-so-big opportunity in the social networking space.Cheers, Giordano

        1. Giordano

          Not to mention dating! Amazon Dating would work very well

    2. BillSeitz

      At the moment of reading that may be true, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want more interaction *around* the reading itself. Sharing, looking up confirming/denying opinions/data (even for fictional scenarios), etc.”Highlighting” features may be key to being able to go back to things you want to take non-reading action on.

  7. Nils Geylen

    I printed this out, put it on my whiteboard and am letting everyone see this so they realize why we need interaction with our users/customers.

  8. hank williams

    Ok, here I go, poking the bear.I dont believe everything in digital media needs to be “interactable.”That doesnt mean that its not a good thing. Interactivity is generally invisible. You dont have to if you dont want to. And most people are passive.I like to call your post “inside the beltway” thinking. And it is right for people inside the “silicon beltway” but it is not everyone. It is not even a majority. Not that the majority of people dont interact in some way. Everyone uses email. Most people IM or have IMed. But that is very different from saying everything has to be interactive. I do understand that to get *you* excited it has to have certain features. A certain product ethos. But I do think that you, and scoble and the web 2.0 community in general has a somewhat myopic view of the digital world. Apple is a perfect example of an enormously successful company that has essentially no web 2.0 mojo *at all*. And people love iTunes and their iPods. (By the way, I dont have one – they dont excite me personally). But the thing is there are at least several other product axes that are critical. You comment is obviously dead on for yourself. But I dont think every digital product on the market needs communal tagging to be successful.

    1. fredwilson

      I think everyone will be like me in 10 years. We are at the cutting edge now. The kids who grow up on facebook don’t just look at pictures, they tag them, they don’t just read stuff, they share itFred

      1. hank williams

        Yes. I think you are right about this. But 10 years is a long time to me.

  9. adowker

    Web 2.0 is for newbs 1.0…listen to the last TWIT episode and you see that a majority of people with real internet interaction tend to dislike Facebook and the like. This is hypocritical given the fact that I’m commenting now, but I feel I needed to voice this, something I rarely do. The problem is a pandora’s box, open up interaction and truly insightful information gets lost in the cacophony of bogus flames. I think that truly intelligent people will follow your lead and find an outlet to voice opinion…this is the glory of the web. And the polymaths of the world, of which I count you Fred, will be the truly intelligent people as they find ways to connect the columns of information and synthesize an overall picture. Long winded response but here’s the bottom line. Kindle is gonna sink like a rock, but people will learn from it and create something even better, because the demand is out there. Why shell out 400 bucks AND subscription fees for something a smart person will put on the ipod touch in 6 months with Apples upcoming SDK…something I can already partially do in a limited way through a variety of steps.

  10. DavidChivers

    Right on, Fred. I’m going to blog on this later today. I was just talking to a couple of friends and coworkers about this issue. We’re moving to a participatory culture. We just expect to be able to interact with our media. This is why mobile currently sucks. It’s hard to make all the simple participation that we enjoy intuitive on mobile devices (this said, I have a Blackberry. Perhaps the iPone is better). Do you know if there are tools out there to make the mobile platform more blogger and participant friendly?

  11. josh

    for most people, reading a book is a passive, immersive experience, like watching a movie. It’s rather difficult to interact with a movie in any meaningful way (other than talking back to the screen), yet movies clearly remain a very popular artifact of mass consumption (whatever screen they’re viewed on). Similarly, most people–other than grad students, pundits, and the highly caffeinated–don’t want to interact with their books. They want to read them and get caught up in their narrative flow. This is what Amazon is banking on–whether or not their gadget is an effective substitute for the book in this regard is another matter.

    1. Jerry Colonna

      I agree. My first thought on reading Fred’s post was that, well, gee, isn’t reading a form of interacting (the way listening to music or seeing–I mean really seeing–a painting is interacting with it. I think Josh’s larger point is well made and thoughtful…it sorat depends on how you define “interacting.” The problem I have with eBooks generally (and frankly I AM a fan of Sony’s eReader and have used it since it was first released and now that I dropped it and cracked the screen, I’ve asked my kids for a second gen version) is that it’s really, really hard to “share” books. I’m also a huge fan of “quotes”–I regularly copy quotes and share them with friends and clients and such. I really wish that all eBooks would allow some snippeting. That, and true “highlighting”–which one CAN do with computer based eBooks, and sharing would be interacting enough for me.J

      1. fredwilson

        Right on jerryI love it when you twitter quotes to me (and all your other followers)Fred

      2. josh

        Good point. Sharing a particular passage or chapter (or entire book) with someone is compelling and a natural extension of the narrative experience. But that would probably be sufficiently interactive for me. Each medium has its own natural interactive “complements”–and just because someone has a multitude of interactive options at one’s fingertips–tagging, bookmarking, posting, replying, commenting, favoriting, mashing up, etc.–doesn’t mean they all heighten, or naturally extend, the experience of a particular medium. Some do, and become compelling “applications” (in the various senses of the word), and some don’t.

  12. leigh

    Mathew Ingram gave me a great quote for a gen y presentation I was working on a while back…”to my kids, if it ain’t social – it ain’t media”so i totally agree with your sentiment.BUT …..(always a but)Books to me, aren’t media.(and please don’t make them media. I just wouldn’t be able to stomach the targeted freakin’ ads.)

  13. DavidChivers

    Thanks for starting the discussion, Fred. Here’s my blog post on the topic: http://www.davidchivers.com

  14. jackson

    So don’t. Personally I enjoy non interactive media. I call it art.

    1. fredwilson

      That’s a diss to the large number of people who do interactive art.

  15. isfan

    That is so true. Whenever I see something interesting online, I immediately want to share it with specific people in my life. Not being able to do something other than just watch/read/listen to the media in question makes the experience feel really empty. I believe in this so much that I’ve launched a company in this area and we have an app going up on Facebook imminently called FaveQuest. I’m already enjoying it myself which is a start.allan isfanhttp://isfanstartup.blogspo…

    1. What

      Promoting your company through a blog post is not cool. Seriously. Does Michael know you are doing this? Why don’t you say something interesting that Fred would even want to talk about. This is BLOG SPAM!.Besides, TV is dead. Yeah it may be interactive in the USA now, but in Europe it has been interactive since the 1970’s.You can layer technology onto the old TV system, to bring marginal gains to efficiency and effectiveness. However, mass media TV is dead. No matter how interactive Digital TV is, it is strategically dead. Have you heard of the internet? Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.