Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Multimedia Hoopla: Google Everywhere for Everything

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm making up for lost time over the past few weeks due to the press of portfolio management-related activities. In reading my short list of blog topics, I see I was enamored with the notion of Google and the rise of the "new" multimedia.

Of course, it's sort of apropos that I am writing this in the wake of yesterday's awful tech sector bellwether earnings reports. The S&P is down slightly more than 5 points today as I write this, largely in reaction to the tech sector weakness.

However, back to my theme for this post- the hoopla over Google becoming, in addition to a titan in so many other areas, the new multimedia mogul sourcing everything.

Something about this scenario doesn't make sense to me. First, other than capital and a brand name, what does Google bring to the provision of on-demand accessible multimedia content that is not duplicable? Are not Apple, the old-line networks, Comcast, Microsoft, etc, all equally qualified for this role?

In fact, does not the ubiquity of broadband, and the accessibility of unlimited sources of media content, via unlimited websites offering said content, argue against a monolithic giant with a strangehold on "all" desirable multimedia content?

Is it not reasonable, much as with your (cable or satellite) television now, to expect people to have a clutch of favorite URLs (instead of television channels) to which they go for various movie, television, music, video, news and other entertainment content? Why would anyone expect to find everything valuable at one location?

This reminds me of the ongoing fear various pundits have always had about the current most-valuable technology company. In the past, the villains have been IBM, CDC, Xerox, Microsoft, Dell, Yahoo, and, now, Google. How much longer before Google is on the "prior" list?

If anything, this latest wrinkle in the provision of multimedia content is one of the best "quality of life" breaks the average American, nay, world citizen, has gotten in a while. This sort of change promotes liberty and individual initiative in ways undreamt during my youth in the 1960s.

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