Resetting the Perspective of The Verge
After watching the "Return of the Future" and reading the 4k/broadband piece that accompanied it, I can't help but think that the The Verge, as a group of human journalists, may be losing touch not with its readers, but with the people that DON'T read The Verge. And it's not just a problem with The Verge.
I think much of the article and video article exposes the disconnect between the tech journalism industry and the average Joe. Sure, techies and the folks that read these articles use Netflix and Hulu Plus etc to get their fix, but the VAST majority of households are enamored with Cable TV and its content.
I’m one of those techies and readers, and while I see the value to them/us, these new, digital options currently cannot get me the content I want. No Sports Center, BTN etc. No freakin Storage Wars. My wife cannot get her 4 Weddings or food shows.Then there's premium channel content and local TV is a no-go, and Antenna coverage is spotty even here, a suburb of Chicago.
Not only that, but anyone that can afford a cable subscription these days is of the age where that is where their content is (especially the local news), and they are largely ignorant (even if subconsciously aware) of the limitations. They don’t know their smart TV UI sucks. My in-laws LOVE their last gen Samsung Smart TV. They don’t realize that there are Roku boxes or Boxee boxes that can get them the digital content they want. Shoot, they don’t even understand, on a basic level, what Apple TV does. While they WANT their content, they don't realize what's standing in their way (i.e., the old Game of Thrones example).
But when you get a bunch of journalists up there on stage, who are 24/7 immersed in tech and tech policy and culture, it’s a bit of an echo chamber. I would like to see Nilay’s mom get up there, or maybe someone’s cousin or high school math teacher. See what they say, what they think. See what their exposure is to these technologies. I promise it would be ugly to many of us, but representative of 95% of the US.
And this is all before you start asking them about the TECHNOLOGY to enable them to get 4k. Greater bandwidth? New wireless or wired home networks? Different cable/internet pricing schemes? regulation? Delivery? Disks? Fiber? Copper?
This is the look you get as you mention these issues:
Thanks, Ms. Paltrow.
Guaranteed, if you ask them, they don’t even know what a 4k TV really is, even if it has been on GMA for the last few days.
So, my point?
I think the Verge Staff may need to step back, generally, and take stock not of where THEY are, not where THEY wish the industries they cover were going, but of where AMERICA (or another country) is NOW. Where the average Joe is, sitting in his home, looking at a 3 year old 42" LCD, watching inconsistently compressed 1080p signals, piped through a combination of copper and fiber from a major content distributor.
That's not the world of the average Verge reader, and is ancient history to a Verge Staffer. That thoroughly AVERAGE perspective is important, lest the Verge put the cart before the horse and miss out on some of the real issues that the Average Joe deals with, and if he is even aware of them.