Silicon Insider: Potpourri of Tech Musings

1) The growing need of successful bloggers to either create or sign on to some sort of financial/technical/organizational infrastructure. Otherwise, their very success is beginning to grind them down. Combine Andy's move with the OSM announcement, and you see an early indicator of the first mass consolidation (and shakeout) in this industry.

2) The race, about to begin, by the more astute players in the Mainstream Media to sign up major bloggers to their own private rosters. This is not only going to accelerate the industry's consolidation, but also eventually lead to a bidding war between startups like OSM (offering equity) versus the MSM (offering security and salaries). Bet on the startups; but either way, the content creators (like Sullivan) win.

Online TV May Be the Future

Finally, there was Monday's announcement by AOL that it would begin offering old TV shows online for free, if viewers are willing to watch a couple minutes of commercials. Approximately 30 old series will be available, in broadband, on a six-channel network called In2TV on beginning in January.

Eventually, the number of offerings is likely to jump to 100 series, from sitcoms to dramas to cartoon shows.

Not surprisingly, this led to a lot of slack-jawed media coverage, most of it involving variations on "Welcome Back, Kotter."

In fact, there are some major back stories here that will only become clearer with time. The first is that this likely signals the beginning of the end for TV Land, Nick and Nite and, eventually TMC and AMC -- not to mention the retail sales of DVD sets of vintage series. Why spend a lot of money or set your viewing to someone else's schedule when you can just get the show online?

The second story is that this is the first serious commercial model for television in the Tivo Era. If it works, In2TV won't just be offering old series, but, you can bet, brand-new ones. Think of what that means for commercial television.

Finally, with all of that content floating around out there in digital, don't be surprised to see a secondary market in re-cuts and re-edits by enterprising young hacker/producers.

Welcome back, Kotter, indeed…

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Michael S. Malone, once called "the Boswell of Silicon Valley," most recently was editor at large of Forbes ASAP magazine. He has covered Silicon Valley and high-tech for more than 20 years, beginning with the San Jose Mercury-News as the nation's first daily high-tech reporter. His articles and editorials have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Fortune, and for two years he was a columnist for The New York Times. He has hosted two national PBS shows: "Malone," a half-hour interview program that ran for nine years; and a 16-part interview series in 2001 called "Betting It All: The Entrepreneurs." Malone is best known as the author of a dozen books: his latest, a collection of his best newspaper and magazine writings, is called "The Valley of Heart's Delight" (Wiley).

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