Professional Sports and HDTV Are Dead and Boring

If I Could Hold Her

The Internet is Dead and Boring – Blog Maverick Mark Cuban has a post out called the Internet is Dead and Boring.

“A lot of people are all up and upset about my comments that the Internet is dead and boring. Well guess what, it is. Every new technological, mechanical or intellectual breakthrough has its day, days, months and years. But they don’t rule forever. That’s the reality.

Every generation has its defining breakthrough. Cars, TV, Radio, Planes,highways, the wheel, the printing press, the list goes on forever. I’m sure in each generation to whom the invention was a breakthrough it may have been heretical to consider those inventions “dead and boring”. The reality is that at some point they stop changing. They stop evolving. They become utilities or utilitarian and are taken for granted.”

Hah, it’s funny to hear Cuban talk about the web being boring because to me it’s anything but. It’s not dead or boring to Fred Wilson either who talks about the vast rich land the internet has become for music lovers like him.

And I’m squarely with Fred in this sense. For me it couldn’t be more opposite. For me, I’ve never spent more of my entertainment time anywhere else.

When I was a kid I used to watch sports. Kind of reluctantly because I never really cared about sports, but I watched it. I went to Dodgers games. I watched Reggie Jackson become a home run hero at some year’s World Series. I’d watch football games with my brothers and dad. I used to collect baseball cards in like 1977 through 1979. I had this Rollie Fingers card where I used to laugh at the guy’s name.

Even after I grew up I’d still watch some sports on TV. The US Open Tennis show with Pete Sampras, the Superbowl (more for the commercials than anything else), etc.

And when I moved on and out of the house I was one of the first early adopters of HDTV. I bought the very first HDTV TiVo available for market. A DirecTV unit that cost about $1,300 when it launched. I watched a ton of TV back then. All these shows in HDTV.


All that’s changed now. Sports? I watch ZERO sports now. Absolutely zero. And HDTV? Actually that’s pretty dead for me too. I only watch one single show on TV anymore. HBO’s Big Love. One hour of TV a week. I’d cancel my DirecTV except for the fact that my wife and kids are addicted to all that.

I bring up sports and HDTV because these are two places that Cuban tends to spend a lot of time, but I will say that many other things in my life have suffered. I don’t read books anymore. I don’t buy newspapers or magazines.

What do I do instead? Well I spend a ton of time with my photography on the web. Sure, I’m out there shooting and taking a lot of photos. But I spend sooooo much time on Zooomr every day uploading, commenting, favoriting, organizing. Yesterday I built this cool 100 photo mosaiac with my most awesome 100 photos from the last week as ranked by Zooomr. I keep up socially daily with my photo friends on Zooomr’s Zipline.

What else do I do online?

I LOVE music. Love it. Like Fred I hang out over at the Hype Machine. And I LOVE finding new music from my friends over at Pownce! (shhh… don’t tell the RIAA). That’s Pownce’s secret weapon over Twitter as far as I’m concerned. I love music and I can share it with my friends on Pownce whereas I can’t do that on Twitter. I spend time researching music on AMG.

I also spend time on Facebook. I used to spend more time over at DMU and really should spend more time there. I spend time blogging. Here, at my own blog. Commenting over at other blogs. I spend time working on Photowalking videos that my friend Robert Scoble posts up over at Podtech. Oh and I check out internet news type stuff a lot. Like on Techmeme where I found this story. On reddit, on digg.

Basically leisure time looks like this. Hang out and play with my kids, exercise, take lots and lots and lots of photos, watch one hour of TV a week (and that will end as soon as Big Love’s Season ends tonight I think, until next Season), and spend the rest of the time processing photos and hanging out on the internet.

Rather than get old and tired and boring for me, the web has done the opposite. It has invigorated my photography. Given me an audience for my work. Allowed me to quite literally help build an amazing photo sharing experience with Kristopher on Zooomr. It’s allowed me to meet some really super real life people through social networks and blogging — some really amazing photographers. And unlike Cuban, for me, the web remains, amazing, exciting, vibrant and alive.

All that HDTV and sports stuff? Eh, now that’s old and boring.

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  1. Thomas Blake says:

    Eh. One of the most important rules of promoting your blog is to be controversial. How better to be controversial than to take something most people are enthralled with, and claim it’s dead & boring?

    Aside from that, I agree with everything you’ve said, Thomas.

  2. Jeff says:

    Cuban uses a blog post to declare the Internet dead and boring.

    It’s that akin to screaming, “Airplane flight is dead and boring!” while sitting comfortably in a first class seat at 35,000 feet on a transcontinental flight?

    I’ve read enough of Cuban’s “visionary” (used loosely) headlines.

  3. Joe says:

    Cuban’s a smart showman and Fred said it right, if Mark had spoken only for himself who could argue? I’m sure America will watch the Super Bowl in HiDef – but that won’t save TV.

    Did you see the IBM study last week that found Internet usage is now approaching TV usage in the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, and Japan?

    I don’t have a ready stat to link, but last I heard TV viewing time (for cable and broadcast) continues to fall. I’m with you and Fred, not bored at all by the hardly dead Internet, bored instead watching TVs slow death as it figures out what to do about the internet.

    That same IBM study found that the TV networks’ share of online TV viewing is about 33 percent, below YouTube and just ahead of Google and social networks in the U.S.

    But it’s not just the Internet that’s killing TV, it’s also Netflix, the Long Tail and the freedom to watch what we want when we want (one in five households has a DVR).

    You wondered with me last year when I noticed friends canceling cable and satellite, is no TV a trend? Just last week more friends, a young couple in their early 30s, chose to opt out of any television reception at all for their three large expensive flat panel displays, choosing instead to watch Netflix and play with their WII.

    More and more I’m thinking this is a trend, a trend that is nowhere near its end.

  4. victoria says:

    Four years ago I gave up DirecTV (18 months of dot-bomb unemployment called for serious cost-cutting measures). My neighbour gave me her rabbit ear antenna so I could at least get local channels but I’ve only hooked them up once (during the 2004 presidential debates–for the Bushisms Drinking Game). Otherwise, I haven’t watched TV since 2003. I thought I’d miss it (especially my Centre Ice subscription during hockey season) but I haven’t. Not one bit. My apartment complex offers free basic cable and they’re mystified as to why I haven’t signed up. If there’s a show I really want to watch I can pick it up on DVD/Netflix.

    But Mark Cuban pronouncing the internet dead and boring on his blog is pretty cynical. Meh. Whatever, Mark.

  5. somasf415 says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I consider myself an uber consumerist and am fickle about everything. Combine that with my ADD and Insomnia and there is only one thing in life that does not leave me bored right now at 12:15 am. I have learned more about photography in 7 months than most could learn getting a degree. It has helped me get my pilot’s license, keep in touch with international friends and answers every question I can thing of. I always say to everyone when asked what I need in life. I always answer, my MACBook, an internet connection, and a credit card.