Don’t you get tired of choice? I do.
Some time ago I had to arrange a new connection for TV, Telephone and Internet for my mother who has moved from Spain to Arnhem. In the old days you just called KPN and: presto. Now there is unlimited choice with very little help. In the end I always have the nagging feeling that I probably did not make the best choice possible…
I have the same feeling when looking at sites like Youtube. There is so much choice and I have to make all those choices myself. Yesterday I was drinking a beer with Rene van Buuren and, beside other issues I will not talk about here :-), we had a conversation about choice. His statement was that unlimited choice (for example in TV channels) is a temporary thing. In the end we will have a limited number of channels that we watch. The difference with now will be that on those channels there are no fixed broadcasters but a selection will be made from the unlimited supply of content. Partly by experts and partly by “the crowd” in a “free zone”.
Though I am not sure about the fixed number channels I agree that unlimited choice is not a natural and sustainable state for us humans. We do not want to choose all the time but we wish that many choices are made for us. You can see it in the way people watch video’s on youtube: I think many people hardly ever completely watch the video but they get bored and move on to the next. Many of the top viewed movies are terribly boring but just happened to show a nice woman in the thumbnail picture (some things never change…). So watching a fixed channel may be a good solutions to be entertained.
I do not think the channels will be fixed but that we will be able to create a profile. The selection of content will be based on that profile. TV will be much more tailored to the person watching without the burden of choice but only some feedback once in a while.
Add some random choices to it so you get surprised once in a while. Than finally we can get back to a couch potato evening.