Bringing Me-dia to Rural America

For a few weeks in the early 80’s the town 30 miles down the road had a broadcast TV station. The only TV broadcaster in the county.

In the 20 years that follow, it’s only been Eau Claire, LaCrosse, or Minneapolis TV. Communities at least another hour away (if not 2) with no incentive to regularly report on far more rural areas aside from the occasional tornado, hunting, or farm accident.

Nothing banal. Nothing important.

So, what happens to the analog TV spectrum when all over-the-air television goes digital in two years?

Microsoft, Google, HP, Intel, and Philips have plans to re-purpose it for delivering high-speed internet.

This means, if you’re out in rural American and can pick up a network affiliate, that’s now an internet connection.

While it does raise the question of how the broadcast towers would be supported with broadcast TV’s ad dollars, it sounds like a much needed Rural Internet-ification program.

The thought of rural America getting reliable high-speed internet excites me. The thought of kids living out on our dirt roads blogging, podcasting, and videoblogging, publishing brings me to tears.

What’s the Browser Matter?

I’ve been pondering a redesign of this website for a while now. As it should be, it’s way down the bottom of my Things To Do, but it’s there.

I’m writing this in MarsEdit, I’ll read it in NetNewsWire. According to my server logs, some of you are reading this within your Google homepage, Newsgator account, email client, or something altogether different.

So, who would I be redesigning the site for?

Robots? They don’t appreciate interesting typography or color choices.

This is why the default WordPress theme is so popular – the value isn’t in the CSS. The value of a website is in it’s reception.

I’ve half-joked about rebuilding to make it friendlier to my Treo. Using their E-Commerce Service – it’d be a decent effort, but not outrageous. Completely do-able.

37Signals recently opened up the Basecamp API to developers.

ProgrammableWeb’s Mashup Matrix says there are 89 other APIs available.

If I can get the data from those services within applications I’m already using and comfortable with – what does it matter what their website looks like? I won’t see it.

Let’s say, you loaded up this page and found just a link to the RSS feed. Let’s say we got really real and just released the API of a web application. Leaving the interface design to the customers.

UPDATE 11 May 2006:

“The browser will explode into a thousand fragments, will spawn a thousand specialized offspring” – Stowe Boyd