Surely you’ve heard the whole ruckus about Flash versus HTML5, Apple versus Adobe, and the Conan vs Leno thing now, right? Well, before we all get too caught up in these heated debates, let’s take a step back and think about what is really going on here…
For photographers, the Flash versus HTML5 debate that has been raging between Adobe and Apple for several weeks now really doesn’t matter a lot. Have you noticed that? Photographers really don’t care. By and large photographers are mostly interested in seeing where things go because it will define how they push their content (photos , audio, and now video) to their desired audience. For a photographer it’s all about how to get their content to their destination audience.
You know who else doesn’t care? The intended audience doesn’t really care either. I am talking here about the typical average consumer.: John and Jane Doe. The average consumer is really only interested in getting whatever content they need from a website before moving on. People will take the content from websites and move on to any one of a number of actions, ranging from purchasing a product, to visiting another website, or where ever else their interests take them.
So then what is all this fuss and hubbub about Flash and HTML5, Adobe, Apple, and Google (where’s Microsoft in all this by the way)? What this is really about is that Apple and Adobe both want to be the delivery mechanism for our content. While we don’t necessarily care about how our content gets out there, we creators of content just want to get it out there. Consumers of content only really care about receipt of said content.
While the delivery mechanism is relevant to the discussion because as a creator I want to be able to deliver content to my audience easily and conveniently, and the delivery mechanism should be (in my opinion) easy to use, without a high learning curve, and efficient with my time. It shouldn’t take me 3 hours to write text into a blog post (nor does it). Equally, it shouldn’t take me 3 hours to run images through my favorite photo editor and publish to the web (and it doesn’t there either). The same holds true for audio and video – there is always a way. So if you take a larger scale view of the entire scene, the delivery mechanism is very relevant, but we’ve still not hit the true source of the problem now , have we?
Taking it a step further, an argument could be made that it really depends on where my destination audience is reading or consuming that content: is it their laptop, their desktop, their smart phone, or some other device? The destination of content is really where the delivery factor comes into play. With all these outlets available, is there really one tool that can deliver to all of them? Let’s be realistic – no, there isn’t!
If I am delivering a blog post to a computer for someone to read, there’s lots of additional content I can supplement that with. You can see that from the Audioboo content, affiliate referrals, archived posts, podcasts, and much more. You see, I don’t need the entire screen to get textual content delivered to you, so with the extra real estate, I can provide other supporting content. However, the primary purpose here is to deliver that text content…so when the screen drops in size exponentially, I have to reconsider how much content is pushed out. Since the types are now reduced, it only makes sense that the vehicle for delivery should adjust somewhat. In WordPress, a plugin called WPTouch does the job nicely.
So, for me it’s not about the delivery mechanism as much as it is about the content…I see the delivery mechanism as a secondary player in the larger arena. Primarily there are creators and consumers, with the output in between. The output can vary widely from the internet to brick and mortar vendors like bookstores, movie theaters, and the like. Online options are also widely extensive ranging from computers to laptops, netbooks, smart phones, and other devices. Each device will have it’s own mechanism by which it receives output. Here’s how the process really lays out from my perspective (click the image to get a larger version via PDF):
The stakes for these companies is why it’s in such a fervor. Because whoever “wins” here will have a dominant position in the marketplace to promote their vehicle over the other ones. But if you look at their role in the entire life-cycle of content creation through delivery, it’s a secondary role at best. However for the companies involved, it’s all about the business model. Do you honestly think for one minute that Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, and other capitalist entities care about open-sourced communities? No – their bottom line is profit-margins, and each has different views of the future of the web, where either one or the other has a larger capital stake in the delivery of content. Sure, they may dance around the ideas of HTML5 (hey look over there, we support that), or DNG (hey look over there, we developed that and gave it to the world for free), the larger purpose is to get consumers with disposable income to travel through their conduits to the web where commerce is at play.
Disposable income in the commercial ventures of the internet – hmmm…sounds like there’s money to be made!
Oh yeah, and the Conan versus Leno thing…what’s up with all that? 🙂
I know there’s other opinions and thoughts out there, so feel free to sound off in the comments or via email – I’d love to hear what others are thinking on the Flash/HTML5/Conan/Leno debates (well, more the former than the latter). Have a great day everyone and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!