What Made TechTV Different

Television affects everybody – some, more than others. I couldn’t imagine my childhood without Saturday morning cartoons or afternoon specials. When I first heard about ZDTV, I was thrilled – though I was never in a position to receive it. The network became TechTV after Paul Allen’s aquisition, but its programming remained as remote as ever. Still, I wanted my TechTV like teens of the ’80s wanted their MTV. Music has mass appeal, but talking about technology has always been relegated to the lunatic fringe. We choose technology as a lifestyle, but often forget that most lifestyles have no choice but to use technology. In this sense, Hollywood is probably not going to serve our community needs half as well as we can serve ourselves. Yesterday’s rally is testament to the idea of a “TechTV” – not just the talent supporting it, but the very concept of technology content on the television screen. The Web is wonderful, but the TV is still socially legit.

Robert said… “TechTV is already here and it’s WAY better than what was on the real TV network. Did TechTV ever put videos up to teach you how to do something really geeky like use ASP.NET 2.0? No. They couldn’t have. They would have pissed off 90% of their audience.”

No, it’s not already HERE – it’s “all over the place,” and that’s only part of the problem. It’s true that you don’t need a lot of money to make something look good, but “talent” is equally as important (if not moreso) than the content itself. If TechTV ever put up videos about ASP.NET 2.0, it wouldn’t have pissed off their audience – it would have put them to sleep. Sometimes, all people need (and want) is a high-level overview. It’s the same reason why you probably only look at the first ten results from a search engine (and seldom scroll past the fold). Do you think the entertainment business would be in business if it wasn’t entertaining? I hate to say it, but knowing how to operate a camera doesn’t make you a photographer – just as knowing the difference between nouns and verbs doesn’t make you a writer. This isn’t about pissing off an audience, Scoble – it’s about supporting, embracing, and extending a community that was abandoned! 6,000 diggs is tough to ignore, dude.

The TechTV Alumni discussion list is totally jazzed – because we miss connecting with our ol’ community as much as they miss connecting with us (yes, even the people who hate me). As more details emerge, we’ll be sure to share them. The “TechTV” name is dead, but its spirit is still very much alive – and marching forward.