As anyone who has been reading this blog knows I regularly report on ways that the digital revolution is changing our world. Today I have two additional changes to mention.
First is the way that television is being impacted and will continue to change in how television content will be accessed. I have to say that this change was brought to my attention by members of the younger generation. I was aware of Hula and had sometimes watched TV shows online that I had forgotten to DVR. What made me recognize the extent of the change has been the Applied Physics Lab interns who have stayed with us the past 3 years. Being a “techie” group of guys I have learned that none of them wanted a TV in their room. At first I thought that they were just guys who didn’t watch TV but I was wrong. They watched all the TV programs they wanted but they just watched them all on their computer. All they needed was a connection to my wifi. This fact along with what I have read about how Google is working to have all TV content available through a Google search. Verizon and Comcast cable access to TV might go the way of print newspapers and magazines down the road. Google has to work out the rights with TV networks to make this a reality. It is just a matter of time just like the music industry had to learn to sell music online with Itunes. With Google TV you will also be able to pull up any show in a search no matter when it originally aired. Some of this is available now on You Tube but only on a limited manner.
The second change is in televangelism. I watched a report on CBS Sunday Morning about the bankruptcy of the Robert Schuller ministry and the Crystal Cathedral. Having visited the Cathedral during its better times 7 years ago it was surprising to hear that it had gone bankrupt and will now be used by a Catholic church. Family disputes probably hurt the following enough that attendance and contributions were not able to sustain its budget. Having a large physical structure like the Crystal Cathedral takes a lot of money. So how is this related to the digital revolution? The Schuller family is re-launching the ministry as an all online ministry. Talk about a more affordable ministry! Cost of a website and a good web designer as opposed to the multi million dollar overhead of a cathedral. One member of the Shuller family even felt that this was the way that other televangelist ministries would go. Having ministries continue after the original evangelist retires has always been tricky. Think Oral Roberts and Pat Robertson and the 700 Club. Both have had dramatic declines.