Brainstorm: Webcasting and E-publishing : LUSENET : VTe25 : One Thread

Here are a couple of ideas I have that we could try for business proposals. Note that these are just ideas; I hope that we will all provide some various ideas so that we can together select the most viable one for this project.

1) Webcasting

Radio and television revolutionized mass communications, with one using audio and the other video to communicate to the masses. One major limiting factor has been the high cost of broadcasting equipment, which has relegated mass broadcasting only to those with the significant capital to invest in these media.

The cost of radio transmission equipment has reduced to the point that there are now many radio stations all over the world, but the audio-only medium is very limited, especially in light of the audiovisual television.

Television broadcasting, on the other hand, is enormously cost-prohibitive; thus only those with huge amounts of capital can broadcast using this medium. In fact, in many less developed countries, only the government can afford to broadcast television.

The Internet brings in the best of both worlds, and does better. It allows multimedia transmission, and its audience is global. True, broadband Internet access is necessary for high quality broadcasting that can compete with television, but the cost of Internet access is rapidly reducing (it can be obtained for free here in the US at 56k), while the speed is accelerating.

A major need in the transition to webcasting would be understanding and garnering the technologies that need to make it happen. The big media companies are well on top of matters, but what excites me is that little guys like you and me who have something to say will soon be able to send it out in audio and video to the whole world. However, the little guys often haven't a clue about Web multimedia technologies. I propose that we could form a company that develops the expertise and infrastructure to enable anyone to cost effectively broadcast audiovisual content from anywhere to anywhere over the Web.

2) E-publishing

For the first part of our course, I worked with a team (face-to-face, not virtual) that did an analysis of how e-books are transforming the e-publishing industry. With e-books, any author can easily publish their book without having to sell at least 5,000 copies (which is often a requirement to get published traditionally), and can get up to 50% in royalties (compared to a traditional maximum of about 15%).

There are now many e-publishers that accept new books indiscriminately and make them available on the Internet. This might boost authors' egos in having their books "published", but it doesn't help them much in getting out quality books and making the money they deserve from them.

I propose that we start an e-publishing company that combines the best of both traditional and Internet worlds: When book authors submit books to us, we find freelance editors for them that will help them refine their books to be as high quality as any accepted by the reputable traditional publishers. When a book is accepted by an editor, we will not just post it for sale on the Internet, but will market the book for the author.

A lot of this business proposal would involve publishing industry skills that we probably don't have, but our role would be that of entrepreneurs: we would bring together skilled people: authors, editors, book publicizers, and e-book formatters and creators, and in our bringing them together we would create value for all, and reap a tidy profit for ourselves.

Well, those are just two ideas. Please share your own ideas for business proposals, and if either of mine sound interesting please comment on them. Thanks!

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2000

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