Why web writers should support the Hollywood writers strike

Well apart from the fact that if it wasn’t for the last time the writers guild of America went on strike back in 1988, we wouldn’t have the deeply thought provoking and unscripted series Cops, with its catchy little theme tune..”Bad boys, bad boys,whatcha guna do.. whatcha guna do when they come for you”. Genius, stays in your head all day (a bit like a migraine).

Seriously. Being the armchair freedom fighter that i am, i have to applaud any show of strength by the thinking community that doesn’t involve tear gas, especially one that has the power to stop the American media machine dead in their tracks. Imagine flexing your creative muscles and causing a ripple that topples the likes of Lost or the West Wing. That’s pretty impressive stuff and for me it screams the importance of content as loud as most of us SEO consultants do. Like ABC, the Internet would be nothing without the power of words.

There is a lot of talk about Americans turning from TV to the web, when their favourite shows are simply not aired or the standard of writing slumps, due to the horrible deadlines imposed on remaining writers. Techcrunch have said in their article about the walk out that “Users are already choosing online entertainment over TV. Giving content creators of all levels their chance to shine”. The Internet world stats site stated that out of a world population of 6,574,666,417, 18.93% use the web, that’s pretty impressive.

The Nielson Company begged to differ in their Press release “Television Tune in is at record levels”, Nielson stated that the American house holder watches approx 8 hours of television a day. Patrica McDonough Senior Vice President of planning and policy at Neilson said “Television clearly remains a very important part of daily life in the United states”. The Newyork Times published the Neilson statistics, and added that it was easy with all the buzz surrounding social networking sites and You tube video for web procrastinates to label TV as an antiquated medium. My favorite comment came from Robert Thompson from Syracuse University, also mentioned in the article, who voiced his opinion on TV versus Web, saying “The idea that somehow, because we have the Internet, everybody is moving to ‘viewer generated video’ – cats playing pianos – instead of watching professional high budget sorts of stuff, it just isn’t true”.

I do feel that this view point is born out of either defense of one media or another, or simple confusion, but for what ever reason a whole host of intelligent people are misinterpreted the idea of the scope of the Internet. It is almost like they imagine Google exec’s wondering around wearing sandwich boards announcing that the “END IS NIGH – the Internet will one day replace television FOREVER”. I agree that it is idiotic to expect the world population to tune into a chihuahua swimming in T-cup instead of watching their favourite episode of Lost, but i would expect people to perhaps switch off the TV and indulge in another pass time that the web has on offer, i.e: debate, chatting, blogging, downloading music and pod casts etc, because they wish to wake up out of their semi coma existence and get involved. I have inserted Martha Stewart’s favourite piano playing cat Nora with some contemporary Bach, for your None TV viewing pleasure.I did like one comment on techcrunch by Dave R regarding the writers walk out, he asked “Who did they get to write the Picit signs”. Good point Dave, maybe it was Nora. “Go Writers of America, GO. Oh and with all this free time, could you possibly devote some time to working on a new drama about two otters holding hands please”

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