There is no way around it: I like the way Rupert Murdoch thinks, and today at the opening of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, as reported by Paid Content, he nails it:
"These days our homes and offices are cluttered with the latest electronic devices. It is easy to be dazzled by this new technology. But the bright and shiny wonders that technology gives us can be like the desert sun - they can blind us to what is real and valuable. Amid the digital dazzle, we risk missing the magic: the creative content that brings these devices to life."
It has bothered me forever that the leading trade event in the Interactive space is called ad:tech. It bothers me still that investment bankers and analysts covering the space hail from the Technology practices in their firms. That fact alone has helped perpetuate the ad model chaos online, devoid as it has always been of appropriate amounts of media vision and experience.
Radio is still amazing technology to me, but the only time I think about it is when I drive through a tunnel and lose the signal.
Television beams to our living rooms thanks to satellites in geo-synchronous orbit over earth, which is astonishing. I never think about it unless I'm trying to explain to someone why the Internet is not about the technology, but about the content.
USA Today gets to market thanks to similar satellite technology along with four-color newspaper presses occupying a facility the size of a football field that can churn-out 85,000 folded copies of the paper per hour before they are bundled and heaved into the back of a truck. It's remarkable.
I never think about it. Instead, I think about what's to be read, what's to be viewed, what's to be heard. I think about what's on.
Murdoch is right: we can be blind to what is real and valuable. What's real and valuable is that we are awash in content. This is the self-evident truth of the Internet Age, the source of all activity and data, the purpose of every machine, the wellspring of all hopeful searching - paid, or otherwise.
Tubes and wires and bolts of lightening aside, there is no story unless it comes to life and rises from the table. Content brings it to life. And media must be alive, if advertising is ever to profit from relationship.