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Convergence - a done deal? Publishing gone? - El.pub Analytic No. 7

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Contents: Introduction | Types of convergence | Convergence in practice | Problems | Entertainment and media 2001 - 2005 | Conclusions


Convergence has already arrived in the form of organisational changes, mergers and acquisitions, and content management. Bertelsmann and the other big operators provoke the question "is publishing a useful term anymore?", or should we be focussing on 'entertainment and media'. Publishing is a process oriented term, entertainment and media a market sector. The key point is content management. Perhaps we should call them the content management industry.

The content creators on the other hand - artists, writers, film directors, journalists and financial analysts are a different matter. They have always used whatever technology was available to provide new experiences for their audience, whether it is acrylic paint or 3D animation, the telegraph or spreadsheets. Divergence rather than convergence is the direction they take. A new technology doesn't narrow the creative field but expand it. When the first computers were developed to crack wartime cyphers and improve the accuracy of artillery, it is doubtful that their creators thought of their potential for recreating dinosaurs, generating an entirely new $18 billion game industry or building financial models.

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