Seth Godin is right, search isn’t very good at making infinite choice, managable.
The problem with search is that most of the time when you use it, you have an idea what you are looking for, you have at least a single keyword.
If you don’t have anything, then what? What do you type in?
My wife simply gives up. She sits there on myspace, but doesn’t know what music to look up. She mentioned recently she is so out of touch with music.. why? because she doesn’t listen to the radio anymore (due to living in the UK, where we don’t use the car as much as we did in the USA). So she used to rely on playlists, bestseller lists, those driven by mass media marketing.
There’s so much out media there.. So, what’s the answer?
A new kind of Search. It’s called Discovery.
Services like last.fm work really well delivering Discovery for music. They provide recommendations based on previous listening. It’s easy to dive into a song and decide in the first 5-10 seconds if you like it. The Discovery service can very quickly adapt to your tastes and refine recommendations. In fact Discovering new music in this way is fun. Music Discovery is easy.
TV Entertainment is harder. Much harder. A TV show is a 30 minute commitment. It may take me 30 minutes to decide if I like it. The plots are deeper, the characters need time to be considered, the evolving story keeps me watching and coming back for more. There are services like TIOTI, delivering Discovery services for TV. For a content producer it’s hard. The longer the show, the longer the commitment from the viewer.
With more and more content being produced, does it make sense producing 30 minutes shows? Would it be better to produce 3×10 minute shows or 6×5 minutes shows. As a content producer, would I be better off producing shorter form programming?