Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Welcome to Chaotica

Greetings. Some of you may know me from EuroTelcoblog, which somewhat to my surprise, has attracted a respectable readership over the past two years. It's my aim that this blog starts in parallel with its forerunner, but may replace it entirely over time. Here are a few reasons why this might be.

Recently I've increasingly found myself writing about topics which, while touching on European telecom, don't necessarily involve Europe or telecom directly, as such. It is also the case that my professional coverage universe looks likely to expand beyond Europe in near future, and I am determined that this will also involve more than just pure telecoms. For these two reasons alone, a blog with "Euro," "Telco," or any other limiting element to the title is simply too narrow for the future, and doesn't reflect the true shape of things.

What do I mean by "the true shape of things"? As watchers of the industry are probably all-too-keenly aware, the competitive landscape grows more complex with each passing day. Device and hardware players are insinuating themselves more deeply into consumer consciousness and behaviors, sometimes testing the boundaries of supplier/customer relationships with their telco "partners". Media and internet players doing voice is already a commonplace thing. Broadcasters are getting into broadband access. Telcos are trying to do video. Old media is rushing to find the Web 2.0 Holy Grail (arguably NewsCorp's acquisition of MySpace makes it much better exposed to this trend than many hipper internet names). Decentralized, user-generated media development continues to grow explosively and unpredictably, frustrating big media and advertisers. Mass gaming incorporates communication and social aspects more commonly, and social community platforms are incorporating virtually all forms of communications and publishing technologies. P2P continues to run circles around "legitimate" content services. I could go on, and on...

Stated plainly, everyone is in competition with everyone else to chase economic returns from a consumer phenomenon which knows no traditional industry or national boundaries, and which is constantly evolving in ways which defy explanation or prediction. The outcome of this process will see huge market displacements, value transfers, and entirely new markets and networks taking shape. Most importantly, the outcome will always be something far from previous predictions and expectations, because it always has been. The world is in motion. Welcome to Chaotica.