So in the midst of doing a BP chat today, I mentioned that I'd played around with the idea of doing an audio chat. I'm glad I didn't mention that I've also considered doing video chats, since the reaction was immediate.
"How do you expect me to alt-tab and check the chat at work if it's audio?" was one response. "There's no sound card on my work computer," said another. Aside from the concept that people are surfing the net during their jobs rather than, you know, working, it surprises me that people resist new technologies.
When I got my first computer, it had a friggin' cassette tape drive. Seriously -- cassettes, just like what you play music on. It was a TRS-80, Model 3, if I remember correctly. It worked in BASIC and had 16k of memory. 16k! I had a Commodore Vic-20 later and even once I got into Macs, my first one had the expensive and unthinkably huge 40 megabyte harddrive. Earlier today, I was listening to a lecture on Buddhism that was just over 40 megs.
Before broadband, YouTube wasn't possible. Today, I'm not sure what the next step is, though I'm still unconvinced by lifecasting, though I enjoy the work of Justine Ezarik and Robert Scoble. So why do baseball fans, or at least BP readers, resist something as low-tech as sound?
Simple. Convenience and comfort.
Sound doesn't work for most because they don't think they can use it and it's a bit outside their comfort range. The problem is that until you work out the kinks of something, there's no way to get it comfortable for people. Video is the same as sound in this way, but to me, besides the impulse to innovate and push forward things, I think it's the choice. I doubt that people would listen to a chat in the same numbers that they read chats today, but I'm not sure that it wouldn't end up being 50-50, especially if we could get more questions in and get better answers. If there was a way to do both the audio chat and a transcription in near-real-time, all the better, but I don't have a way to do that, let alone a cost-effective way to do it.
At the leading edge of "new" technologies, there's a resistance that's difficult to overcome, both internal and external. Why do you resist? Discuss in comments ...
UPDATE: Rights issues are something that I often run into. It's illegal to do secondary comments, even post-broadcast, and to run videos using MLB property. Yes, I know a lot of people are doing it, but they tend to be too small to attract notice.