Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Communications: The Next Decade - Ed Richards, Robin Foster & Tom Kiedrowski (eds)

Yep, it does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a collection of essays about the future of the communications industry that we just published at work, and everyone that wanted one got a free copy. Not my usual choice of reading matter, you understand, and normally I wouldn't have gone near the thing, expecting little more than some impenetrable, badly-written guff about spectrum trading and telecoms regulation. However, in an idle moment I had a flick through the first essay and found that, to my enormous surprise, it was actually quite interesting. I grabbed my free copy forthwith.

The essays are written by various professors, economists and industry professionals, so of course are of varying quality. It rapidly became apparent that they'd put the best essay first - Our Changing Media Ecosystem by John Naughton, which is a very readable overview of the way new technologies have changed the face of media, from the introduction of radio to today's blogosphere. The subsequent essays tend to get deeper into the specifics, and are thus not always as interesting, but as an overall picture of where the communications world is headed, there's a lot of good information in there.

I have to confess that I only got about halfway through the book, mainly because a) it's a large hardback and bloody heavy to keep carting to work and back and b) on these dark winter evenings, I need something a bit snappier to keep me awake on the journey home. I haven't given up, though, and I'll probably get the rest read at some point. It's fairly heavy-going at times, but if anyone's in the industry and wants a read, you can download it for free from the Ofcom site.



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