Soon resources are going to get very tight. Money will be very scarce. Are we doomed?
I think not - provided we think again what is a network and how a network can create resources that pure ownership cannot.
So then what is a network?
If we think broadcast - a Network is a producing power centre that tells its affiliates what is going to happen. If we think AP - it is a content centre that tells its members what they are going to get. If it is a school board, it is a rule setter that tells the schools what they are going to do. If it is the Federal Government of Canada or the US - it tells the provinces and states what to do.
As resources get tight and the system gets vast and hence very complex - this way of organizing does not work any more.
The Stations, schools, papers, provinces and states play games and complain and plot. They all want more for less. There is less and less love and more and more angst.
The one in the centre feels hard done by too. They are doing their best and the "members" are bitching. Many in the centre are going bust trying to kep it all together and get no thnaks.
Open Source offers a different model. What if the members really sat around the table as members? What if we organized as Visa International did before the IPO where the centre set the DNA and worked to serve the larger system rather than worked as the controller?
These are the issues that confront NPR and the Stations and PBS and CPB and the Stations. So long as the centre is the controller the tensions have to build.
Last week in Alaska, this was the issue that confronted my client. This is the issue that confronts all stations also in their own city. Can you be more than broadcaster? Can you become indispensible to your community? This is the issue that confronts my province PEI. Can PEI delivery everything?
Here is a short slideshow that offers a glimpse of what a real network can do to solve the more for less issue. It is still in short hand but I will be working to flesh this out.