Clicker.com, a Giant Waste of Time, Acquired by CBS
I just watched a few minutes of Zach Galifianakis mock-interviewing Tila Tequila and Jennifer Anniston on a faux TV interview show online. Now I’m that many minutes closer to my inevitable death.
Clicker.com, the website that brought me this experience, worthless but for the 15 second pre-roll commercial now buried somewhere in the part of my brain that might buy things, has been acquired by CBS this morning and its leader will now run the Interactive division (the future) of one of the biggest media companies in the world.
ReadWriteWeb has been following Clicker.com for more than a year, since it first emerged in private beta. Its CEO, Jim Lanzone, was today named the CEO of CBS Interactive.
I’m sure he’s a very capable executive and here’s the supportive way to articulate the significance of the news: a respected internet leader will now be charged with helping move into a new, unknown and disruptive technology economy a large, century old institution, rich with accumulated history and talent for creating high-production content that speaks to hundreds of millions of people. Think about 60 Minutes getting support on the Internet, as all things move to the Internet.
A less charitable take on the news: a man who’s spent the last several years working on a Facebook Instant Personalization-powered collection of instantly watchable online video, the vast majority of which probably ought not ever have been made at all, will now run CBS. A man who helped bring the cultural sedative of mainstream TV to the glorious frontier of the Internet will now be in charge of extending that winning recipe of shimmering vacuousness made web-friendly to a much larger audience.
Life’s too short to spend precious time watching How I Met Your Mother, folks, whether on TV or online. It makes me laugh too, and if you’re watching it with someone you love that’s one thing; but when we looked out from the dawn of the Web and imagined it winning – this sure wasn’t what many of us imagined it bringing into our lives, was it?
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