Pods, Bogs and eAds: Technology changing publishing and broadcasting

Big brother and the web

For the ACT Society for Technology the Law, Canberra, 2 August 2006 (RSVP actstl(a)gmail.com)


  1. Introduction
  2. Changing print and broadcast media
  3. Using the technology
  4. Risks
  5. Another bubble

    See Also

  6. Other Podcasting
  7. Home


This is an overview of podcasting, weblogs and web based advertising:

The Big Brother Incident

In early July an incident on the Big Brother reality TV show prompted the Australian Government to announce new restrictions on Internet content.

... Calls for the Channel 10 show to be banned came after housemates Michael "Ashley" Cox, 20, and Michael "John" Bric, 21, were evicted when Bric held down fellow housemate Camilla Halliwell, 22, while Cox rubbed his crotch in her face.

Communications Minister Helen Coonan yesterday announced Big Brother did not breach the current broadcasting code by streaming footage of the incident on the internet.

Senator Coonan told The Daily Telegraph that codes of conduct needed to be brought up to date with emerging technologies. ...

From Web shame sparks censorship review, Daily Telegraph, July 06, 2006

Response to the Big Brother Incident

New safeguards will be put in place to protect consumers from inappropriate or harmful material on emerging content services such as 3G mobile phones and subscription-based Internet portals, the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, announced today.

"The Government supports the development of innovative new communications services which provide access to the Internet, email, games, instant messaging, chat rooms, video clips and television programs," the Minister said.

From New safeguards for emerging audio-visual content, Media Release, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, 053/06, 14 June 2006

Big Brother to Fight Big Brother

The apparent anomaly between broadcasting and Internet regulations was not unknown, nor unexpected. The Government had previously deliberately excluded the Internet from the definition of broadcasting.

On 12 September 2000, the then Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts made a determination under ... the Internet Streaming Determination ... that excludes from the definition of a broadcasting service:

a service that makes available television programs or radio programs using the Internet, other than a service that delivers television programs or radio programs using the broadcasting services bands.

From: Review of the regulation of content delivered over convergent devices, Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, April 2006

The problem arises because video streaming is not quite the same as broadcasting, just as text on the Internet is not the same as a print publication. While the current concern is over live streaming, many of the same issues apply to podcasting. Perhaps of greater concern to current Australian TV licence holders is what podcasting might do them economically, rather than any fear of censorship.

How are they changing the nature of print and broadcast media?

Podcasting is really just stored-forward video for the masses.

It's not quite as immediate as broadcasting, but the addition of high bandwidth wireless internet looks set to change that.

From: Policy needed on podcasting, Tom Worthington, The Australian (newspaper), 28 March 2006

How can companies and government agencies use the technology?

  1. What is Podcasting?
  2. Preparing Content
  3. Podcasting Feeds
  4. Podcasting and Advertising

From: Podcasting Policy and Terrorism, Computer Science Seminar Series, College of Engineering and Computer Science, The Australian National University, Canberra, 29 March 2006

Government Policy

...the development of digital content and services and the diffusion of high-speed broadband raise new issues as rapid technological developments challenge existing business models and government policies. Public policy needs to acknowledge these changes and adjust the policy and regulatory environment, and, in parallel, recognise the role of governments as content creators and users. In this new environment network users are also becoming content creators with the advent of new user-friendly software and always-on Internet connections.

From: Digital content strategies and , Working Party on the Information Economy, OECD, 19-May-2006

What are the risks and how do you avoid them?

Podcasting will similarly destroy the myth of "live" TV broadcasting. TV broadcasters create the illusion that their content is "live to air", up to the minute and crafted by that station for their viewers. But the evening TV news "updates" are typically prerecorded just after the early evening news. Like the print media, TV news comes from a few sources, being bureaus and media event scripted by organisation PR staff.

From: Pods, Pocket Computers and the end of the Myth of Live Broadcasting, Podcasting seminar, 7 March 2006, National Press Club, Canberra

Is this another bubble about to burst?

Wireless Application Protocol Version 1 (WAP 1) used a set of modified Internet standards in an attempt to provide web-like services on a mobile telephone. ... was not based on HTML and so was not compatible with ordinary web browsers. As a result little WML content was created and it proved to be a commercial failure.

From: The Web on Small Screen: Mobile phones and Interactive TV

See also: Podcasting for Network Centric Warfare, Defence and Security Applications Research Centre, UNSW, ADFA, Canberra, 21 August 2006.

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