Seth Godin had an interesting post this morning about media, where he attempted to create a graph to illustrate different media on a scale of what he calls Bandwidth and Synchronicity. Bandwidth is essentially the quality of the production, and Synchronicity applies to the interactivity of the media, from real-time (on the right) to what I would call time independent.
He's also highlighted the range in which the majority of media exist. A couple of thoughts about this:
1. The bottom left corner is a scary place to be if you're in it to make money. This is where there is low interaction and the bandwidth is perceived to be low. However, if you're just doing what you love to do, living in the bottom left corner can be a great place to develop and create your own voice. If you're persistent and a bit lucky, you might even be able to push what you do right through the zone into the top right.
I'd argue that GapingVoid, for example, started out in the lower left, and has moved itself into the upper right over time with an extended media presence and "higher bandwidth" offerings. This process can take years and an inordinate amount of effort, though. (So how bad do you want it, Ash?)
2. The upper right is the sweet spot. But you'll notice there is a huge gap between Youtube and the top right examples. One thing that I think belongs there is live streaming over the Internet. This is NOT television. A good internet production is so much more interactive, as evidenced by Justin.tv and the sites I go to for track and field coverage, Flotrack, RunnerSpace, and UniversalSports, all of which offer comments and interactive components to their presentations.
3. No mention of message boards. Some forums can, depending on the quality of the contributors, range from very high to very low bandwidth, sometimes at the same site. They are very much to the right in terms of synchronicity as well.
4. No mention of social networks like Facebook. My personal Facebook experience is probably somewhere in the lower right, but I bet I have friends who would argue that it's upper right for them.
5. There's money to be made all over this graph. Even in the bottom left. But the real winners will be the people who find ways to incorporate many of these approaches, to offer different, personalized experiences to each user, at the users' discretion.
So yes, I think we will start seeing movies and twitter being used in combination, and live seminars incorporating postal mail. The sweet spots are numerous. The possibilities are endless.