Rolling up the Internet

Do you remember when there were only a handful of terrestrial TV channels? In the UK, where I grew up, there were only 4. You were limited for choice. Those were the only channels you could watch. Cable and satellite television added more channels - adding more choice. Finally, the Internet makes every web address a possible "channel" for us to consume media from.

Given that we are now approaching an infinite number of choices, you would think that viewers would be more dispersed than ever before. A paradox that network theory brings to light is that - in a world where there are infinite channels - the masses flock to a small number channels: the usual suspects, such as Google and Facebook. These few channels have at least as much weight and "viewership" as those old terrestrial TV channels did in the early television era.

So, perhaps it makes sense that we are seeing companies starting to "roll-up" websites, so that they can become one of the few, flocked-to channels.

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