The telegraph was 150 years old yesterday.  Reading about this Victorian Internet, one can see that the process of launching a new communication technology hasn’t changed much since the Civil War.

“Build it and they will come” didn’t fly then any more than it does now. Samuel Morse had to create a new language – Morse Code – in order to make telegraphy viable as a communication tool.  The technology was worthless without content.

It was the value of the content that created the value of the telegraph network.  And the telegraph created an appetite for more content served up even faster, which I suspect gave radio a leg up in its formative years.

In fact, history includes a continuous chain of new communication technologies, each dependent on the promise of more content, and each accelerating the amount of content that gets created – creating the need for an even larger and faster pipe:

  • The printing press
  • The telegraph
  • Telephony
  • Radio
  • Motion pictures
  • Television
  • Cable television
  • Mobile telephony
  • The internet
  • Wifi

Today, video is at the bleeding edge of content.  Existing networks – the internet, telecom and corporate infrastructures – are struggling to keep up with its volume and unique characteristics.  It’s driving more change to communication technologies.

Rimage’s acquisition of Qumu puts us in the middle of this new transition to a truly video-capable infrastructure.  We’re excited to be on the front lines of the battle between content and the network.

I wonder what comes after video?