Friday, May 16, 2008

Comcast's networking from your set top box?

We love to network online, and we love cable TV, but what the hell does the nation's largest cable company want with a social networking tool? The acquisition of Plaxo by Comcast, could quite possibly revolutionize the effort to converge the digital living room with the PC.

This could also be a play to bolster the value proposition of, the company's destination for it's cable modem service subscribers. My question is how many subscribers ever take advantage of anything other than an email address from their ISPs? This was the whole premise for bringing down the walled garden of access model that once buoyed AOL to 24 million subscribers. People want the Internet in no uncertain terms. The don't want to be inhibited on their to it either. It is a broad universe of content and utilities that have already been set free by millions of publishers. Why then would a cable company want to acquire a networking tool like Plaxo? It has to be a bigger more grand plan than the obvious addition of uniting subscribers.

"They had to be thinking of a master plan - dance with the record, dance with the record-

Thinking of a master plan...this ain't nothing but sweat inside my hands"; sorry I had a "Paid in Full" moment there. Comcast has a plan that will enable cable box subscribers to perform social networking functions across cable boxes, which while novel is already in play with TiVo, tv tuner enabled laptops and more. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe their motive is more innocent than that. Maybe they are more or even less visionary, but whichever the case, it is Comcast, a media behemoth in the making. Keep your eyes on this savvy and resource rich firm. What do you think of Comcast's acquisition of Plaxo? What does this acquisition mean to you, the Black Web early adopter?

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