Think about what happened when Berners-Lee typed those words. First, he was putting the crown on one of the most valuable media moments in recent memory. Ad time ain't cheap when 80-some-odd-thousand people are watching live in London, according to Yahoo! Sports ( YHOO) and another 40-some-odd-million from the U.S, according to widely quoted Nielsen figures. Guesstimates say 1 billion viewers tuned in worldwide. What made the moment so valuable? Certainly not the disorganized, crowdsourced digital domain. Berners-Lee's microblog was one of -- oh my heavens -- some 6.3 million tweets typed during the opening ceremony, according to TweetReach. Without the spectacle, his was as worthless as the rest. Facebook ( FB), too, was no profit medalist. It ran, what, a running timeline of images and events of the opening ceremony. I didn't care. Did you? In truth, it was carefully orchestrated interlocking system of highly organized media rights, international viewing windows and controlled media technologies that made this ceremony money. The stiff upper British lip of structure put food on the table for this year's games. NBCOlympics.com gets the gold
The most interesting example of order trumping chaos to investors -- and the theme is everywhere in these games of you look -- is clearly NBCOlympics.com. Comcast's ( CMCSA - Get Report) NBC bragged about the depth of online video coverage -- all 32 sports, all 302 events and all streamed live was the oft-hyped boast. But was the site open to all, a la the rest of the dysfunctional Web?
The Olympics has a history of giving us a glimpse of the future: instant replay to the use of multichannel cable to now how to manage new media. What the London organizers, the International Olympic Committee and NBC have shown is that by insisting its customers are just that -- paying customers -- and not a media in and of themselves, they make content that is content and consumers that are consumers. This is the template for the Web's future. The sooner Berners-Lee can get started on the more-better, paying Web, the better. I am oh-so-tired of the stupid one we are using now.