I read an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal about Sony's (NYSE:SNE) online content strategies. Seems that Sony is jealous of its conglomerate counterparts because it doesn't own a broadcasting platform. Indeed, News Corp. (NYSE:NWS) has Fox, General Electric (NYSE:GE) has NBC, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) and CBS own The CW, Viacom owns the MTV Networks -- you get the picture.

Sony wants to utilize the Web to start channels of its own, based on its vast library. Makes sense, since the Internet basically has no barrier to entry -- get some capital together and throw up a site. But Sony's new idea really has me baffled. It's called the Minisode Network. It's to be placed on MySpace, and the concept is to take old TV shows and present them in clip format -- i.e., what used to take you twenty-odd minutes to watch without commercial interruption will now take you only a few minutes. The Partridge Family and Diff'rent Strokes were cited as examples.

Is this merely a logical evolution of the YouTube Effect? Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) clip juggernaut has reduced the attention span of everyone to a point that cannot be properly measured by existing physics equipment. YouTube's power has actually crossed over to old content and clip-ified it, deconstructing the original structures and reassembling the pieces into a new format for Generation Web. I find this Minisode Network strange -- I mean, if an episode of The Partridge Family was meant to work as a longer piece, won't be a muddled mess in a three-four minute timeframe?

I don't really see the value of old TV shows shrunk to snack size. Then again, people do observe on occasion that a trailer was better than the movie because it contained all the good parts. I guess that's what Sony feels it can do -- put all the best parts into a small, efficient package. To me, it's nothing more than a novelty. I have nothing against short formats -- I've written short screenplays and flash fiction, and I'm all for three-minute experimental films. But I'm not so inclined to embrace an editor's revisionist take on the adventures of Danny Partridge. We'll see how Sony does with this new venture. 

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of General Electric. As of this writing, he was ranked 13,952 out of 27,270 raters in the Motley Fool CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.