Monthly Archives: November 2008

Old media mavens and their new media ways; media poorly covering media

If you’d like to read a well thought out piece about a variety of ways the news and media industry need to evolve to adapt in a digital world, read this from Jeff Jarvis (founder of Entertainment Weekly).

If you’d like to see in action some of those techniques in reporting a pretty major story in the media industry – did/is Google laying 10,000 people off – read this from John Battelle (co-founder of Wired).

If you’d like to read a not well thought out piece about finding meaning and making connections in trends around media usage and pandering to old media and their ability to crank out fox in the henhouse analysis of their own data, read this from MediaPost – or just read MediaPost everyday and let the confusion and swirl ensue.

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Filed under bad media, communication platforms, digital distribution, future of media, media coverage, media on media, media usage

If Content is King, Access (or LeAnn) Must be Queen

I’ve been wondering lately why I bother paying for content when what I really want is ease of access any way I see fit and, in some cases am willing to pay for if needed, to that content. I want the ends. I don’t want to deal w/ the means the media industry has been historically built on to encumber me in fulfilling my wants and needs. I’d rather pay for access than content – and the more digital and portable, the better.

Isn’t it nice when life provides the context needed to articulate stuff that’s been kicking around in your head? The following dramatization is not entirely real. However, the characters and drama are…

Setting: A typical Wednesday night in the Courtney home in the southwestern suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. TV is on. Jerry is catching up on tweets and Facebook status updates in the recliner. LeAnn, his wife, is flipping channels on the couch, waiting for Dirty Sexy Money to start. The Kids, Jackson, 8, and Addison, 2, have recently been put to bed. The Dog, Razzle, is curled up next to LeAnn.

Jerry: Hey, let’s take the kids to go see Madagascar 2.

LeAnn: OK. Jackson has mentioned he’d love to see it, and since Addison was able to make it through Kung Fu Panda so we can take her, too, and save money on a sitter. Check times and ticket prices for Friday…maybe you can come home a bit early.

Jerry, chooses not to comment on his continued disappointment that the family went to see Kung Fu Panda w/o him even though he’d mentioned a number of times his desire to see it, though makes that face his wife can’t stand, checks online: $10 apiece for us, $5 apiece for the kids. If we do a weekend matinee, it’s $5 apiece for all of us.

LeAnn, ponders: And that’s before popcorn and drinks. Why don’t we just wait since it’ll be on demand and DVD in a few months anyway? The kids won’t care, we can just stay home and watch something else on demand that we haven’t seen, or rent something, maybe even a game for the Wii. And, as I know you know, Kung Fu Panda will be out on DVD soon as well – at least that’s what Jackson says he saw on Yahooligans.

Jerry, impressed and bemused, smiling as he looks forward to Jackson getting Kung Fu Panda for Christmas and relatively confident LeAnn remebers he wants Tiger Woods golf for Wii: You should be in my line of work, you know it?

LeAnn, rolling eyes: Great, you’re going to put this on your blog, aren’t you?

Fade to black as Peter Krause and Donald Sutherland discuss how to get a Baldwin elected Senator from NY.

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Filed under digital distribution, entertainment industry, future of media, media usage, monetizing media

If you don’t participate, zip it

Rule #1 of a democracy – if you don’t exercise your right to vote, just zip it.

Dinner table conversation in the Courtney household this evening was about today’s episode of The View. The esteemed former SportsCenter anchor Keith Olberman was on. I refuse to call him a political analyst or talk show host or pundit or whatever – and now I never will.

He admitted that he does not vote. Yet he bitches…incessantly…about politics and politicians. (go look it up on YouTube if you really need to see it to believe…I’ve found my wife a pretty accurate source over the years)

To paraphrase him: Mr. Olberman, please shut up.

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Filed under media coverage, media on media, riffs

Free Association w/ Election 08

I’m an amateur student of history, especially enjoying presidential politics, so I’m very excited to see how this momentous decision plays itself out. Right now, I have good feelings about the engagement of the electorate in the democratic process…how we hang w/ it remains to be seen. Anyway, seems only appropriate to do a recap in the form of a Larry King ramble

I honestly believe that Obama is the best possible GCV for this country at the point in history in which we are stationed – and that was and is a huge issue on which to place a vote. This country is not red or blue, and neither is the world at large.

The American people do not disappoint when it comes to correcting things. However, time will have to tell if Prez + Congressional Majority = Good Thing this time as history has shown it usually doesn’t go so well.

I missed the John McCain that didn’t need the Republican Party’s money. My friends, had the guy who gave the concession speech shown up for the entire race, things may not have ended differently, but they would’ve been a hell of a lot more interesting.

Of course, had that John McCain run, who would’ve the conservatives voted for? Oh, wait, the conservatives would’ve mercilessly crushed him in the primaries as they did in 00 and he never would’ve been the candidate. Mitt Romney, anyone?

I’m sure this was pointed out somewhere along the line in the primaries, but there could’ve been a ticket of a former real NYC mayor and a former make believe NYC DA. I don’t know, that just woulda been kinda funny and ironic. Sad, perhaps, but funny and ironic all the same.

However, having John McCain be the maverick who truly does reach across the aisle back in the Senate doing the reaching across the aisle probably does more good for the country than John McCain the Republican Presidential Elect who is Beholden to the Republican Party’s Money.

I still don’t think Tina Fey’s all that funny. I’m still bitter about the “clapter” remark as it pertains to John Stewart. It may take awhile for me to get over it, if I ever do. I’m petty like that – I’m extremely pragmatic and rational when it comes to politics, but if you talk sh*t about a comedian I like, WATCH OUT!

So Governors appoint Senators when there are vacancies in their states as I recall. Can Governors appoint themselves? Or do you think Sarah will send Todd to DC due to Ted’s unfortunate felony conviction?

Anybody else notice that the 08 Republicans bear an uncanny resemblance to the 04 Democrats with a notable exception – they don’t have a Barack Obama (or HRG for that matter) waiting in the wings? How bad will the next 4 years have to be to make Palin in 12 seem palpable? Or how far back to the conservative base will they go to prop Romney up as the heir apparent? Or is there another random, unknown out there?

In case you missed it, Pew says Fox News is more fair and balanced than MSNBC. Probably a vast right wing conspiracy.

I’m not sure how I feel about seeing Hannity this bitter. I think I want to chuckle, then it kinda scares the sh*t out of me. Colmes better watch his back.

I still wish Keith Olberman would shut up. Biscuit in the basket…Biscuit in the basket…Biscuit in the basket…

I still think Barbara Walters and Rupert Murdoch should arrange a trade – Hasselback for Colmes. Then they can stop acting like the shows they appear on are fair and balanced.

With all the partisan coverage going on in the media these days, my Independent heart laments this country’s ability to generate a viable and sustainable 3rd party.

At times it’s surreal to me that I am again living in the state that elected Jesse Ventura governor and is in a recount situation for sending Al Franken to the Senate. Irony of ironies: Norm Coleman, career politician, could have a resume showing he lost to a former pro wrestler and a comedian. The man brought professional hockey back to “The State of Hockey” and that’s how they repay him? Youbetcha!

Speaking of Hollywood, some there say they’re not a bunch of pinko commies, or in homage to Colbert’s consistent assertions, Socialists. There are a few who even say they’re not like Al Franken. I still recall, and agree w/, Howard Stern saying in the 00 or 04 election that if you’re swayed by famous people’s political views, you’re a moron.

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Filed under election 08, media coverage, riffs

Yonger demos are "watching" more commercials…while online at the same time?

I really, really, really need to stop even glancing at trade press headlines. I read the headlines and discount them way too quickly, yet give them a chance and read the story hoping for salvation, only to find my discounting was correct. To wit…

Ad-On: Uptick in young demos watching TV spots from MediaPost. That’s interesting, but as soon as I read the headline and when I clicked I was hoping to see some sort of reference to yesterday’s lead headline in MediaPost, i.e. that heavy TV watchers are also heavy Internet users and they tend to do both at the same time. So, extending that to this story, even if they are “watching” w/in the parameters of the much vaunted C3 style on DVR, they’re probably still multi-tasking and probably don’t pay all that much attention to the commercials (or the need to fast forward through them) the headline says they are “watching”.

Alas, this connection was not made. And this lack of connection is especially sad when you consider MediaPost covers, um, the media industry and their primary vehicle for covering the media industry is digital and if a media vehicle that covers media doesn’t realize that media usage isn’t linear anymore and that you can’t assume someone read yesterday’s lead headline and/or story then read today’s lead headline and/or story to put two and two together and think critically about both pieces who does?

Yeah, I get the sources in the story were different and though I didn’t and don’t plan to check if the reporters were different for each story, an editor somewhere should’ve caught that the lead headlines in subsequent days are somewhat relevant to each other yet take pretty different POVs. What a great opportunity for a digital media vehicle covering media to open up a conversation about the topic at hand – how much “watching” is really going on even if people aren’t fast forwarding through spots given the heaviest TV viewers show a habit of being heavy Internet users while “watching” TV?

Instead, depending on who saw which lead headline when you get people who are only half informed. And, frankly, today’s story is the kind of pandering to “old” media – it’s OK, young people are watching TV commercials – that drives me crazy. Read w/o yesterday’s story for context, it seems to advocate sticking to one’s guns vs. changing.

And, really, don’t we all need a little change?


Filed under bad media, measurement, media on media, media usage

Here’s to hoping this is, at least, the next to last Election 08 post…

Just want to capture a thought or two the night before…

I’m pretty confident in two things:

First, the Amercian people tend to dole out reprisals when Presidents go too far or one party rules the roost for a tad too long, even if they did OK. Just going back to ’52…

Truman –> 20 years of Dems, WWII won, Cold War started, Korea –> Eisenhower
Eisenhower –> 8 years of blandness (but effective blandness) –> JFK
LBJ –> Vietnam, general hard-headed-ness and cantankerous-ness –> Nixon
Nixon/Ford –> Was a crook/wife wasted on national TV giving tour of White House –> Carter
Carter –> Told us to put on a sweater to solve energy crisis –> Reagan
Bush –> Career behind the scenes guy, 3rd party candidate steals needed votes –> Clinton
Clinton –> 8 years of not blandness (but effective not blandness) –> Bush Redux
Bush Redux –> Not feeling like doing the recap, think we’re all familiar right now –> ?

The real question comes down to will the congress be of the same party affiliation as the President. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen the Republicans have been doing a lot of local spending and canvassing for candidates. Seems like a sign of some sort.

Won’t go through a timeline on prez + congress being same party, but that has proven to be a real Achilles heal for a sitting President in the past in terms of longevity and popularity (OK, one relatively fresh example: HRG health care plan proposal ’93, Newt’s “Republican Revolution” of ’94, HRG moved out of limelight a bit). Per that example, and many others not given, the American people tend to fix that in mid-terms. The bad news is the second half of the four years for the sitting prez can prove tough even if people got elected w/ promises of “reaching across the aisle.” The mid-term correction tends to be, if this is possible, more derisive, partisan, and “base hardening” than most since every seat counts in order to effectively set up the next prez election. Especially now that the election cycle is easily 2 years long.

Second, how the Redskins fair in their game directly prior to the first Tuesday after the first Monday has proven 100% accurate, I believe, 17 times, back to Eisenhower. They win, and the party that had the popular vote the previous election wins. They lose and the party that didn’t have the popular vote the previous election wins. They lost.

If you’re still w/ me, then you will grant a history dork a couple of interesting asides…

I always say an umpire or a referee never really decides a game. In any close game, if you go back and think of a couple of plays, situations or streaks that occurred, you can see how the outcome could’ve gone the other way, regardless of a “bad” call. Hanging chads and the Supreme Court did not beat Al Gore. If he was so damn smart, how could he lose to W, a man the Dems have done not much more than call an idiot for 8 years – yet they lost to him not once but twice? If Al had the association of the prevous 8 years of, for the most part, prosperity, why was the race so close? Oh, yeah, it was a marketing decision – to disassociate himself w/ Bill Clinton. Oops.

Prior to W, Truman had the record for the lowest approval rating of any lame duck president. I’ve heard from some of his supporters that W will be seen in a positive light light Truman when time has passed. What’s that saying about hindsight?

Would JFK have been a Carter (won because very different than previous and then the mistake was realized based on his actions in office) or a Clinton (obvious flaws but great vision)? Had he been able to get around those, but kept us engaged in Vietnam, I’m struggling to see how he could’ve been Clinton-esque, obvious flaws or not.

Give Carter a TON of credit for parlaying his ability to be an eternal optimist and compromise into big things after the unsuccessful 4 years. He’s done a lot for this messed up world in which we live.

HW was very good at what he did prior to becoming Prez – get sh*t done in a complicated world w/o needing limelight (in many cases, it was probably best that it not be in the limelight). Not so much when it came to the vision and charisma needed to lead the free world. Ike won a war and the world was just starting to get complicated (though he was always suspicious, as was Churchill, of Stalin), so his lack of charisma as Prez gets a pass.

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Nielsen says people who use Internet alot watch TV alot; Jerry says welcome to the late 20th century

I recently scolded some former team members of mine about their negative attitude towards people in this industry who are not technically inclined and thus suffer from minute cases of not understanding the digital media world in which we live. I quoted Gandhi. I reminded them this ignorance keeps those of us who are savvy in the digital media world in jobs. I will attempt to practice what I preach. I’m guessing I won’t be terribly successful. I expect a rebuke or two from those who know who they are…

When I saw this headline touted as if it’s new, ground-breaking news, all I can see pulsating in my brain is WTF?!?!?! Though I can’t quite put my finger on when I first saw this type of info reported, I’m relatively certain it was in the late 20th, or very early on 21st century.

Is this news because that holy grail of media measurement Nielsen is releasing this information because, obviously, their media measurement is the quintessential best (sarcasm, folks, pure and simple…how about a little more)? Yeah, that probably is news since, per Gandhi, Nielsen has done the ignore, laugh, fight and is now realizing in order to win (or at least reach parity) they need to change what they’re doing. Glad it took them roughly 10 years from the first time I saw this kind of data reported.

SERENITY NOW! (oh, look at me, quoting from a TV show even though I’m a heavy Internet user…Nielsen is so right…)

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Filed under analytics, bad media, future of media, measurement, video