Monthly Archives: January 2009

Don’t want to lose the zeitgeist

Disappointed that on such a huge day in our country’s history, I happened to be traveling. However, I am pleased that my son who is in 2nd grade was able to watch the events unfold as they happened – and when I spoke w/ him earlier he understood the gravity of what was going on. “It was pretty cool, Dad.” was how he summed it up. Yes, yes it was.

I’ve read on FB and Twitter unbelievable amounts of quotes and snippets from President Obama’s speech today, but this passage (as I watched in a time-shifted way on my laptop tonight then re-read the text) is what gave me the most pause, made me choke up a bit, write a note to my kids to make sure that regardless of what the next four years worth of actions bring they know this is an unbelievably valuable life lesson, that this election was not just about skin color but about getting back to the fabric of who we are and who we should strive to be as a country, what re-affirmed my optimistic lens for this year, and – last – could not be a more relevant message for our industry continually trying to figure out how to meet challenges w/ new instruments…

“Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded, then, is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.”

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Filed under election 08, the rest of the hour

Zero sum thinking

Warning – not sure where I’m going w/ this, but it’s a line of thought I’m playing w/.

So save your prayers
For when we’re really gonna need ’em
Throw out your cares and fly
Wanna go for a ride?

– Smashing Pumpkins, Zero

Can’t recall if I was in a conversation recently or maybe reading or listening to something and someone threw out the following in terms of the “new” media space, “We aren’t in a zero sum game here.” Outside of bringing the intial chords of the above song to mind, it also struck me as one of those phrases that makes people sound purdy darn smart so one will not question what’s being said. So, not being one to take purdy darn smart sounding things at face value, I brushed up a bit on my game theory.

So zero sum games result in all players breaking even. Surely that can’t be good in a market economy where someone has to win and someone has to lose. Surely one must use the tools one has at one’s disposal to compete – and win – vigorously against those in their line of business. Surely.

A thought here – perhaps we aren’t playing a pure zero sum game in the “new” media space, but depending on how you define the game and with whom you are playing, it seems we may be getting awfully close. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Work w/ me here…

Usually where games become non-zero sum is when parties have to make back their transaction costs. Thinking about “new” media, the cost, in time and money, of finding stuff one wants at the price – in time and/or money – they’re willing to pay complete w/ input from others who have also acquired the same stuff is falling precipitously fast.

So, I wonder, is “new” media best used as an advantage against one’s business competitor? Or as an investment in time – as much as money – that allows one’s customers to easily reduce their transaction costs in terms of finding what they want? Is it something that provides benefit, perhaps even enjoyment, making one’s customers want to throw out their cares and fly?

What was I saying again?


Filed under future of media, riffs

Tipping Point?

The makes enough money to support the LA Times overall. This is great news!

Regardless of the caveats, it is great to see one of the old guard tweaking the business model to accommodate for the new ways.

Thanks to Mr. Jarvis (of course) and @themediaisdying for wonderful coverage of the media – the good and the bad – via Twitter.

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Filed under digital distribution, future of media, local, monetizing media