Category Archives: media on media

New Thinking on Old Media

Fabulous, succinct thinking from Clay Shirky and Steve Johnson on old media. Thank you.

And this is the time of year I wish I still lived in Austin…SXSW Interactive sounds great this year as I track friends who are there via Twitter (#sxsw).

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Filed under conferences, digital distribution, future of media, local, media on media, media usage, monetizing media, twitter

Is John Steweart not media savvy?

After all the hoo-hah over John Stewart vs. Jim Kramer from Thursday’s Daily Show, this is what I’m left asking – is one of the most apparently savvy men in media not media savvy?

Those of us in the media industry have had it hammered into our head the extent to which our intended audiences for our advertising, distributed content, program integrations, stunts, events, publicity, social experiences, tweets, corporate blogs, gadgets, widgets, sandwich boards, street teams, text messages, sidewalk chalk, digital projections, and what not is all aimed at an exceedingly savvy pool of people who have incredibly sensitive BS filters that can sort through hype to get to what’s real.

We’ve bought into the public-at-large’s ability to not be sucked into the over-hyped and sensationalized news programming that is pervasive on cable news channels and even on the broadcast network’s morning and evening news. I’ve quoted here Perry Farrel from 20+ years ago saying, “Now the news is just another show w/ sex and violence.” At the base of the Daily Show is this realization – it’s the “fake news”.

For many centuries it’s always been known that various media outlets lean a certain way or take an editorial stance that favors certain points of view. When people watch certain cable news programming or read certain blogs and publications, they know what they’re getting.

To that end, when I read the About section of, I’m not seeing Stewart’s arguments about CNBC becoming some sort of protector of the American public against the evils of Wall Street holding a whole lot of water. They’re intended audience is “business executives and financial professionals w/ significant purchasing power.” If these people weren’t aware of what was going on in the financial markets, who was? Kramer screaming, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” at them would’ve been “fake news.”

Should CNBC re-purpose themselves to be guardians of what’s really happening on Wall Street? Here’s something to consider that also happened this week.

The stock market went up. Many say it went up for a couple of big reasons. One, banks made statements to the effect that if you get rid of all that bad debt, they’re actually making money. Two, the White House is saying they’re doing everything they can everyday to get credit flowing. There’s been a lot of analysis of the administration’s stance on blaming the previous administration for the mess and that’s effect on the positive move upwards. This administration is most definitely “media savvy.”

There’s much being said that we’re not at the bottom just yet, so taking the administrations apparent “if you forget about all that bad debt and see that we’re actually moving up, and realize we aren’t to blame for this mess, now, get out there and start spending and borrowing!” could be seen as not much better than what Stewart accused Kramer and CNBC of doing. One could see how following such direction could cause as many problems as we already have if the market and financial system isn’t really ready for such activities to ensue. I’m not sure I recall hearing Stewart’s analysis of this yet. Perhaps in next week’s shows.

So, in the end, in my humble opinion, we don’t have John Stewart, Protector of Democracy and All That is Good in Media. We have John Stewart, Host of the Fake News and Holder of the Opposite Perspective of CNBC. Same thing we’ve had in the media for many, many centuries. John Stewart is, indeed, media savvy.

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Filed under media coverage, media on media, the rest of the hour

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 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

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


CS Monitor folding (wakka wakka) paper edition, going all digital. In case you are unaware, this isn’t a publication for tween and teen girls (no link planted, those books keep folding, one of them did last week or the week before or something, and going all digital because they’re reaching out to those neat-o, digitally acclimated, don’t like paper, dealing w/ POS – and that’s not “point of sale” – “millenials” – OMG!).

FYI, I didn’t read the article and don’t intend to because I read Jarvis’ post on this yesterday. I’m assuming somewhere in the MediaPost piece is some sort of wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, either directly or from reading b/t the lines about the demise of “traditional” media and the inability to “monetize” it etc. that ticks me off and makes you feel like hail and brimstone are about to reign forth and destroy Sodom – and Gomorrah, for that matter.

Look, maybe CS succeeds, maybe it doesn’t. But this is for sure – they’re not going down in some Revelational ring of fire beholden to their past, offering Lamentations about how they can’t do this or can’t do that. Whether it’s faith in the good Lord or in the media habits of their readership, they’re seeing some sort of prophecy and they’re committed to following it.

BTW, if you read the MediaPost piece and my assumption is incorrect, I’d love to know that so I can be redeemed. I may actually start reading MediaPost again vs. just scanning the headlines to see if anything worthwhile is in their besides curmudgeonly media exec laments, media special interests/bureaus imploring all to believe the sky is not falling on “their” medium, and agency execs continually rationalizing their existence. Seems like there are a lot of folks lost in the desert needing some guidance to the Promised Land.

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Filed under future of media, media on media, media usage, monetizing media

(Don’t) act your age

In case you hadn’t heard, demo doesn’t define youth. Thanks to Mr. McKinney for posting the link via Facebook.

I’ve been reading a few books lately about issues w/ young people not growing up and how media is encouraging them to not grow up. Personally, it comes off as odd from authors who were on the tail end of the “don’t trust anyone over 30” generation. Generational sour grapes.

This particular research, however, is somewhat sad when you read, “people worldwide delay the onset of adult responsibilities and stay emotionally and physically younger for longer, it is becoming more acceptable for older people to participate in youthful pursuits.”

Hmmm, maybe if “older people” paid attention to non-“youthful pursuits” like personal finance we’d be in a different place right now. Kinda snarky, perhaps, but in light of the books I’ve been reading about youth’s inability to accept personal responsibility, that would assume “older people” can, and from what I’ve been hearing, the “older people” are placing blame like it’s nobody’s business. Who knows better if someone can really afford something than the someone who’s spending the money? Anyway…

Regardless, often times as a marketer it feels like you have to make an intervention choice – being an enabler of behavior (in this example, capitalizing on delayed adult-hood) vs. a leader towards new behavior (building a foundation on which moving to adult-hood is okay and enjoyable). I often fret that we focus too much on the latter vs. the former and this feels like it’s one of those cases. I’m sure this is why the Dead Kennedy’s implored MTV to get off the air back in the day (BTW, research was done by a subsidiary of Viacom).

For levity’s sake, allow me to inject a lyric as I am wont to do. I feel my Creative Zen is appropriately named as it seems to push me toward Zen by providing timely songs as my mind turns over topics…

She said “I’m done with looking back, and you look your age
Which is 37, by the way, and not 28
F**king let them stare, ’cause at this point I don’t care”

– Okkervil River, You Can’t Hold the Hand of a Rock and Roll Man

Sometimes you’ve gotta be the girl screaming at the Rock and Roll man, not caring what others think.

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Filed under media on media, media usage, pop culture, target audience