Monthly Archives: October 2009

monday media musings

tv_screensI work in media. For the past decade or so the powers that be were worried about online versus TV. Was online going to kill television the way television “killed” radio?  The way it “killed” the major record labels and newspapers? By “kill,” lets’ admit we mean “lessen the social and economic impact of.”  Sometimes less is more … but when billions of dollars are on the line, not so much.

As an industry, we focused more on the platforms than on audience behaviors. Our economic models are wrapped up in the platforms … but users don’t care. We just want what we want (I am counting myself among the users here). Mostly, we want options. Make it easy, make it simple, make it entertaining.

In the case of television, the question is not when and how online will “kill” TV … the question is how will people choose to watch their video?

… will they watch it live?
… will they watch it close to the original airdate? (hours, days months or years later?)
… or will they watch it on demand?

And how can we influence that decision? How can we incentivize people to pay attention when where and how we want them to?

The cable guys are all freaking out now because the chord cutting phenomenon is becoming real. People are deciding that they don’t need to spend $100+ a month to get a giant package of content when all they want is about 10% of what’s offered. Now people can cherrypick what they want through other means (Netflix, Hulu, and Boxee, etc.).

Broadcasters, who are the content engine of the entire ecosystem, are divided on what to do. They are fine with distributing online as long as they can monetize it meaningfully and not cannibalize their existing business. Cable chord cutting wouldn’t really bother them so much … except for the fact that the cable guys pay them retransmission fees. If the cable guys are hurting, then they have less guaranteed income to return to broadcasters. Guaranteed income = good. Uncertainty = bad.

It’s pretty complicated. If you care to read a bit more, this is a decent article.

socialsearch

Distribution matters aside, the intersection of search and social and video on demand is what’s very much on my brain at the mo. Today I signed up for a social search service called aardvark. It lets you tap into your social nets to ask questions and get answers from real people in real time.

For example, I am moving to the East Village on Friday and want to get  an idea of Yoga studios in the neighborhood. I posed the question and within less than a minute I had an AIM message with an answer. A good answer. I got an email a few hours later with more good answers. So now I have a list of Yoga Studios in the East Village provided by people who use and like them – not by the studios that paid the most for SEO.

Very Zen Col if you ask me.

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zenning out

now“You can observe a lot just by watching.” — Yogi Berra

Each day, people go about their lives. Going to work, going to school. In a way that says: same as it ever was. Myself too, in this mix. Meanwhile, gigantic walls are crumbling, bottoms falling out from the intangible structures that have carried us to the present. Behind me I see kids applying to college, looking for jobs, wanting to “climb the ranks.” Ahead of me I see “the ranks” dissolving, or at least flattening out. Large institutions transforming into horizontal waves of connected individuals. Planning is a feature of the old. We can’t plan, as a society. Pensions? Retirement? “An end in sight?” Nope. None of that. All we’ve got is now. Is that good? Is that bad? Neither. It just is.

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Colloween approaches

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Costumes, wigs, revelry, candy. So many things I love. Each year, I attempt to embody something or someone from the zeitgeist.

Last year I was The Housing Bubble:

housingbubble

In 2007, I was the moronic Miss South Carolina.

misssc

The year before, the recently deceased Steve Irwin.

Two years before that, I was Mauled Roy Horn.

mauledroy

As articulated here on colsblog, I used to have a policy against gratuitously slutty costumes. That sanctimonious stance has ebbed as I’ve aged. At 34 I can admit that slutty’s fun, and I love my sexy self.

Just so happens, however, that my getup this year will completely obscure my feminine features. It might even be a little bit scary. I have procured the main piece of the costume and am now working out the details which, of course, make or break an ensemble.

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Are you a man or a boy?

bored-to-death-logoi am enamored with hbo’s new original series, “bored to death,” created and produced by jonathan ames. was pleased to learn today that we’ll be getting a second season. there’s so much to talk about here, but basically it’s about men flailing around in the absence of women. the main character, jonathan, played by nerdy dreamboat munchkin jason schwartzman, is pining for the ex who left him due to his meandering lack of focus and proclivity for white whine and weed. he’s a writer whose debut novel won him critical success. but he’s languishing with the writing of the second novel. aided by craigslist advertising, he begins moonlighting as an unlicensed private detective. it’s jonathan’s way to fight boredom and get his mojo back. absurdity ensues. when he’s not sleuthing, jonathan’s activities are centered around his two buddies: his boss George Christopher, magazine editor and party-goer played by the dashingly deviant Ted Danson, and Ray Hueston, his bestie, a  Brooklyn comic book artist played by the hilarious bearded yet feminized Zach Galifianaki.

this is a writer’s show. the dialogue is fantastic. the most recent episode had some words that broke through to my noggin:

Claudia Worth: Are you a man or a boy?
Jonathan: Well… what’s the difference?
Claudia Worth: With a man, you feel like you’re being taken, and you like it. And with a boy, you feel like they’re stealing something from you, and you don’t like it.

Claudia was the 16-year-old daughter of a psychologist that Jonathan picked up at a party (assuming she was older). out of the mouths of babes, right? that distinction is right on, and it extends beyond the physical sex act. the difference between being took and being stolen from. when you’re took, you go along with. when you’re stolen from, you are left alone, in a world apart.

postcards_1253668174641

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winds of change

changeisinthewindtitle not intended as an obvious/gratuitous scorpions reference. or a callout to the crisp nip in the air in nyc today. tis more than that. times, they are a changin. they have been, and will be. but at times like this … for a few days or weeks however the glow lasts … it shall be visible to the untrained eye. tempted? intrigued? you should be. stay tuned, lovelies!

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monday morning dance party!

how i feel: sheena is a punk rocker by the ramones.

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LD

oh, curb. LD, how much do i love you? not enough to bed you, but take that amount and subtract a fraction. thats how much. oh buddy.

larrydavid

he made a funny comment on letterman last week about not getting laid much. brian stelter wrote about it in the nytimes today:

Similarly, it did not come up on the Friday episode of “The Late Show,” which was taped on Thursday. But some viewers noticed a pointed comment about Mr. Letterman’s personal life by his guest on Friday’s show, Larry David, the star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

“I’ve probably broken a record for the least amount of sex for a person who has their own television show,” Mr. David said to Mr. Letterman, adding, “I probably broke yours.”

Mr. Letterman laughed sheepishly as the audience clapped. “I don’t know,” the host said. “Oh, buddy.”

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