Monthly Archives: September 2008

If anything, media stocks should be soaring…

Why are media stocks doing so horribly in the current economic times? If anything, the media drives the markets. Extremely over-simplified telling of events to prove my point…

Pelosi holds press conference, places/deflects blame, Republicans see press conference, Republicans pissed, bailout doesn’t pass, Republicans hold press conference, place blame.

Bailout doesn’t pass, reported in the media, 700+ point dip in stock market.

Bush makes statement at press conference this morning, markets go up sharply.

Perhaps the problem is the media is a bit too good. No, no, I don’t believe that. Good Lord, I most definitely do not believe that. The media isn’t too good, the infrastructure is too fast. It’s a people problem.

The people reporting sensationalize, the people receiving respond like Pavlov’s dogs.

I’ll refrain from passing judgement on “the media” and “their message” and “the receivers of that message”…for now. Or maybe I already did. Whatever.

(I will say this – does it really matter who’s to blame at this point? Please raise my taxes and squeeze me in a vice as it pertains to my credit and debt so this damn flat world doesn’t, um, fold. And make damn sure this doesn’t happen again. If you’ve been in Washington for this turn of events, welcome back to being part of this rabble known as the American public.)

The point is that if your business is all about making people watch you then making people do something based on watching you, and you do that so well you cause economic market fluctuations, why in the hell wouldn’t the same economic markets reward you for doing what you do?

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

Cartoon of the Day w/o the Cartoon

I was reading the 9.22 New Yorker on the bus last night. On the last page of the Sarah Palin article is a cartoon of a man and a woman watching TV. The woman is saying to the man, “How do you want your news – preaching to the choir or love-to-hate?”

Amusing to me as I’m the one usually saying something similar to my wife. Amusing in general because I believe I’ve mentioned the sad state of affairs when it comes to news in today’s media landscape – there’s an angle for every angle out there and at times its hard to tell who’s angling whom. At other times its obvious pandering. Regardless, makes me stick w/ NPR and PBS more and more (and often I wonder about those).

Not amusing is the difficulty in finding the cartoon to post here for you to see. Yeah, I’m sure I could figure it out, but when you search on the artist’s name and the full caption and get nothing, makes you wonder why CondeNast doesn’t just stick to stuff printed on paper (w/ perhaps the exception of Wired).

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Filed under bad media, media coverage, media on media

Quote of the Day

“‘Rational’, of course, has for the West long meant ‘uniform and continuous and sequential.’ In other words, we have confused reason with literacy, and rationalism with a single technology. Thus in the electric age man seems to the conventional West to become irrational.”

– Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media

He was talking about the potential and potential effects of electricity as a means for delivering media. He was also able to fathom what “digital” would mean…in 1964.

He was talking about people’s inability to see that content being delivered and used in a different way isn’t bad or wrong or making people more or less stupid (he also references the irrelvancy of IQ tests as the ways and means of media evolve and change).

He was talking about the penchant for linear thinking perhaps becoming antiquated in a “pure information” society – if all things or most things are available at all times then processing things can’t be assumed to be A then B then C.

He wrote this in 1964. Not 1984 or even 1994 or 2004. Dudes, what a visionary.

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Filed under future of media, quote of the day

You know what to do, G, Bust a Myth (or three)

Heard from a couple of you w/ regards to the iMedia “Myth Busters” panel I’m going to be on this Tuesday. Below are the 3 key points I gave to the moderator. What do you think?

Myth #1
“Online” or “the Internet” is a medium in the the same sense that, or can be considered/compared to in an apples-to-apples way with, TV, radio, magazine, out-of-home, etc in terms of media mix allocation. TV, radio, magazine, out-of-home, etc. imply a “pushing” of message. “Online” or “the Internet” are best leveraged when there is a “pull” – and the investment buckets, not to mention the people resource buckets, push and pull come from at a marketing organization and/or agency tend to not be the same. Many “online campaigns” and pure-play online businesses don’t really require “media spending” at any significant level to be successful, but they do require a keen understanding of how the platform of the Internet operates to make themselves easily found. That tends to require a different kind of investment and resource allocation than “successful” TV, radio, magazine, OOH, etc. “campaigns”. So trying to figure out how to shift TV or print money into online is short-sighted – especially as all media becomes digital and runs on the platform (i.e. not the “medium”) that is the Internet.

Myth #2
Another one is thinking one, universally applicable definition of “engagement” or success is possible. ABC’s upfront presentation got me going on this one. Efficiency at the front end or amount of time people spend “watching” is not necessarily a predeterminant of success on the back end. Marketers need to define success and the systems to measure it for themselves, share it completely and fully w/ their partners/agencies, agencies need to take care of the front end to make sure whatever is negotiated produces desired results on the backend, and reward media vendors accordingly with business – regardless of how high or low CPMs are.

Myth #3
Most tactically is mobile as a “medium”. It’s not a medium. It’s a tool that allows people to not have to carry around scraps of papers, shopping lists, to do lists, little black books, etc. Develop a functional experience in mobile that allows people to solve the day to day problems they have with stuff they usually have to carry around in their purses or pockets.

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Filed under advertising effectiveness, communication platforms, conferences, future of media, media mix, mobile, monetizing media

Exporting US Culture

I’ve been wondering quite a bit lately just how flat the world is in light of the re-enactment of Cold War-ishness seen by Putin and the Bush Administration (whatever happened to lame duck presidents just playing out the string and Eastern European countries realizing the shiny, happy ways of capitalism). Seeing reports the past couple of days that the European economic situation is very much akin to ours confirms the inter-connectedness of certain global markets. But is that really a good thing or that new of an insight for that matter?

Regardless, US culture has always been a huge export that has allowed us influence the world over. So seeing that 20th Century Fox is picking up where Sony did by developing a joint venture w/ Bollywood and looking to see how that may expand into China makes me feel somewhat more secure in our flatness.

Of course, I’m in the middle of a book claiming that the consumption of US pop culture is making all people under 30 stupid.

So, I guess whether you interpret exporting our culture as a sign of our influence or as our subversive way of making the rest of the world stupider than us so we can maintain our standing in the world is irrelevant. It’s flat nonetheless and we continue to find our place in it.

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Filed under books, entertainment industry, pop culture

Random Media Riffs on the Political Season

As I mentioned before, I am a hopeless independent when it comes to politics. So the following is coming from a place of love for my country and an agnostic POV when it comes to fat ass elephants and asses in general.

Anyone who has watched the RNC feel like it is at best muted? Not sure if due to Gustav that the number of attendees is really low or if the Republicans have asked all media outlets to cover a 20,000 seat arena that I have personal experience w/ really rocking like it’s a high school gym. Didn’t notice any broad, panning shots to set up the largeness of the proceedings as was done in the Pepsi Center. It just seems overly dim and really quiet. Won’t get into the staged drama that was Invesco Field for comparison, outside of saying it was a masterful use and delivery of media manipulation.

As was the use of this same Excel Energy Center in St. Paul for Obama to announce he was the de facto nominee. So having watched that speech and how the arena was set up for that and the effect delivered from it only makes me further wonder what gives w/ how the media is covering the RNC in the same arena. Have to assume it’s by request from the Republicans. Maybe it makes it feel more like a VFW or American Legion hall and that’s what they’re going for and to whom they are appealing? Or a “vast left wing conspiracy”?

I have only found foreign media, especially The Guardian, covering what I find much more interesting w/ regards to the Alaskan Governor than vindictive firings of public officials and pregnant teenage daughters. It appears she was part of an Alaskan political party that seeks to secede from the union. I think NPR gave this coverage in passing, but nothing very deep at all. Being an independent, I’m much more interested in understanding how much someone who is the proverbial one heartbeat away from being prez loves the country their state is a part of more than their state itself. I think we saw from ’92-’00 that personal and familial discretions don’t mean you can’t effectively lead the country.

In Denver, did I miss stories about overly rowdy and often times violent Repbulican protesters beign dispersed w/ tear gas, throwing foreign substances on convention delegates, and 300 some odd arrests? I used to have chats w/ a few of my “Texas Democrat” (talk about a rare breed…Keep Austin Weird, I guess 🙂 friends about how the Dems can often times, actually most times, be their own worst enemies. I’d love to see BO come out w/ a statement condemning the actions of these violent protesters and reinforce change on a different level. Has he? If so, I haven’t seen it on his dozen or more Twitter posts per day.

Also as an indy I have to say the past couple days of RNC makes me feel like they are doing as they usually do, trying to exacerbate the differences in American society to win votes vs. trying to reach out to unify. That bums me out.

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Filed under election 08, media coverage, media on media, riffs