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Just Say No to the Reality Distortion Field June 29, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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VC and slave to technolust Paul Kedrosky says in the Journal the reason two thirds of the country knows about the Product That Shall Not Be Named is because Amuhricans hate their phones and their carriers, and are closet geeks:

    I’ll tell you. First, people hate their cell phones….(After all, some of the iPhone’s most hyped features, like maps, are on traditional cell phones as well. You just can’t find the feature.)…But in addition to hating their phones, people hate their cell phone carriers. Hate, hate, hate, hate. The major cellular providers — with their ham-handed “support” and fascist control of software that can run on phones directly — are right up there with the IRS in terms of inspiring your average mobile phone user’s disgust and loathing.

This is absurd. Customer dissatisfaction with their carriers runs in the eight percent range in any given year, and interest in advanced features is in the single digits. The reason everybody knows about what Kedrosky calls the “Jesus Phone” — he calls it “grassroots support,” for pete’s sake — is because he and every other journalist/commentator in the country is writing or talking about it. Over and over and over again. Heck, I’m practically doing it. Curses, spun again.

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“Facebook Is the New AOL”? June 28, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Eh, I don’t think so. Not that there’s so much wrong with being the new AOL. (Check the comments.) I think this is more a case of “it’s tough to make it in the long tail.” And another reason for colleague Emily Riley’s suggestion that the Facebook platform could use a paid listings model.

What You Really, Really Want June 28, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Yes, I know you’ve been waiting for it. The Spice Girls are going to tour again. AOL Music has the details. Oddly, the news didn’t make Yahoo Music, yet. What? The girls have no MySpace page? No Facebook applet? Get with it!

Wannabe (Radio Edit)

MySpace = Hollywood; Facebook = Silicon Valley June 28, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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More “proof” that MySpace is Hollywood and Facebook is Silicon Valley:

    I’m told that MySpace founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson have made a very aggressive (some would term it rather fanciful) compensation proposal to owner News Corp for when their contract is up in October. They’re asking Peter Chernin and Rupert Murdoch for a 2-year deal worth $50 million total.
    Obviously, we all want to sell, at least some of the equity. But Mark owns the whole thing and he’s a crazy kid. He doesn’t let us in on his ideas, and all he cares about are the users.”

Regardless of whether either of these are true, it’s the topic and tone that tips you off.

Still Searchin’…. June 27, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Ask gets more love from MSM. Keep plugging, guys, maybe some day the best UI will win!

Dueling MSM Vids on The Product That Shall Not Be Named June 27, 2007

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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I’ve dissed David Pogue’s on-screen talent in the past — unfairly, apparently. Since Jupiter colleague Michael Gartenberg posted WSJ columnist Walt Mossberg’s video review of You Know What, I’ll link to Pogue’s and let you, the fans, decide exactly which reviewer should do teevee, and which should not. (That’s the most critical question, not what the reviewers think — they both gush, with caveats.)

I’ll also observe that the Journal lets you embed, while the Times makes you visit. Both tactics are worth evaluating, but I’m thinking the Times should distribute a bit more broadly…

Buying Up Dead Stars’ Royalties June 27, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Hollywood Stock Exchange. But with real money. Somebody has too much time on his hands.

    Those are the kind of questions being asked these days by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of professional basketball’s Dallas Mavericks. The business partners are backing Content Partners LLC, a new Los Angeles firm attempting to corner a market in buying actors, directors and producers out of what are known as “profit participation” deals on movies and TV shows.

I’m guessing that this is one we’ll probably never hear of again.

Internet Radio Day of Silence June 26, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I’m a little torn on this one. Certainly, the royalties proposed by the Copyright Board are currently unsustainable by the current online audio advertising market, which is so small we don’t count it. And really, how viable are display ads in a mostly aural environment? Paid content? Please.

On the other hand, why should a dying struggling industry subsidize a subsegment’s currently unworkable business model? For all the talk of promotion, terrestrial radio — and TV, for goodness’ sake — let alone word of mouth, dwarfs online radio as discovery tools or purchase influences, according to Jupiter surveys (see Figure 12). (One hopes our new survey, just about to go into the field, will show some more promising trending…)

But there’s got to be a way to compromise, at least for a finite amount of time for experimentation. Can’t we all be grownups? Oh, right, it’s the music biz.

Class Divides on Social Networks? Maybe June 25, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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For American youth, MySpace is working class; Facebook is upper class. Or so says this academic. Naturally boingboing believes. But check the methodology first:

    The practice of ‘ethnography’ is hard to describe in a bounded form, but ethnography is basically about living and breathing a particular culture, its practices, and its individuals. There are some countables. For example, I have analyzed over 10,000 MySpace profiles, clocked over 2000 hours surfing and observing what happens on MySpace, and formally interviewed 90 teens in 7 states with a variety of different backgrounds and demographics. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. I ride buses to observe teens; I hang out at fast food joints and malls. I talk to parents, teachers, marketers, politicians, pastors, and technology creators. I read, I observe, I document.

Wow, 90 whole interviews. And of course, most of MySpace’s audience is over 35 these days. Still, it’s interesting speculation that’s certainly thought-provoking.

Oh, Just Sell Dow Jones, Already June 25, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Four reporters and 3,900 words later, and this is all the dirt the NY Times could come up with on Murdoch? Gotta agree with Niki Scevak, there’s way more damning — and interesting — stuff in this WSJ interview with the man himself. Over at Slate, Jack Shafer’s one-man campaign against News Corp. buying my favorite newspaper is a little tired, but it’s thorough.