On journalists' & pundits' attitudes about new media: It's the privilege, stupid!

Plaque for Common Sense

For years now we've seen people entrenched in, married to, paid by or validated by old media attack new media, "those bloggers," Twitter, Facebook … the Internet in general. It's been fading lately as publishers especially have started to embrace and integrate new media into their publishing strategies. But there are still holdouts, many of whom seem not just ignorant but willfully ignorant.

Malcolm Gladwell's weak dismissal of "weak ties"

Gladwell's New Yorker article was the buzz on Twitter. One excerpt:

The evangelists of social media don’t understand this distinction; they seem to believe that a Facebook friend is the same as a real friend and that signing up for a donor registry in Silicon Valley today is activism in the same sense as sitting at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro in 1960.

…proving that old media journalists are as adept as anyone in the straw-man rhetorical technique.

Will Variety and Hollywood Reporter paywall gambit pay off?

Yes, subscription membership revenue models can pay well, but only if you can get the subscribers. So when I read that Hollywood Reporter and Variety are going for the paywall model, I wonder if they're missing something. Writes Nikki Finke on Deadline Hollywood:

(Psst! It's all one platform)

That's the message that Robert G. Picard seems to miss in "Blogs, Tweets, Social Media, and the News Business":

Judging from their widespread adoption, it’s hard to find a technology that news organizations don’t embrace. Read the Los Angeles Times on Kindle.

"Technology Diminishes Journalists’ Value"Watch ABC News on YouTube. Leave a comment on a blog about media and marketing from the Chicago Sun-Times. Listen to a podcast of “On Science” from National Public Radio. Participate in a discussion board hosted by The Washington Post about college admissions. Receive SMS news about the Dallas Cowboys from The Dallas Morning News. Get features from Time on a PDA and tweets of breaking news from CNN.

The mantra for news organizations is to be anywhere, anytime, on any platform. But is this strategy really a good idea? In an era when the business models for news are stressed, hard thinking should be done in assessing the opportunities that various technologies present. It isn’t the time merely to be copying what others are doing.

Swine flu: being concerned is not foolish

There's been much a-Twitter about the alarm surrounding the Swine Flu. People griping that SARS, Ebola, bird flu, [fill in the blank] didn't wind up being much, so why get worked up now? Everybody's over-reacting, they say.

I think the cynical response is overly-cynical and perhaps a bit to happy to declare "boy who cried wolf" and laugh or sneer.

Reality check:

Highly contagious? Check!

Fatal to healthy adults? Check!

No vaccine in sight before fall? Check!

Spreading quickly? Check!

This is a little thing that is very bad and could get very big very quickly. I don't see the alarm as overblown (though Egypt's destruction of all the pigs seems a bit ridiculous). We're an interconnected world now.

Shutting down the schools seems to be an obvious step. This is how you try to stop pandemic: By eliminating the mass-infection opportunities that we have.

If nothing comes of the swine flu, I think it could in part point to why such aggressive measures were indicated. It's if it gets really bad when we can say shutting the schools was perhaps too little too late.

No, Google is not a monopoly

First, some context

Henry Porter, an opinionator granted a regular podium by the Guardian, has written a bit of a rant claiming that we're victims of Google, a "monopoly."

Google presents a far greater threat to the livelihood of individuals and the future of commercial institutions important to the community. One case emerged last week when a letter from Billy Bragg, Robin Gibb and other songwriters was published in the Times explaining that Google was playing very rough with those who appeared on its subsidiary, YouTube. When the Performing Rights Society demanded more money for music videos streamed from the website, Google reacted by refusing to pay the requested 0.22p per play and took down the videos of the artists concerned.

It does this with impunity because it is dominant worldwide and knows the songwriters have nowhere else to go. Google is the portal to a massive audience: you comply with its terms or feel the weight of its boot on your windpipe.

Things I've learned on Twitter

[Cross-posted from BlogHer.]

As I convalesced this weekend from Day 9 of a terrible cold that just won't let go, the Thin Air Summit took place in Denver. Thanks to Twitter, I almost feel like I was there. I was tweet-reading in real-time. But you don't need to be there in the moment. A quick search for #tas08 on Twitter and you find a ton of posts. Tweets on sessions, tweets on insights, tweets on new acquaintances....

Last week I learned about the in-fighting (and quite often misogynistic) attacks from conservatives on Sarah Palin. #Palin was a trending topic after the election.

When Al Gore got onto Twitter, I saw it first on Twitter. [Update: Twitter has just changed @al_gore to @algore.]

So the Times sees it as a "women's issue," like shoes and handbags?

Oh my, not again. Via Elisa's Worker Bees Blog:

A couple of months ago, prompted by Mary Hodder, I blogged about the NY Times and its odd placement of a technology story about girl geeks in the Fashion & Style section.

Well, they're at it again. And this time it is even more egregious. Check the article Diversity Isn’t Rocket Science, Is It? In the Fashion & Style section.

The article itself is quite provocative....

News and the internet (regarding the sad spectacle of the monkey clinging to the apple in the jar)

It really is painful to watch, in a way, how prominent members of the old-school news media complain about the internet. Today it's Robert J. Samuelson, who writes:

If the Internet permanently crashed tomorrow, I'd be thrilled.

I kid you not.

When I joined The Washington Post as a reporter in 1969, hardly anyone I knew in the news business considered it a business. We belonged to a craft, a calling or maybe a profession. We didn't worry about the industry's "business model," a term we'd never heard. Economic realities occasionally intruded, usually involving salaries (always too low). But mostly we blissfully ignored the proposition that newspapers aimed to make money. We condescendingly thought that the moneymaking people—advertising salesmen, managers—toiled so that we could pursue our higher purpose, which was to inform the public.

The ownership society catches up with YouTube ... for now

YouTube is 30,000 files smaller:

The Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers, found 29,549 video clips such as television shows, music videos and movies posted on YouTube's site without permission, an official from the group, Fumiyuki Asakura, said Friday.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company quickly complied with the request to remove the copyright materials, made on behalf of 23 Japanese TV stations and entertainment companies, Asakura said.

Most videos posted on YouTube are homemade, but the site also features scores of copyright material posted by individual users. YouTube's policy is to remove such clips after it receives complaints, though some have suggested the startup eventually could be sued, especially with deep-pocketed Google Inc. about to buy it for $1.65 billion in stock.



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