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Showing 38 posts tagged media

This is the angst that fills those in the news business, and society broadly. The reality of the Internet is that there is no more bell curve; power laws dominate, and the challenge of our time is figuring out what to do with a population distribution that is fundamentally misaligned with Internet economics.

Ben Thompson (via sippey)

(via sippey)

I Think Twitter Should Buy Nuzzel Immediately, Before Yahoo or Flipboard Does

I got access to Nuzzel today, and it is going to immediately join Flipboard as one of the few apps I religiously use everyday to make sense of my Twitter flow. Nuzzel cross-tabulates my incoming stream of tweets, and yields the stories that a whole bunch of my scene are talking about in Twitter. Nuzzel is the best social news feed I’ve seen, to date.

image

This is a much better realization of what I have been using Flipboard to do for me with my Twitter feed there. This aggregates dozens of tweets about a hot story — like Jennifer Bell’s Journalism startups aren’t a revolution if they’re filled with all these white men — and allows me to wander through aggregation from my friends — those who I follow directly — and from my friends of friends — which truly is my social scene. (I’m betting that swarm is something like a few hundred thousand to a million people, based on each of the 1500 folks I follow following a few hundred people each.)

Nuzzel also suggests stories I might have missed, and keeps track of what i have read — just that last feature along is a product I need regularly.

Check out my public Nuzzel feed at nuzzel.com/stoweboyd.

Gawker is apparently surprised that the old school newspapers — the ones still printing on paper, for crying out loud — have old people writing on their op-ed pages. Big surprise.
Still, it was worse than I thought.

Sarah Hedgecock, What’s Wrong With America’s Newspaper Opinion Columnists in One Chart
Why are newspaper opinion columnists so consistently baffled by the politics, technologies, and social mores of the 21st century? We’ve crunched some data, and we think we’ve figured out the answer: They’re old as hell.
[…]
We examined age and gender breakdowns of the regular opinion columnists at the country’s three most prestigious opinion sections—those of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal—as well as the opinion stables from four of the largest press syndicates—The Creators Syndicate, Universal Press, King Features, and Tribune Media, which provide column material for many of the country’s smaller papers. (For now, we left off regular columnists for other sections of the papers.)
Of the 143 columnists we looked at, a scant 38 were women. Just as bad was the age distribution: Average and median ages on the whole hover around 60. Tribune Media Services had the oldest columnists: average and median ages are both around 64. The businessy Wall Street Journal, whose average columnist is a sprightly 56 years old (median 54), is the most youthful—although that’s still older than the paper’s average 48-year-old reader.

Only one woman under 35, Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post.
Yikes.
Another good reason to read elsewhere.

Gawker is apparently surprised that the old school newspapers — the ones still printing on paper, for crying out loud — have old people writing on their op-ed pages. Big surprise.

Still, it was worse than I thought.

Sarah Hedgecock, What’s Wrong With America’s Newspaper Opinion Columnists in One Chart

Why are newspaper opinion columnists so consistently baffled by the politics, technologies, and social mores of the 21st century? We’ve crunched some data, and we think we’ve figured out the answer: They’re old as hell.

[…]

We examined age and gender breakdowns of the regular opinion columnists at the country’s three most prestigious opinion sections—those of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal—as well as the opinion stables from four of the largest press syndicates—The Creators Syndicate, Universal Press, King Features, and Tribune Media, which provide column material for many of the country’s smaller papers. (For now, we left off regular columnists for other sections of the papers.)

Of the 143 columnists we looked at, a scant 38 were women. Just as bad was the age distribution: Average and median ages on the whole hover around 60. Tribune Media Services had the oldest columnists: average and median ages are both around 64. The businessy Wall Street Journal, whose average columnist is a sprightly 56 years old (median 54), is the most youthful—although that’s still older than the paper’s average 48-year-old reader.

Only one woman under 35, Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post.

Yikes.

Another good reason to read elsewhere.

Six national newspapers suffer big falls in readership - Roy Greenslade

http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2013/aug/29/national-newspapers-theindependent?CMP=twt_gu

The repercussions of the web are starting to make serious inroads in the UK, where six ‘national’ newspapers saw serious declines in the past year.

excerpt

Six national daily titles suffered sizeable falls in readership over 12 months up to June, according to the latest set of figures from the National Readership Survey (NRS).

Compared to the same period the year before, The Independent lost 26% of its daily audience. The other five losers, in descending order, were the Daily Star(-16%), The Guardianand Daily Express(-14%), Daily Mirror(-13%) and The Sun(-11%).

NRS also regards the 6% drop in readership for the free daily, Metro, as statistically significant.

Only one national title, the Financial Times, increased its audience, recording a 2% rise.

Expects several of these to go out of business in the next few years. I am betting that The Guardian and Financial Times will make it.

(via Circulation Declines Hit German Papers a Decade after America - SPIEGEL ONLINE)
The decline in newspaper circulation is now hitting Germany, a decade after the US. I remember predicting this was going to happen at a Germany conference, I think it was Next in 2009, and being told that Germans were different than Americans, and wouldn’t switch to online news and entertainment. Sure.

(via Circulation Declines Hit German Papers a Decade after America - SPIEGEL ONLINE)

The decline in newspaper circulation is now hitting Germany, a decade after the US. I remember predicting this was going to happen at a Germany conference, I think it was Next in 2009, and being told that Germans were different than Americans, and wouldn’t switch to online news and entertainment. Sure.

Americans Now Spend More Time on Digital Devices Than on TV | Digital - Advertising Age

http://adage.com/article/digital/americans-spend-time-digital-devices-tv/243414/?utm_source=feedly

via

American adults this year will for the first time spend more time each day using digital media than watching TV, according to a new report by eMarketer.

Adults in the U.S. are averaging five hours and nine minutes daily with digital media, up from four hours and 31 minutes last year and three hours and 50 minutes in 2011. The amount of time they spend watching TV has essentially stayed flat in that time period. It was pegged at four hours and 31 minutes this year, down slightly from four hours and 38 minutes in 2012.

Overall, the amount of time spent consuming media in all its forms — digital, TV, radio and print — is cranking ever upward, though radio and print are dropping off, according to eMarketer. U.S. adults are spending an average of 11 hours and 52 minutes every day with media, up 13 minutes from last year.

The surge in digital consumption has predictably been driven by mobile. U.S. adults now spend an average of two hours and 21 minutes per day using their mobile devices for activities other than phone calls, up 46 minutes from last year.

How did a 153-year-old magazine — one that first published the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and gave voice to the abolitionist and transcendentalist movements — reinvent itself for the 21st century?
By pretending it was a Silicon Valley start-up that needed to kill itself to survive.

Jeremy Peters, The Atlantic Turns a Profit, With an Eye on the Web (2010)

They actually started with the concept to imagine themselves as a venture-back silicon valley start-up designed to disrupt The Atlantic and steal away its readers. That led to a game plan to cannibalize the compny leaving behind only the parts that matched the concept of the start-up.

Another paradox to live by: today, in the postnormal, every company must kill itself to survive.

We are suddenly threatened with a liberation that taxes our inner resources of self-employment and imaginative participation in society. This would seem to be a fate that calls men to the role of artist in society.Such is also the harsh logic of industrial automation. All that we had previously achieved mechanically by great exertion and coordination can now be done electrically without effort. Hence the specter of joblessness and propertylessness in the electric age. Wealth and work become information factors, and totally new structures are needed to run a business or relate it to social needs and markets. With the electric technology, the new kinds of instant interdependence and interprocess that take over production also enter the market and social organizations. For this reason, markets and education designed to cope with the products of servile toil and mechanical production are no longer adequate. Our education has long ago acquired the fragmentary and piece-meal character of mechanism. It is now under increasing pressure to acquire the depth and interrelation that are indispensable in the all-at-once world of electric organization.

Men are suddenly nomadic gatherers of knowledge, nomadic as never before, informed as never before, free from fragmentary specialism as never before —but also involved in the total social process as never before; since with electricity we extend our central nervous system globally, instantly interrelating every human experience.Paradoxically, automation makes liberal education mandatory. The electric age of servomechanisms suddenly releases men from the mechanical and specialist servitude of the preceding machine age. As the machine and the motorcar released the horse and projected it onto the plane of entertainment, so does automation with men. We are suddenly threatened with a liberation that taxes our inner resources of self-employment and imaginative participation in society. This would seem to be a fate that calls men to the role of artist in society. It has the effect of making most people realize how much they had come to depend on the fragmentalized and repetitive routines of the mechanical era. Thousands of years ago man, the nomadic food-gatherer, had taken up positional, or relatively sedentary, tasks. He began to specialize. The development of writing and printing were major stages of that process. They were supremely specialist in separating the roles of knowledge from the roles of action, even though at times it could appear that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” But with electricity and automation, the technology of fragmented processes suddenly fused with the human dialogue and the need for over-all consideration of human unity. Paradoxically, automation makes liberal education mandatory.Men are suddenly nomadic gatherers of knowledge, nomadic as never before, informed as never before, free from fragmentary specialism as never before —but also involved in the total social process as never before; since with electricity we extend our central nervous system globally, instantly interrelating every human experience. Long accustomed to such a state in stock-market news or front-page sensations, we can grasp the meaning of this new dimension more readily when it is pointed out that it is possible to “fly” unbuilt airplanes on computers. The specifications of a plane can be programmed and the plane tested under a variety of extreme conditions before it has left the drafting board. So with new products and new organizations of many kinds. We can now by computer, deal with complex social needs with the same architectural certainty that we previously attempted in private housing. Industry as a whole has become the unit of reckoning, and so with society, politics, and education as wholes.

Electric means of storing and moving information with speed and precision make the largest units quite as manageable as small ones. Thus the automation of a plant or of an entire industry offers a small model of the changes that must occur in society from the same electric technology. Total interdependence is the starting fact. Nevertheless, the range of choice in design, stress, and goal within that total field of electromagnetic interprocess is very much greater than it ever could have been under mechanization.

Panic about automation as a threat of uniformity on a world scale is the projection into the future of mechanical standardization and specialism, which are now past.Since electric energy is independent of the place or kind of work-operation, it creates patterns of decentralism and diversity in the work to be done. This is a logic that appears plainly enough in the difference between firelight and electric light, for example. Persons grouped around a fire or candle for warmth or light are less able to pursue independent thoughts, or even tasks, than people supplied with electric light. In the same way, the social and educational patterns latent in automation are those of self-employment and artistic autonomy. Panic about automation as a threat of uniformity on a world scale is the projection into the future of mechanical standardization and specialism, which are now past.

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man (1964)

The last few paragraphs of Understanding Media, where McLuhan peered into the last days of the postmodern and over the lip into our present day, the postnormal. He somehow avoids the wrenching disruptions involved, and the human costs of a transition to a time when 99% are unemployed artists, and 1% own the machinery and resources that makes everything necessary for life.

Karen McGuane, Don’t Let Paper Paradigms Drive Your Digital Strategy

It’s not just paper paradigms we need to avoid, it’s the paradigms of the pre-social web. Here’s a talk I gave in 2010, anticipating liquid media’s future dominance: Social Media Blur | Blogs, Networks, Streams. A quote:

Now, we are headed into the fourth phase of social media, where the growing market impacts of streams will begin to impinge on computing in general, so we will see streams become primary design elements of operating systems for computing and mobile devices. As this advance spreads, the premises of the earliest phases of social media can begin to be considered as layers in an architecture. Old school blogs and other publishing models that create static web pages will increasingly be treated as an archive, or as a source for social objects referenced by URL, but where the URL is used to fetch the content and display it in the stream, just as today photos are being resolved in Twitter clients. In the near future, all media types will be resolved in place, in the stream. This will create interesting issues with advertising revenues and other media control issues, but in the long run, ads and other metadata will be pulled along with the context-free slow media into the socially-embedded context of streams.

These are the chunks McGuane is alluding to, and the OS-based streams are finally appearing in iOS 7. It’s coming on.

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