Results tagged “criticism”

Zombie Media Research

February 18, 2007

I hate the abbreviation "MSM". It's almost always used by those who are lacking in perspective. We're all either too lazy to actually differentiate between the technologies and types of media, or just don't know much about media beyond our emotional reactions to it.

I don't usually blog about my process of blogging (my longer posts are usually in gestation for a week or so, some take a few weeks, a couple have taken longer than a year to write), but I thought I'd share some great links that might be useful in a future discussion of "MSM is dead" or "citizen media will conquer all" or "Are blogs journalism?" These are all tedious topics to me, since I've been having these conversations for the better part of a decade, but since the questions keep popping up, maybe I can contribute something more constructive than just bitching.

Until then, check these out:

Rich Skrenta on The Failure of We (the) Media. Skrenta, CEO of Topix.net, nails it:

Tremendous excitement followed the publishing of Dan [Gillmor]'s We the Media (the conference's namesake). It accompanied the trumpeting of a new model of media by the newsy press, and the rise of blogs with attendant breathless hype.

Unfortunately, after doing the author's victory tour, Dan then attempted to put his ideas into practice in a business venture. I suppose there is some due credit for having the courage to cross the line from a long career as a newspaper journalist (observer) to become a startup founder (participant), and try to prove the viability of his alt.media business plan outlined in the book.

But, like nearly every News 2.0 venture so far, Dan's Bayosphere was a failure.

He has a lot of company. The dog's breakfast of new media startups includes Gather, Backfence, Newstrust, Daylife, TailRank, Associated Content, Pegasus News, Tinfinger, Findory, Inform, Newsvine, Memeorandum, NowPublic. The highest distinction on this list is to be one of the few still spoken of in the present tense (or present perfect -- "They haven't yet succeeded...")

And yes, I would include Topix here as well.

Over on CNN, Old media isn't dead. Hey, my link proves Paul R. LaMonica correct! But he makes the point himself:

That notion is just silly. Consider a few questions. If old media really was on death's door, then why are new media companies so eager to cozy up to established media giants?

Why does YouTube, now owned by Google (Charts), have a partnership with CBS? Who cares about that network's stodgy TV programming when you've got scores of hilarious user-generated videos on the site?

What's more, why is Google eager to work with its customers on ways to automate the purchasing of print, radio and TV advertising? And why is eBay working with advertisers to develop an online auction exchange to buy and sell commercial spots on the boob tube?

If old media is about to kick the bucket, then why is TMZ.com, the popular Hollywood gossip site that, like CNNMoney.com, is owned by Time Warner, launching a TMZ television show that will air on News Corp.-owned Fox stations this fall?

And why did popular social networking site Facebook announce a deal last week with cable company Comcast to launch a "Facebook Diaries" TV show?

Simply put, old media still matters.

If there are other links along these lines I should be paying attention to, particularly signs that old and new media are collaborating effectively, please send 'em along.

A Culture of Criticism

March 15, 2006

From the New York Times' Sunday Styles section Silicon Alley's resurgence, pegged to a tech Meetup where the crowd was discussing new web startups. Yep, Web 2.0 is hitting the East Coast, though apparently not all of the startups are as interesting as del.icio.us or, well, Meetup itself. Fortunately, people aren't afraid to criticize things in New York, and Scott reveals his prescience:

He began by asking his tech-savvy listeners simplistic questions about their knowledge of the Web.

"You're going to get booed off before you start," shouted Scott Heiferman, a founder of the social networking company Meetup and the organizer of the Tech Meetup.

Prescient words, it turned out. Mr. Robertson faced a barrage of withering questions and eventually slunk offstage to mocking laughter from the audience.

"I got ambushed," he said afterward. "I didn't know it was a 'Gong Show' thing."

Perhaps the tone, especially in this context, was a bit unkind. But that sense that, sometimes at least, ideas just suck is exactly what I was lamenting in my post a few weeks ago. "A complete unwillingness to be critical, an almost astoundingly low set of criteria for acceptance -- these aren't the traits that encourage a community or a culture to improve."

So, to everybody looking for the flip-to-Yahoo-cuz-we've-got-tags Next Big Thing, find a room with a tough crowd. Pitch your idea. See if you get booed. And if you're in the Bay Area? Start being more judicious with the applause.

1