To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.
On many topics outside our expertise area, we lack the extra information to extract informed opinions — we lack the capacity and context to judge. Anyone can read the topic sentences of paragraphs to extract a summary (a “tl;dr”) from any piece of writing of any length. The action in this space is to get at the hidden message that lies behind the words.
I imagine I get two types of readers on my blog. Someone who googles something and just happens to wander here. As is the case for the crazy amounts of people who still find their way here after searching for “Verizon FIOS review“.
The second group is probably friends of mine. I can’t imagine they come here looking for updates in my personal life, because I rarely post about that. They might stumble here because they know I keep up with a few specific topics and post about big developments in those areas.
With that in mind, I wanted to point to a few new projects I’m playing around with. Flipboard is an iOS and Android app that takes web content and re-formats it into a magazine style.
Recently they updated their system and are letting users curate magazines of their own. So I submit stories I like to a magazine style template and other users can read my magazine. Considering how Google just killed
RSS Reader, this might be a new popular way to subscribe to news.
I am working on four currently. I encourage you to check them out if you use Flipboard. Thanks!
Tech Today – This one is about technology as you can imagine. It focuses mainly on consumer tech, so new products and services that you might be interested in. (Sources include: The Verge, Engadget, Techmeme)
Hollywood Happenings - Unlike most most entertainment news sources, this is not a celebrity gossip magazine. This will focus on industry and insider news and developments. The Business side of Show-business. Sources include: THR, Variety, Deadline Hollywood
Be A Better Guy – Designed to give you advice on fashion, life lessons, and other things to help you navigate being a man in the new millennium. Sources include: GQ, Esquire
Intellectual Policy - Just for the law nerds. This focuses on IP law, mainly copyright, and a slight tech and hollywood tilt. Sources: Copyright Law Blogs
Found an article that discusses a concept I tried to get at in a previous post here: “Broad and Shallow to Deep and Narrow“.
The idea is that with better communication tools (that are more and more participatory instead of passive) – we tend to focus on things we personally like instead of taking part in larger, broader cultural activities. So, we seek out websites catering to the type of music we like instead of everyone watching MTV’s popular video countdown shows.
The article can be found here: In A Fragmented Cultureverse, Can Pop References Still Pop?
Are you finding it harder to communicated about large events? This is why I think advertisers focus on things like the Super Bowl so much. It is one of the few events we “all” still tune into. Otherwise, you are getting smaller and smaller segments. The upside of these small demos is that you get really focused groups. If I want to focus on teens, I target MTV on weeknights. High income college grads? Probably HBO or AMC dramas.
But what we will all look back on fondly when we are 50? I bet we won’t be smiling warming as we all hum along to “Friday” by Rebecca Black. Are we losing shared culture? Does that affect our community and connection to each other?
Netflix has been making great strides setting itself up as a content distributor. The famous quote is that it wants to “be HBO before HBO becomes Netflix”. They seem to be following this model pretty well, offering movies and tv shows to their subscribers online.
However, while they are making some original content (see: House of Cards), most of their TV content is acquired from other sources. The potential problem that stems from this is what happens if the content providers get jealous of how much you are profiting off their works?
In an ideal situation, Netflix is paying enough for the content that the content owner (let’s say AMC) is happy to let Netflix deal with the bandwidth, customer service, etc. But, what happens if so many customers start cutting cable that they stop paying for AMC because they know they can just watch the episodes of “The Walking Dead” later on AMC?
This might be creeping up on Nickelodeon. There are reports that more people are watching Nickelodeon’s kid-centric shows on Netflix – where you can stream them without commercials and back-to-back-to-back – than on the cable channel.
Nickelodeon might get worried that it will become simply a producer/studio instead of a network. And that brings big changes to their business strategy.
I am going to predict that eventually Nick gets weary of Netflix’s power here. I’d bet to compliment (and potentially replace in the future) their cable channel, Nickelodeon launches their own web service/application that streams their content to consumers for a fee or with ad support.
Windows 8 is getting heavily critiqued lately. This is largely because it has a new interface that is drastically different from what people think of when they picture a Windows desktop.
There are surveys quoting as many as 90% of users of Windows 8 hate it. The problem Microsoft faces with Windows is a classic damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t scenario. People are leaving behind their classic desktop PC operating systems for tablets with touch-based operating systems. If Microsoft doesn’t innovate and keep up, they will be seen as “old” and stale.
If they update to be more touch centric, they alienate their oldest, most comfortable users. These are people who aren’t really “tech savvy”, but are just used to Windows. They know how it works from years of buying PCs.
The irony is that with a move to the “Metro/Modern UI” style in Windows 8, they may push these users to other Operating Systems like OSX or even Linux with windows-style skins because they actually look more like old XP style Windows than Windows 8 does.
Once in a while someone comes along and makes a passionate argument justifying that they have to illegally download content because it is the only way they can get it. Except that very often, it isn’t. They provide a false argument where they don’t want to pay for the way they could get it, because it is slightly more expensive than they want it. Or, it comes to them in a method that is not the medium they would prefer it be delivered to them.
So, they push the “bad behavior” off of themselves and on to the very entity that is providing the content that they claim to love and desire so desperately they have to steal to obtain it. This is bullshit, plain and simple.
Giving the consumer what they want is great, and obviously the key to any great business. But it only works for rational demands.
After that point a company simply can’t grant everyone’s greatest wishes. Its a business, it costs money. Shows cost money to make, and they have to make money back. Many businesses have determined that certain methods of delivery, like over cable distribution systems where the overhead, distribution, and customer service is handled instead of an expense.
There are lots of things I want that I can’t have because I lack the resources like a Viking range, a BMW X5 and washboard abs. Doesn’t mean I’m allowed to go out and steal them. Same goes for music, movies and video games. Just because I want the content and it’s convenient to steal doesn’t mean I should.
There’s right, and there’s wrong. Stealing stuff is just plain wrong. We learn this as children, yet somehow we make elaborate excuses for it as we get older, like “Well, I’m just copying bits. I’m not really stealing.” Or “If it weren’t so hard for me to get legitimately, I wouldn’t have to steal it instead.”
When the studios make it hard for you to have content you want, you should just live without it, or reward other content providers who make it easier for you to do business with them.
Consumers have to stop expecting to have everyone kiss their ass just because they want something. This is the warped, misguided reason why “Six Strikes” policies are created to begin with.
Certainly, there can be arguments for better methods. At some point if someone provides a product closer to what customers want, then they deserve to win, but I would argue that if no one is coming in to serve the demand, it is not sustainable. If it is sustainable, someone will come along and take away their customers. That is how the free market works. Players adapt or die.
But the sense of entitlement to product is just staggering. As Andy Ihnatko put it:
The world does not OWE you Season 1 of “Game Of Thrones” in the form you want it at the moment you want it at the price you want to pay for it. If it’s not available under 100% your terms, you have the free-and-clear option of not having it.
It has even gotten to the point where when a company does ship something that is available anywhere you want it, for the lowest possible cost, at any time, as much as you want – people still complain that there are credits. That’s right. God forbid we acknowledge the people took time to make the product you are marathon watching because its-just-that-good to devote 13 straight hours to over a weekend.
I love this argument – “Give us what we want, when we want it, how we want it, and for the price we’re willing to pay for it and we’ll happily hand over our money for it.”
This doesn’t sound ”comically selfish” – it is selfish. First, the problem was not being able to get the content we wanted when we wanted it. Then, came the laments about pricing. How dare seasons of television cost anything more than [INSERT ARBITRARY NUMBER I REMOVED FROM MY RECTUM]!
Now, people are getting their panties in a twist over having to sit through opening credits? Where does it end? At what point does this blatant selfishness turn into, “I hate this actor/these mushy love scenes/this director. If you remove all of that, I’ll be beating down your door to give you money, then complaining some more.”