Scripting News for 10/2/2006

Washington Times: “The facts of the disgrace of Mark Foley, who was a Republican member of the House from a Florida district until he resigned last week, constitute a disgrace for every Republican member of Congress.” 

David Bossie: “If Speaker Hastert was willing to sacrifice a child to protect Rep. Foley’s seat and his own leadership position, then he surely does not share our American and conservative values.” 

I bought a SlingBox to make it possible to watch TV anywhere in the house over wifi, but I’m puzzling with the installation instructions. I have a Motorola box for my Comcast cable TV setup. No problem with the Ethernet connection. But I’m confused about how to connect the cables to the back of the settop box. Any clues are appreciated.  

BTW, if you liked the West Wing and haven’t been watching Studio 60 on Sunset Strip, I just did you a big favor. It’s a wonderful new show, on NBC, Mondays at 10PM. I watched the closing scene of the second episode about 18 times, it’s that good. As with the West Wing, the men play supporting roles for the real stars, played by women. In this one, the two leading women, Harriet Hayes and Jordan McDeere, are fantastic, brilliant, sassy and spunky.  

Steve Williams has an RSS Airplane. Kevin Kelly has an RSS Cable Analyzer. Josh Bancroft has RSS Shoes. Denver has the RSS Football Team

Here’s a Democrat that gives Republicans their due. Republicans broke the law, covered up, and they’re going to jail. Ultimately this will be good for the Republican Party, it’ll flush out the criminals that took over the party. Any Republican that sits by and says nothing is going down with the evildoers. Maybe sometime in this century it will be safe to vote Republican again, but it sure isn’t now.  

Liz Gannes: “DRM-buster DVD Jon has a new target in his sights, and it’s a big piece of fruit. He has reverse-engineered Apple’s Fairplay and is starting to license it to companies who want their media to play on Apple’s devices.” 

Kim Cameron: “Instead of suppliers advertising what they want us to buy (by spamming our attention), we’ll advertise what we want to buy, and suppliers will make us offers.” 

Bob Morris: “The Republicans commenting here are suddenly deeply concerned you aren’t showing love, and worse yet, sowing dissent. Do you feel their pain?” 

Oh geez, look what I started. RSS pillow cases. Hehee. :-) 

Why PayPerPost is better 

Rob Hof in BusinessWeek explains why this service, which pays bloggers to write about products, is so challenging. The Zen Master teaches us to believe that if it is it must be good, to not to struggle with existence, so in that spirit PayPerPost is good. In fact, as with many other things, it’s better than the old way of doing things, because it’s out in the open, it’s existence is disclosed. In the print world, there’s a pretense that such a practice doesn’t exist, but of course it does.

I saw it happen in the 80s when I ran a software business that spent as much as $100K per month on advertising. I noticed that when I used a certain phrase in my ads, that phrase would show up in the editorial coverage. It wasn’t contractual, as it is with PayPerPost, there was no clear obligation for PC Week, MacWorld or InfoWorld to provide this service, it’s possible that the authors didn’t even know they were doing it, but the net effect is the same as PayPerPost.

And then there was the time a publisher and editor came on a joint visit. When the editor went to the men’s room, the publisher said that if I bought an ad the editor would cover my product. That time it was explicit, but not out in the open. The readers of his magazine may have suspected that there was a connection between advertising and editorial, but they didn’t have the proof that PayPerPost would have provided.

Then there is the tendency of the publications to favor products of the big companies, the ones that run millions of dollars of ads a month instead of tens of thousands of dollars. They may believe the big companies had the staying power, and therefore tilted the table in favor of their products, but they were also the ones paying their salaries.

When I was a contributing editor at Wired, I went to parties where advertisers and writers mingled. The advertisers would tell us how cool their products were. Could you go to the parties if you weren’t an advertiser? I forgot to ask. :-)

In other words, this is hardly a new practice, but at least now it’s out in the open. Readers know to ask the bloggers if they are members of PayPerPost. They also might be aware that there are less visible ways of buying influence.

9 responses to this post.

  1. I’ll start taking orders for my RSS icon throw-pillow covers as soon as my funding comes through. ;-)

    I have made some careful calcuations, and I figure I should be able to get by with $23.8 million. For now.

    Reply

  2. Posted by hexatron on October 2, 2006 at 11:56 am

    Anyone else admit to liking South Park?
    Republican Showing Love

    I was being questioned for a jury.
    The judge asked ‘What television programs do you watch?”
    I said a really liked South Park.
    I was gone in no time flat.

    Reply

  3. Posted by RetiredMidn on October 2, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    Foley exchanged grotesquely inappropriate IMs with a male page and is justifiably gone within hours or days of the revelation, and good riddance. (And the same goes for those, if any, who participated in a coverup.)

    In 1983, Gerry Studds (from my hometown congressional district) exchanged bodily fluids with a male page and served 12 more years in Congress as a hero of the Democratic Party.

    Where’s the sense of proportion here?

    Reply

  4. I think the motorola comcast box only does composite video out… use whatever the best quality video that has the same jacks out of the moto box and into the slingbox. You’re stuck with analog audio. Of course, there were new boxes introduced last week that have higher quality connectors.

    Reply

  5. James, I’m really confused. I don’t know enough of the jargon to make sense of your post.

    Retired, here’s the Wikipedia page on Gerry Studds.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Studds

    I don’t know where the sense of proportion is, but Foley fucked up bigtime, and Hastert did even worse by looking the other way.

    Reply

  6. Do you have one of those 3-prong (yellow/red/white) RCA cables that connect a stereo VCR to a TV or stereo amp? Use one of those… the connections should be color coded… sorry for the jargon.

    Reply

  7. Dave, I’m not sure I want to go down the rathole in arguing (as I believe) that (at least in the case of BusinessWeek) coverage is NOT determined by size of advertising budget. If there’s any correlation, it’s more prosaic–big companies, who have bigger advertising budgets, also often have the products that most people are going to see, whether they’re good or bad, so we’re almost obligated to tell people about them. The trick is in being fair and making efforts not to ignore smaller companies.

    The fact is, with PayPerPost, there’s no requirement for disclosure by the bloggers, which is the only place it matters. If bloggers disclose, then I don’t have as much of a problem, though I still doubt how effective this kind of marketing will be. But the mere fact that some people may know PayPerPost exists does not constitute any useful disclosure on any particular blog or post. It just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Reply

  8. Rob, okay, let’s not go down the rathole, and my piece wasn’t meant as an indictment of Business Week, or even MSM because all that I said is true of bloggers too.

    My point — sure PayPerPost is disgusting — there’s no justifiication for any blogger accepting their money, it sucks that we all have to say now that we don’t take their money (I don’t plan to say it though, I assume my readers give me the benefit of the doubt).

    But there is nothing we can do about it.

    That was the point. It’s there, and it may or may not gain traction but…

    There is nothing we can do about it.

    No matter how you parse it…

    Reply

  9. btw… I got levitra spam from someone “thanking me for my useful comments” last night, delivered to an address that I used a long time ago to register at scripting.com, but not the address from which I posted last night…

    Reply

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