Scripting News for 2/19/2007

Cool overkill use of technology. Rather than wait for the pot to boil downstairs, I pointed the webcam at it, went upstairs, zoomed in on it, and when it starts boiling I run downstairs. 

Britain’s Channel 4 News “highlights the images and stories from Iraq left out of mainstream news.” 

NH campaign linkage 

Thanks to Betsy Devine for pointers to New Hampshire primary campaign coverage on the web.

The Manchester Union-Leader has a page with campaign coverage, both Republican and Democratic.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party has a News & Events page which appears to list campaign events. Two are listed for Hillary Clinton next weekend.

The Republican Party lists upcoming events on their home page, they also have a calendar.

I’m going to spend next Sunday (Feb 25) in New Hampshire, looking for campaign events.

If you know of any events, please post a note on the wiki.

Hate the ad, love the product 

Ever see those ads on TV for a desipicable product called Head-On? The ads suck, and you know they did it deliberately because later they run an ad with a very unpleasant person saying how much the ad sucks, but they love the product. An ad for headache medicine that gives you a headache. Followed by a meta-ad (an ad about the ad) that gives you two headaches for the price of one. Oy.

I feel the same way about The Long Tail, because if you’re in the “tail” it doesn’t look like a tail at all. If you see yourself as outside the tail, in the head for example, it may look like a tail.

(And we all know the tail doesn’t really wag the dog.)

The Long Tail metaphor helps old media people feel like they’re still in charge. So does the idea of Citizen Media, because old media people are cynics about citizens, they think we’re lazy couch potatoes who have never had a good idea or a noble thought, they’re the smart people living the interesting lives. We’re like the Gammas and Deltas in Brave New World, there are a lot of us, and our job is to consume, consume, consume — what they tell us to.

Nice story, but that’s not what’s going on.

Imagine if you looked at telephones in the aggregate. So many people having so many conversations, how do you know which ones to listen to? It’s so confusing! We need a metaphor. Or maybe we don’t, because we live in a world with ubiquitous telephones (lost mountain climbers call home to say goodbye before they die), and really — were there any metaphors that could explain what this ubiquity would mean in practice, when we lived in a world without telephones everywhere?

Just the same, we can’t understand, in our old terms, what it means to have publishing in the hands of everyone. But it’s no longer such a theoretical thing. In 1995, it was ridiculous to predict the world we live in now. It’s just as ridiculous today to predict that (more) big, unprecedented change is coming.

I’ve only met Wired’s Chris Anderson once, on a happy occasion (I was receiving an award from him!) and now I’d like to shake his hand. I’ve become a regular reader of his blog, and usually grimace and wince as he spouts comfort food for print journos about the new media.

I hate the ad (The Long Tail) but I love the product. Chris says he creates his own media by mixing together sources into his subscription list. He doesn’t want to delegate to anyone else the job of deciding what he’ll read.

There it is — one of the key ideas of the revolution.

And even better, this is what Anderson does for a living (edit and assemble writing). So he’s willing to conceive of a world where Everyman does what only The Elite could do before. That’s a man with a future, imho.

Right on right on.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by SleepyDog on February 19, 2007 at 10:03 am

    This really isn’t a comment on today’s Scripting News. But, Dave, you might want to check this out:

    http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20070219_the_real_iraq/

    Reply

  2. Hi Dave, loved the post from 1995. Reminded me of reading Bill Gates’ book The Road Ahead from the same year. I seem to remember a sort of disclaimer saying ‘What I get right will seem obvious, and what I get wrong will be laughable’. How true.

    Reply

  3. Posted by ceedee on February 19, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Chris Anderson isn’t the only media figure who “creates his own media by mixing together sources.”

    I was pretty stunned to hear Andreas Whittam Smith (legendary MSM journalist and co-founder of the UK’s Independent newspaper) describe himself as “a competitor” to a new style magazine on a BBC Radio4 programme last weekend because he “increasingly makes up my own media diet as a mixture of what I read online, what I buy and so on. And I vary it according to my circumstances.”
    “My sort of reader prefers to make up my own mix,” he added, confirming that included multimedia formats.

    ‘Saturday Review’ website
    (AWS’s comment is about 31 minutes into the programme.)

    [Streaming the RealAudio recording through the BBC's 'Listen Again' facility may not be permitted outside of our Imperial Majesty's Sovereign Waters -- a privilege granted to those subject to the BBC's licence fee, I think -- but I have an 7MB MP3 version of the segment I can upload somewhere, if anybody would seriously like to listen.]

    Reply

  4. RE Hate the Ad Love the Product:

    Yep yep yep. Critical mass keeps building. The 3-tv-network world, so seemingly ubiquitous in my youth, has fallen far back in the rearview mirror.
    Heartening to some of us how seemingly solid ground turns to vaporous ether beneath one’s feet so quickly.

    Mixing, sharing mixes, remixing: yow, what an astonishing period we’re entering. Instant blogs. Instant slideshows. Instant mixes. Group intelligence continuing its rise from the primordial net ooze.

    Thanks again for not putting down the blogging tools.

    – stan

    Reply

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