Thursday, September 30, 2004

Presidential Debate Drinking Game

How about the Presidential Debates as a drinking game? Though it may be a way to attract college students, I was thinking of it more as a means to cut through the spin, a helpful tool for media analysis. So how about a drink everything Bush says flip-flop or accuses Kerry of changing his position? How about a drink every time Kerry exceeds the time limit and every time Bush keeps it so simple that there is time left to respond? I'm sure you can think of a few more.

Bush's Top Ten Flip-Flops

Warming up the debate.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

AdSense Is Internet Currency

I'm stuck by the fact that AdSense has become the internet currency. Several startup sites I'm using lately incorporate AdSense into there business model. 

For some it appears AdSense is replacing venture capital and others it looks like a unit of measure for the venture capitalists. I can see the interview, "How much revenue have you generated from AdSense in the last 6 months?" The spreadsheets and chart displayed.

It is micropayments. There will be others. (Sure I'm not first to say this.)


Trade Secrets

Spent an hour listening to Trade Secrets Radio. This is a mp3 (and more?) radio show by Dave Winer and Adam Curry. Here's my take on it all.

Many new concepts need to reach critical mass before they work. Email lists are an example. Without enough subscribers there is no discussion. I think the same is happening with these type of "digital audio shows." With Trade Secrets and Gillmor Gang and others, there are now enough nerdy content to make a serious nerdy (early adapter) market. Other markets will follow. New markets will be discovered. I have no doubt there is a market for audio.

My next observation is that for all the hype about digital radio since my stint at the FCC (74-78), it is misnamed. This really is digital radio. Consumers can manipulate the content. Basically you can pick and choose your programs (shows, mp3s, whatever they'll eventually be called) and string them together with your digital playback unit (iPod, Treo, PPC, etc.). These digital shows obsolesces non-talk, broadcast radio.

However, a usability/marketing problem. I've already commented about the uneven volume of this audio which is probably an easy fix. But there is another problem. Blogs are the premier example of microcontent. Users want to pick and choose. MP3 generally is one big chunk. In this case an hour plus. So the next step is to pick and choose the segments you want, stream them together like you want, listen when you want. For me it was at the breakfast table this morning while glancing at, then I finished listening with my laptop on the Metro (subway) after work. Anyway, it will get there and I'll keep listening. 

Friday, September 10, 2004

Iron City in Aluminum Bottles

Iron City beer is the classic steelworker's beer. IC at the bar after a day on the line. In steel cans. Made in the plant, paid for with a paycheck from the plant.

IC aluminum bottlesMove into the next century and Pittsburgh Brewing has announced aluminium bottles. A few unionists must be spinning in their graves.

C&O Canal Biking Guide

Since moving to DC 30 years ago, I've slowly become more and more fascinated by the C&O Canal. This is a trail that goes along the Potomac River from Washington DC to Cumberland MD. A few years ago I heard that a trail from Cumberland to Pittsburgh was nearing completion. I immediately wanted to do a bike adventure with my son and hopefully my brother and his son. Somethings never worked out for this big trip.

So this fall I am trying my hardest to take a long weekend and do the DC to Cumberland portion. Actually, I plan to leave from my house near the W&OD trail, so the overall trip should be about 200 miles. There is a wonderful site that makes it easy to plan the trip: C&O Canal Biking Guide. (Thanks!)

Problem is finding motel rooms on Columbus Day weekend in Hancock and Harpers Ferry. More later.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Countdown on MSNBC is Best News Show

I've been watching Keith Olbermann on my TiVo for nearly six months do Countdown on MSNBC. In my opinion, it is the very best news show on television. He takes the resources of NBC, he get interviews for every one of the five segments and adds his wit to deliver the news. Not just the PR and spin, but the news.

News is so much spin these days. The 'No Spin Zone' was a great hook but that promise went unfulfilled as O'Reilly added his own spin. I'm sure more rightwing viewers think that Countdown is not spin free, but from my view he does a far better job at being objective than even the standard 6:00 o'clock news.

Here is a good example. The standard line even on Air America was that the GOP got a bounce out of their convention. (And the standard line was that the Dems did not.) Countdown did not just look at the first two polls that came out - they looked at 5 or more and then interview an expert on the matter. What bounce? Great stuff.

Don't miss Countdown. TiVo Countdown.