Tuesday, February 27

Washington Post on new media

From: Apple - profiles - washington post

Video: apple_pro-washington_post_720x416.mov (video/quicktime Object)

Today's theme is snarky-ness. I'm blogging this just for reference. I despise it but it is interesting. So let's kick the tires.

It's a slickly edited piece from apple. It has no authenticity. It's only interesting because it give a fakey insight into the Washington Post's video journalism group. They have 50 people on staff roaming with camera's... that's interesting. But it's low on real information and insight.

I'm sure the people involved are very interesting people but apple does a nice job of making them seem like passionless boring people without original ideas... because heh, it's not about the people, it's about selling Final Cut and apple computers, and if the people are boring it makes the technology look more interesting.

"I like it when the technology just goes away and you can focus on the aesthetic." Are we on message? Yack. Fluff. Apple needs to rethink their marketing strategy. But then Apple boycott's the blogging world, and doesn't get authentic and real people. Rather ironic.

The most interesting point was what Jim brady, the Exec VP, called "appointment viewing". Apparently "appointment viewing" is the misguided idea that people will come back once a week to re-visit a story to see a new five minute video clip.

Here the opportunities for internet based distibution for media are wide open and Jim is taking the worst thing about television, that it's not space or time shiftable and recreating it on the internet in a vain homage to obsolescence. The only thing he's missing is to make their video pieces disappear after being online for an hour, which is why there content isn't a complete failure because shows stick around long enough that enough people stumble on them. And stumble is the word.

Here's a hint washington post. Throw out the interactive flash storytelling crap put the story in a nicely packaged downloadable video format like MP4 and throw it in a good subscribeable RSS/Media RSS feed with some permalinks to some supporting web page based information. It's called "subscribership"... and you should know what that is because you've been delivering newspapers to people's doors for a century. So why do you make people work so hard to follow up on stories online? Why don't you just work on a virtual baseball bat that can beat them over the head. You're version of delivery is akin to leaving the newspaper laying half way to the front porch in a puddle in the rain.

I don't know why mainstream press people are so resistant to getting a clue. I guess they've just started grasped the web1.0 idea of the "web page" and can't see anything beyond it. They think they have... but they haven't realized "flying type" is not real interactivity. RSS, metadata, microformats... beyond the web page... beyond the desktop even. Clue into it.

Tags: brand interactive-brand nprness washingtonpostness storytelling video-editing tom-kennedy apple final-cut washington-post laptop-editing video-on-the-net distribution jen-crandall journalism creative-class rob-curley appointment-viewing=bs


Rupert said...

"I don't know why mainstream press people are so resistant to getting a clue. I guess they've just started grasped the web1.0 idea of the "web page" and can't see anything beyond it."

I talk to people at the BBC in London about this - people who work on all sorts of projects, and there are two major hurdles: they are CONVINCED that if you don't hold the viewer on your webpage, then you've lost control of branding, content, and rendered the whole thing purposeless. also, they genuinely don't understand what good could come from giving people downloadable video (as opposed to undownloaded stream) and letting them run the show. They are afraid and most importantly, they DO NOT USE THIS TECHNOLOGY, SO IT SEEMS POINTLESS AND GIMMICKY TO THEM. Flash streaming is much more like old media and Web 1.0, as you say - it's just something they can understand more easily. We'll have to wait until people who do understand get into the important jobs in these corps, maybe. Meanwhile, we just keep innovating...

Michael Meiser said...

It's true. It's a control issue. I got an email from someone at the Washington post. They are experimenting in downloadable, RSS enabled video podcasting. The iPod has given them something to latch onto. But still since they only see it as the ipod as a platform they don't get any of the larger issues.

I like referring people to


over and over because I think the presentation jumps the major hurdles. You don't HAVE to control it... all you need to be is the originator, the source and not to abuse your power. If Desperate Housewives was freely downloadable on the web not only would 90% of the cost of the product evaporate... the cost of distribution and all the middle men associated with it... this means you can put a fraction of the ads in it and make even MORE PROFIT.

Anyway, I was saying not only does the producer or owner get more control and more profite, but when a program is already freely avaialable on the open web it cuts out the black market demand. People aren't going to download it, and risk illegal redistribution unless there's an extreme amount interstitial ads. It doesn't just cut out demand for p2p black market, it cuts out demand for bootlegg DVD presses. THe reality is this new economy will only hurt the distributors who will be forced to compete or die, something they're not used to. It will infact cause a HUGE growth in the industry... it'll be at least as big a jump in revolution as say what craigs list has done to classifieds, or ebay, or amazon.

The problem is distribution has controlled the game for so long that there is tremendous institutional reistence and beuracracy to overcome. It takes a real leap for these companies. A huge leap. One they're not going to make until there's significant examples of success.

The only thing missing in that presentation (url above) is HOW will the right ads find the right eyeballs, and the key to that is syndication. There will be infinite market makers, communities, and each one will represent a particular market segment. Some big some small. Just like in the distibutors in the age old tv world these market makers will connect a certain niche of the market with your content. They will bring special value in that these marketmakers will know their niche better then anyone and they'll be able to place the most effective ads and promote products the most effectively.

Unlike age old distributors though the economics will be completely different... infinitely more competitive. They will no longer have a monopoly on an entire niche, like say australia. I call the concept "broadband communities".

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