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msb-0295 What's happening to your newspaper

Page history last edited by Charles-A. Rovira 15 years, 9 months ago


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msb-0295 What's happening to your newspaper?


Direct Link to episode -> http://media.libsyn.com/media/msb/msb-0295_Whats_happening_to_your_newspaper_.m4a


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I'm getting some feedback to my ideas of setting up something for podcast metrics.

I am also getting some more books to review and some music to play. Oh joy...

The selections on this episode come from a delightful young performer I met at PodCampNYC 2.0. Enjoy.

---- "Sweet July" by: "Natalie Gelman" http://NatalieGelman.com




---- "Rest of the Way" by: "Natalie Gelman" http://NatalieGelman.com




---- "Half Dead" by: "Natalie Gelman" http://NatalieGelman.com




Like film photography before it, printed newspapers are dying. "This" [ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/business/media/28link.html?ref=business ] article in the New York Times points out what and why.

But this is not something to lament.

---- "Cross Your Heart" by: "Natalie Gelman" http://NatalieGelman.com




Like everything else, the cost of producing a newspaper is always going up. So the Madison, Wisconsin "Capital Times" is going online.

The metrics for the entire podcasting industry don't equal that of broadcasting.

They never will.

Let me repeat that: "They Never Will".

But the rise of blogs, Digg and Slashdot style comment boards, participatory journalism, podcasts, videocasts, livecasts, Google, Youtube, and wikis have utterly wrecked the old economic model for the production and consumption of information. (Creation is something else though. Those costs have actually risen but the efficiency available because of digitization and computer mediated work flow make it seem like they've gone down.)

Once the spread of information grew greater than what we could get from any broadcast media, the writing was on the wall.

Once the quality of information was more accurate and had better maintainability than what we could get from any broadcast media, the writing was on the wall.

Once the value added by broadcast media was less than the cost of obtaining it over the internet, the writing was on the wall.

From the point of view of comparative economics, once it is cheaper to use something other than paper or it is cheaper to use something other than a transmitter, (quite apart from the asynchronous client-server nature of the internet which allows us to time-shift and break the tyranny of the clock,) its just a question of time before broadcast prices itself right out of existence,

• as surely as near-death of the film camera,

• as surely as the near-death of of the classified ad,

• as surely as the near-death of the travel agency,

• as surely as the near death of the typewriter,

°  white-out,

°  the word-processor,

°  the turntable.

(Send me your own examples and we can have some fun with this.)

I am not predicting their death.

These media will "not" die.

But, like the automobile made a rarity of buggy whip makers. in the same ways and for the same reasons, producing physical examples of information is too slow, too expensive (but I'm repeating myself, time "is" money after all,) to survive in anything but a niche. (Think about that.)

The internet will do the same for analog transmission of information and digital broadcasting will suffer a slower but inevitable reduction.

Even if broadcasters don't die, they will be off of the transmitters they are currently using by the end of the decade (a sure bet since they're supposed to go digital by February 2009,) and I expect them to wean them selves off of those and not replace them when they start failing.

The internet however is a vastly different world.

There is no scarce resource to control.

That means its impossible to demand the margins that the broadcasters are used to or even need to stay in business.


I'm in a particular niche, one that is utterly unserved.

The amount of broadcasting about MS is just about nil.

Given the statistics kept on disease on this planet, since MS strikes approximately 1 in 1,200, the amount of broadcasting about MS should be about one minute per day.

But its not, is it?

But that's broadcasting for you.

Nobody ever said it was representative.

("The news" is really "the events." There's never any time for exposition of the factors that led up to "the events". Some people make an effort but even the best of them fail at being truly objective. [It doesn't matter what the politics of the thrower are, a projective thrown at a window hard enough will break it. That's an objective fact. You can even describe the throw, the release, the parabolic trajectory, the impact and the break modulus of the window using objective metrics, but the rest is all conjecture.])

Broadcasting is all about pretty, happy people, going about their pretty happy lives.

No one is ever sick for longer than an episode of "House M.D."

That's not reality, and not even reality TV wants do have to deal with reality.

The 15% of the world that the W.H.O. ("World Health Organization") estimates is living with some disability right now don't ever figure in the broadcast media.

I don't begrudge them not wanting to deal with it.

Hell, I don't want to have to deal with it but I'm stuck with it.

So the internet gives us all a channel, for want of a better word, where I have put more information about how this one MSer is coping with his MS than had ever existed before in history, and that hundreds of people have downloaded from all over the planet (64,000+ downloads from over 120 countries.)

Because of the long-tail of podcasting these figures are real-time when I recorded this and will have grown by the time you read or hear this.

---- "Leave" by: "Natalie Gelman" http://NatalieGelman.com




The economics of information production in the age of the internet have made obsolete the observation by A. J. Liebling of the New Yorker that "Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one".

Anybody can own one. (I used a "Linotronic" [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linotronic ] "300" [ http://www.scribd.com/doc/16432/Linotronic-300500-flyer ] imagesetter back in the mid to late 1980s back when I was producing the MS Newstletter for the Ottawa Chapter of the MS Society. [Before commercial typesetting fell to the same comparative cost/price curve.])

But owning one is fundamentally self-defeating. It is too limited in scope and in the reach (both time and space) of the information in can produce.

The internet gives us a means whereby we can engage in "conversations" with each other.

Most of the time, our conversations are not worth the air we breathed to utter them, but they are also at the heart of the very concept of "participatory democracy."

The internet is merely the newest technology through which we are restoring "participatory democracy."

That's good and that's bad, isn't it?

---- "Always Was" by: "Natalie Gelman" http://NatalieGelman.com





Theme and 'incidental music' from:


 by: "Guy David",


 no album,

 via personal contract

Song list

"Sweet July"

 by: "Natalie Gelman"


 album: "Natalie Gelman"

 via: http://www.juneberry78s.com/sounds/index.htm

"Rest of the Way"

 by: "Natalie Gelman"


 album: "Natalie Gelman"

 via: http://www.juneberry78s.com/sounds/index.htm

"Half Dead"

 by: "Natalie Gelman"


 album: "Natalie Gelman"

 via: http://www.juneberry78s.com/sounds/index.htm

"Cross Your Heart"

 by: "Natalie Gelman"


 album: "Natalie Gelman"

 via: http://www.juneberry78s.com/sounds/index.htm


 by: "Natalie Gelman"


 album: "Natalie Gelman"

 via: http://www.juneberry78s.com/sounds/index.htm

"Always Was"

 by: "Natalie Gelman"


 album: "Natalie Gelman"

 via: http://www.juneberry78s.com/sounds/index.htm




 All images, synchronized with the songs, are of the artists and come via music.podshow.com except when they aren't. :-)





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