Archive for the ‘Digital’ Category
I know I sound like a broken record (that’s one of those black plastic discs, oh, never mind, you had to be there), but I continue to support the vitality of print media.
So does the New York Times. But as I noted before, the appearance of the New York Times on The Daily Show didn’t do the Times any favors. Especially baffling was the interview with Times Assistant Managing Editor Rick Berke. I thought Executive Editor Bill Keller was realistic and thoughtful, but he apparently didn’t like his own performance, as he says in this week’s Time magazine 10 Questions feature:
You recently appeared as part of a Daily Show segment that treated the paper as a comical anachronism. How do you respond to those who seem eager for newspapers to die out?
Tommy Giglio, CHICAGO
Bill Keller: Well, that’s the last time I try to be a good sport. Even my wife told me that I looked faintly ridiculous, and she was trying to make me feel better. Among the people who would miss us most would be the wise-guy pundits and scriptwriters for satirical TV shows, because they riff on the news we produce.
That’s an okay point about riffing on traditionally gathered news, but good satire doesn’t necessarily mean cheap shots. In this case, they pointed out—and the New York Times agreed—that the news in the print paper is at best yesterday’s news. That’s just a fact.
What struck me as ironic about Bill Keller’s appearance on the 10 Questions page is that the questions from Time readers were collected online, and the page also recommends “To watch a video interview with Bill Keller and to subscribe to the 10 Questions podcast on iTunes, go to time.com/10questions.” But what’s really weird is the graphic that depicts Bill Keller in a Polaroid photo, which unlike struggling but still kicking print media is an actual extinct medium.
A newspaper, Web, video, podcast and iTunes page in a magazine, with a Polaroid twist. That’s what I call synergy.
I’ve explained before that there is a certain American Idol “enthusiasm” in my world that, as predicted, has not completely waned with the end of the season.
For non-Idol folks, yesterday was a watershed day. It was the first of fifty concerts by the Idol finalists, this one in Portland.
I get almost all my Idol news second-hand, with very few stops at what I take to be thousands of Idol Web sites, blogs and other media options. But the Idol concerts are such a big thing that I couldn’t resist a truly unique opportunity. Here’s how it works:
One of the best-known Idol sites is Rickey.org, which has had over 22 million visitors since April 2004:
Rickey.org is the essential American Idol and Reality TV fansite — and also the official website of Rickey Yaneza.
What I now know is that among its many resources, Rickey.org features Rickey on live video talking about Idol. But yesterday was more special than that. Rickey arranged with a friend in Portland to broadcast audio of the first concert live from her cell phone. Unfortunately, the cellcast did not include video, though there were people their chatting about what they witnessed, along with photos via Twitter. Rickey also filled in the visuals by commenting, mugging and dancing in his video box.
Around 3,000 people showed up for this cellcast. You might imagine that the audio originating from a cell phone in the audience and mediated by all the stops along the way to our computer might sound pretty bad, but it was worse. Some of us know what these performers sound like, and are familiar with the songs, so we can fill in some of the noise and the blanks. But really, it was almost painful to listen to.
My insight was this. It is the 21st century, which I grew up thinking was going to be super-slick in media and in general. In some ways, this experience did employ some pretty amazing tools along the way. But in total, all these cool tools were being strung together ad hoc in a bizarre chain to produce something that sounded worse than the wax cylinder of Thomas Edison reciting Mary Had a Little Lamb.
This is not the 21st century I signed up for.