Final Project Memo

14 12 2010

As a yacht owning, investor-type person, I have decided to fund two start-ups following our indie media presentations, a not-for-profit and a for profit:

Not-For-Profit Pick: Big Gay Bible Belt by Adam Polaski

The concept behind this start-up seemed very strong. In an area like the Bible Belt, there is a need for a strong media presence that is supportive of gay rights and issues. Utilizing group blogging and an already passionate reader base, this blog could be very resonant with its targeted audience. This blog wouldn’t need a lot of resources to start and could really get off the ground and make a difference in the red states.

For-Profit Pick: Cars for Rich People by Mary Apesos

A tongue and cheek look at the luxury car industry like this blog would be a fun read for the car enthusiast, luxury product lover, or someone looking to buy a car. I think it would be easy to find advertisers who would be interested in working with and possibly partnering with it, like luxury goods groups– caviar or fancy footwear businesses. The use of three different classic move stars to serve as personalities for reviewing the cars is a fresh way to provide content and would bond readers to specific parts of the site.



Video Purge

18 11 2010

Here at Consistently Christine we (and by “we,” I mean me) have run into a lot of really interesting videos detailing the media and its effects. This post it dedicated to those videos. We (not the royal) recommend you make some popcorn and wait for the Ithaca internet to buffer these gems.

Al Jazeera takes a look at how the lack for foreign reporting is impacting the American media:

“Social Media in Plain English”– equating social media with ice cream. Favorite quote, “Silvia’s pickle ice cream had a small but loyal following.”

“The Media Revolution”– a nice Russian-voiced narrative about changes in media over the past decade or so, if you weren’t paying attention.

“Did You Know 4.0”– taking another look at changes in social and mainstream media.

“It is as if the most fundamental laws in the media universe have been fundamentally overthrown.”

The Slideshow: Garbage and Gold

18 11 2010

On the heels of Adam’s slideshow post comes this article from the Columbia Journalism Review that talks about how slideshows represent the best and the worst of journalism, from titillation to in-depth coverage.

Slideshows, Chatlin Matlock writes, have become an editorial priority for sites trying to capitalize on page views.

Slideshows quickly became an economic salve, and so they soon became an editorial priority. The agenda for weekly story meetings had a spot reserved to discuss upcoming slideshows. When that wasn’t enough, more meetings were held specifically to generate new slideshow ideas. Freelancers were encouraged to pitch stories that could be turned into slideshows.

Matlock continues on to say that most slideshows fall into six categories: the “listicle,” countdown, timeline, aggregator, sex show, and essay.

What do you think? Have slideshows become an editorial priority and are there any that don’t fall into Matlock’s taxonomy?


… Thaaaat’s Embarrassing, Pt. 2

18 11 2010

As a follow-up to last week’s post about the NYT editor who made a comment about how subscribers are basically paying a large amount of money for their yearly subscriptions unknowingly, comes an article from Slate with detailed instructions on how to get a discounted subscription.

The average price for a Times subscription is $769.90 a year but through a bit of wrangling with customer service, Slate writer Timothy Noah gets it down to $384.40.

Does Noah feel guilty for showing the masses how to bilk the Times?

I feel a little bad sharing this information at a time when newspapers—even the mighty New York Times—are struggling to stay solvent. I am a lifelong Times reader and onetime Times employee. I love the product, as we longtime subscribers tend to.

But it doesn’t sit easy with me that the Times‘ most loyal readers—the people who love the paper so much that they figure they’ll pay whatever they have to—end up paying twice what they have to simply because it doesn’t occur to them that the good Gray Lady is playing them for suckers. The Times subscription department has its script. Now Times subscribers will have theirs.

Making Business a Social Experience

18 11 2010

In an interview with the NYT, Eric Lefkofsky the founder of Groupon,sometimes labeled the fastest growing company ever, says that the key to success in the business world is going to be socialization.

We think that the most disruptive business models will take advantage of that social graph over the next five to 10 years. Take travel as an example. You should be able to plan your entire trip online, invite your friends to come with you and even interact with other friends who have already been to that location. Those people will provide you with content that will augment your experience.

Forbes estimated his wealth at $750 million after a string of social media related business successes.

It’s certainly an interesting concept and one that is gaining more and more traction in new start-ups. Web consumers aren’t really looking for a travel site anymore, to use Lefkofsky’s example. They’re looking for a convergent experience that will link whatever it is they’re searching for with other people.

The news media is playing catch-up here. Consumers want interactive elements that not only tell them what the story is, but also let them interact with it– this Budget Puzzle from the Times or this interactive timeline from the Wall Street Journal.

But if we were really looking at progress, we’d be looking at something that combines the interactivity of these features with something beyond the site-based comments and instead links them to Facebook or Twitter in a seamless delivery system.

It’s gotten to the point where news almost needs to be experienced, rather than consumed. Each time someone clicks on the homepage for a news site they should be linked to their social network and be able to interact both with their peers and with the content.

And, as this video shows, socialization isn’t going away. From product reviews to the news, it’s here to stay. (Rhymes unintended. Really. Unintended.)


Pass the Salt? And, by the way, I Hate You.

12 11 2010

In one of those awesome, cosmic quirks of fate and online auctions, progressive group Media Matters bid $86,000 to a charity auction to have a “friendly lunch” with Rupert Murdoch, the Huffington Post reports.

The lunch has not yet been scheduled and will involve Media Matter’s founder and president David Brock and five other guests.

“I look forward to this opportunity to have a friendly lunch with Rupert Murdoch, along with five of my invited guests,” Brock said in a Media Matters statement.

It may be a particularly awkward meal for Murdoch as HuffPo reports,

Media Matters recently received a $1 million check from longtime progressive donor George Soros for the express purpose of pushing back on Glenn Beck, the conservative television personality granted a megaphone by Murdoch’s Fox News.

Here’s hoping Murdoch doesn’t back out.

Irony, Brought to You by Gawker

12 11 2010

In a post prompted by MSNBC’s Keith Olberman’s suspension for making political contributions undisclosed to network brass, the ever-helpful, ever-ethical Gawker recently posted this article, the “New Rules for Media Ethics.”

The article basically deals with transparency and disclosure. It’s an interesting take on ethics by an growing media organization that would be all the more refreshing if Gawker didn’t have as many ethical snafus under its belt as it already does. For example…

Despite this, it is heartening to see Gawker taking a look at ethics and what it means to be an ethical journalist these days… even if they often ignore their own suggestions.