The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13
Greg Linch § Matching cuts / 2014-09-16 18:18:15
Inque § Matching cuts / 2014-09-05 13:27:23
Gavin Craig § Matching cuts / 2014-08-31 16:33:56
Tim Maly § Sooo / 2014-08-27 01:35:19
Matt § Sooo / 2014-08-25 02:10:30
Tim § Sooo / 2014-08-25 00:49:38
Robin § Sooo / 2014-08-21 20:47:35
Doug § Sooo / 2014-08-21 20:40:50
Tim § Sooo / 2014-08-21 18:23:13

Here's another analogy
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Publishers trying to sell ad space inside their books is like the producers of a TV show selling the commercials that air during the show, or the director of a film picking the previews that appear before the movie starts.

I mean, maybe there are some interesting, creative things you could do with that on a case-by-case basis, that would really add something to the total experience. And product placement (in books, TV, or movies) is something else altogether, because it needs to be incorporated into the narrative flow. But there’s a reason why we have TV networks, movie studios, and theater programmers. They’re really good at these things. In fact, some of them, like Nick Jr, are really good at marketing and incorporating ads in books and DVDs, too. So are Apple and Amazon. People on the creative side aren’t. (And yes, I’m including book publishers in the “creative” camp.)

If anything, even as traditional broadcast television might be beginning a slow decline, we’re seeing the metastasis of the television network model. Netflix, particularly since Watch Instantly, is more like HBO than it’s like Blockbuster. People talk about it the same way; “ooh, did you see that they’re showing all three Die Hards on Netflix?” Someone pointed out recently that Netflix has started producing their own original content. Zach Galifinakis had a comedy special released on DVD exclusively to Netflix. You could say the same thing about Hulu, which is trying to figure out whether it should be Showtime or Fox.

Amazon and Apple are like TV networks too, and not just for video. They’re the channels you tune to to get what you want. The difference is that in the digital age, content frequently appears in more than one place. But 1) that’s usually NOT true for what Apple sells, and Amazon’s been pushing for more exclusive deals too.

Twitter, too, isn’t microblogging or an archive of content — it’s a broadcast channel that carries its own water-cooler. And in blogs, Gawker (which already actually is a media network, including Gawker TV) is redesigning itself for bigger screens. highlighting “must-see” content to catch casual drop-in readers, a synthesis of blogs, magazines, and television

So that’s the new world: no more dot-coms, no more blogs, no more revolutionary retailers.* Instead, it’s all channels. We TiVo a handful of favorites and let ourselves flick through the rest.

* Obviously, all of these things will continue to exist and thrive. It’s just these are no longer the only metaphors/terms of art we have to talk about these emerging powers.

2 comments

This reminds me of Ariana Osborne’s idea that blogs are really radio stations: (cached link because her blog archives seem to be missing right now) http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:QfPOYIOEvv8J:www.arianaosborne.com/%3Fp%3D789+ariana+osborne+blog+as+broadcasting&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Tim Carmody says…

Andrew Sullivan said something similar: “Matt Drudge once insisted to me a central fact of the Internet: it’s a broadcast, not a piece of writing. Or rather it is writing as a broadcast. The skills for broadcasting – presentation, speed, performance, spontaneity – are not those for writing in the traditional sense. That is partly why I’ve found the medium so interesting. It really does represent a new, deconstructed, provisional way of writing – halfway between radio and print journalism – and we still don’t know where it will end.”

I think I believe that up to a point. The formula I used for Twitter (“a broadcast channel that carries around its own water cooler”) I used first for blogs, which are broadcasts that carry around their own archives.

I think, in time, the existence of dated and tagged archives will come to be seen to be a much more essential feature of the blog as a medium. This is what makes archive-spelunking such fun.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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