Archive for the ‘Traditional Media’ Category

My Life Distilled Down to Technology and The Dead Milkmen

February 27, 2014



Fun interview covering two big interests Technology and Music and I can thank The Dead Milkmen for it.


Michael: We’ve talked about how some of the trends in modern business–lean innovation, content marketing–share a lot of principles with the punk rock movement you were involved with a few decades ago. Will you tell our readers your thoughts on that?

Wesley: For those not familiar with Lean, the basic concept is to throw away traditional product marketing and market research techniques and instead just launch and let customers tell you what is working or not. I love that. There is even a concept that if you aren’t embarrassed by your first release then you launched too late.

For indie artists, there isn’t the marketing budget to force anything down anyone’s throat nor even much in the way of a recording budget. So, pardon the slang, but it has to be real. Our punk acts would record albums for a few thousand dollars, just a few takes, and it would be raw, powerful and (to me) great. it was such a great contrast to the over-produced, market-research driven radio drivel at the time. Still is in my opinion.


Having Fun with the new Mac Video Tools

October 4, 2008

I was always a fan of Adobe Premiere and then stopped editing video before iMovie even came out. With the purchase of a new Mac Laptop I’ve started playing with the latest iMovie (08). Unfortunately iMovie 08 involved a major UI departure from the timeline/film strip metaphor that every other editor I’ve ever seen uses. That said, after a short time of playing around with it I was able to create a few promos for my company. 

TV networks may form anti-YouTube cabal

December 29, 2006

The likelihood of this succeeding is zero. Think pressplay and MusicNet versus iTunes.

I can’t say it better than this so I’ll just lift it:

First, you can’t build anything interesting by committee. Second, this is not TV, this is the web. This is about rejecting everything about TV. Third, I watched and rooted for NBC to get their NBBC initiative right and they just messed it up. It’s not about content. It’s about context, convenience, and community. It’s about letting the audience dictate the experience, not having it dictated to them.

It’s also been proven to be much easier to say sorry than to get permission, though at some point you have to say sorry (right Napster?).

In the comments to the above post a few examples of successful industry collaboration were given (Orbitz and Career Builder being two) but the general consensus is that it’s a doomed effort. It is entirely possible that the announcement is just a negotiating ploy with Google/YouTube but my money is that it will either never launch or if it does it will be so crippled as to be laughable.

Of course YouTube is not immune to poor thinking either.

YouTube’s phone-based version will require a $15-a-month subscription to a Verizon Wireless service called VCast.


And instead of choosing what to watch from a vast library of clips, VCast users will be limited to an unspecified number of videos selected and approved by the companies.

Oh yeah, Verizon gets to vet the videos first to make sure that they meet their standards.

As Fred notes in his blog concerning the Verizon deal.

 This deal violates the entire ethos of YouTube, not free, not open, exclusive, no community, limited, censorship, etc, etc.

Looking at Cable Network Web Sites through a 2.0 Looking Glass

May 5, 2006

I was recently asked to do a survey of cable network websites and their attributes in comparison to web 2.0 web properties. The results were not surprising as the business models of these cable sites was to serve as a marketing vehicle for the cable programming. Consequently they lacked the budget, focus or motivation to make them interesting destinations in their own right. The result was that they were nothing more than multimedia brochures for the cable channels..

Among my observations:

  • User experiences are partially unique as users only interact with content they want but much content is static (“brochureware”).
  • Top-down (i.e., producer/editor created) content creation/selection/delivery.
  • Adjunct to the cable network (largely to promote network shows) and careful to not upset primary business model.
  • User participation limited to moderated forums. Community secondary to repurposed content.
  • Little communication or no communication between users (limited to dueling forum comments).
  • Very little user control of content (maybe a poll) and no rating, ranking, or modifying content as producers want to maintain 100% control.
  • Look/feel/structure generally static and then changes with periodic redesigns.
  • Do not leverage ‘long tail’ possibilities since they mirror the cable network’s programming (generally a dozen or so shows) and thus inherit their limitations.
  • No “network effect” in that the user-experience does not become richer as number of users increases.
  • No content syndication (i.e., no RSS), users must go to the site to access site content.
  • No common pattern for programming but generally previews and repurposed content from network.

As more and more users move online for their media consumption and advertisers follow them it is going to be very dangerous for cable networks to be caught flat-footed with a 1.0-era web site. Right now cable networks have an enormous advantage over pure web properties in that they have their network audiences to drive traffic to their sites, but if there is very little original content/functionality to distinguish it from competing sites, users will not return thereby creating an enormous lost opportunity.