Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, July 12, 2021

If the chatter coming out of this week’s iMeme Conference can be believed, part of being a Web 2.0 high-flyer is to reject the idea of being a “media company”:

In the brave new world of social network builders, “content” is almost a dirty word. It stand for expensive, tired, and formulaic — the predictable, un-scalable result of profit-seeking corporate media types. Indeed, the first time I heard [Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg] make his point was as a not so subtle smack-down of rival MySpace. As in: MySpace is trying to be a media company. Big mistake. The smart thing to focus on is being a platform-provider, a giver of tools to the creative masses, a massive enabler…

But Facebook makes its money by selling ads. That begs the question, of course: What exactly makes a media a media company? Isn’t Zuck being a little dogmatic or perhaps disingenous, or maybe just naive?

Interestingly, this mirrors the distinction some make between the approaches Google and Yahoo! are taking. Google’s seen as more focused on the aggregation of Web-based content via search and content-creation tools; Yahoo! is more associated with old-style branded content. The “smart” money favors Google, for now; so it makes sense that Zuckerberg would align himself that way.

The problem is that the primacy of user-generated content is mostly a myth.

The most popular videos, songs, and other media files being shared and swapped online are — yes — derived from the familiar mass-media channels. The biggest audiences on YouTube flock to clips of “The Office” and other Hollywood productions; occasionally, an amateur project will create a buzz, but that’s the exception, not the rule. It’s user-channeled, not user-created — unless you consider ripping and uploading a form of “creation”.

So it seems to me that “content” isn’t the dirty word. Rather, “content creation” or “production” are the media concepts that scare aggregators like Facebook, because they cost money. Resorting to swiped content makes more sense, I guess — until the law and rights-management techniques catch up.

The other part of the equation is advertising. Like it or not, accepting advertising on your site/platform makes you a media organ. It’s the same as being the bridge platform for any other application that hosts on Facebook, in a sense, in that the ads are just another module vying for enduser attention.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/12/2021 10:15:17 PM
Category: Business, Media, Social Media Online
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Tooth Tunes is a weird music player/toothbrush hybrid that’s supposed to make you brush to the music. And pop music too, ala Black Eye Peas, KISS, and Destiny’s Child.

Unfortunately, the music is limited to an implanted chip that plays only one pre-programmed song. Which makes me think that Apple shouldn’t have gone down the iPhone path of consumer electronic development; it should have taken this clear path to ubiquity! Imagine: The iTooth, in 30 gig and 60 gig models, with USB connection to your MP3 collection, etc.

Actually, the interesting thing about Tooth Tunes is the way it channels soundwaves through your teeth and into your eardrums. This is basically the same technology that was used in a Japanese “bone phone”, which I made note of more than three years ago. Nice to see the “sonic speaker” concept being applied to such hygenic use.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/12/2021 09:04:02 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Tech
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