Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, April 27, 2021

The economics of Web media have moved from the incidental to the essential, as demonstrated by conscious bandwidth and access restrictions by 2.0 sites in economically less-robust regions.

Web companies that rely on advertising are enjoying some of their most vibrant growth in developing countries. But those are also the same places where it can be the most expensive to operate, since Web companies often need more servers to make content available to parts of the world with limited bandwidth. And in those countries, online display advertising is least likely to translate into results.

This intractable contradiction has become a serious drag on the bottom lines of photo-sharing sites, social networks and video distributors like YouTube. It is also threatening the fervent idealism of Internet entrepreneurs, who hoped to unite the world in a single online village but are increasingly finding that the economics of that vision just do not work.

Last year, Veoh, a video-sharing site operated from San Diego, decided to block its service from users in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, citing the dim prospects of making money and the high cost of delivering video there.

This development makes me wonder just how close we are to the end of the beginning of the Internet as a full-fledged mass medium. So far, the online preserves are open and free to anyone wanting to set up shop, whether for fun, profit, or a combination thereof. But that’s only because there’s a lot of empty space to fill up to make the medium “real” — eventually, the bandwidth costs reach a saturation point, and real money comes due.

Is this cost-restriction in the formerly-known-as Third World the first sign? It seems like the global-level digital divide is now being reinforced via feasible content delivery.

It’s not like this is unprecedented: Radio went through the same process, with an early 20th-Century Wild West mentality where anyone — individual, business, church, etc. — with the right equipment could jump on the airwaves. Replace “right equipment” with “computer” and “airwaves” with “Web”, and the parallels should be clear enough.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/27/2009 03:12:39 PM
Category: Business, History, Internet, Media, Radio
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glossy lossThe prospects for a new business magazine glossy (read: print) were dim even before this current Great Recession hit. So it shouldn’t be too shocking that Condé Nast has pulled the plug on the once-ballyhooed Portfolio, a mere two years after launch.

Not to be completely self-centric here, but there goes another source for freelancing gigs. I wonder if they’ll keep the website alive; Condé’s recent history with folded titles says they won’t, and I don’t know that Portfolio.com has built up enough of a community/presence to warrant its preservation.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/27/2009 12:25:36 PM
Category: Business, Publishing
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It’s nice that the United States Air Force wants to use a bright sunny Monday like this to get some photo-ops of its shiny planes buzzing around the Statue of Liberty.

But they could have warned a still-jittery post-9/11 crowd:

Unaware of the planned exercise, scores of office workers flooded out of buildings, worried about the prospect of terrorism.

“People came pouring out of the buildings, the American Express Building, all the buildings in the financial district by the water,” said Edward Acker, a photographer who was at the building, 3 World Financial Center. “And even the construction guys over by 100 North End Avenue area, they all got out of their buildings. Nobody knew about it. Finally some guy showed up with a little megaphone to tell everyone it was a test, but the people were not happy. The people who were here 9/11 were not happy.”

Mr. Acker added: “New York City police were standing right there and they had no knowledge of it. The evacuations were spontaneous. Guys from the floor came out, and one guy I talked to was just shaking.”

Conspiracy theories are even now hatching over hidden agendas behind this “planned exercise”. Allow me to contribute: I think this buzz-bombing prank was revenge for that New York Times op-ed that advocated abolishing the Air Force.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/27/2009 11:45:08 AM
Category: Comedy, New Yorkin', Politics
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For once, I didn’t spend much time staring at this past weekend’s National Football League draft coverage.

But I got the gist of it. Basically, the biggest splash came from the hometown Jets, who hustled their way up to the Number 5 pick to nab Southern Cal QB (and newly-designated franchise savior) Mark Sanchez.

Of course, I consider this move to be a cue for Brett Favre to be a dick and un-retire all over again, thus throwing another NFL roster into preseason disarray.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/27/2009 10:54:37 AM
Category: Football, New Yorkin'
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