When we say we’re digital we mean what exactly?

What connections, implications, parallels, assumptions, conclusions, etc can we make between the ways global culture is evolving and the modalities of the computer?


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Plato thinks writing is bad…or at least not all good….do you?

Just as Socrates (Plato actually) questioned the benefits of the written word, what are some of the trade-offs (benefits vs. disadvantages) people make when we communicate with each other online?


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A question for you, What’s ‘new’ about new media?

That’s an honest question. Whatsnewmedia is looking for your take on this basic, but elusive question. So..what’s new about it, what’s fund-a-mentally new about all this?


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Social Marketing’s bet that we’ll do their work for them

Build it and they (us) will advertise for us (them). Genius. If it works.

For a long time now web marketers have been struggling to get heard above the din of flashing web animations and banners. No longer. If you ever wondered how social networking giants Facebook and MySpace made money (and why they’ve in turn been purchased by megamedia companies Microsoft and Fox), wonder no more. It’s target marketing. And it’s powerful. Or at least some are betting it will be.

If marketers believe in numbers, Facebook is betting they can deliver them. Facebook Ads (powered by Facebook Beacon) is a viral marketing distribution system wherein Facebook members are “empowered” to share (recommend) their product and purchasing habits with their online buddies.

To make this work Facebook, to the displeasure of many, lifted it’s longtime ban on member profiles that weren’t actual people. Corporations wanting a piece of the social marketing action can now create brand-specific profiles, but unlike your average-joe-Facebook-member, they’ll be tracking the behavior of their Facebook friends.

Think about marketing distribution channels for a second. Millions of dollars spent to advertise in print and on tv stand to be replaced by….us. And we’re cheap (free).

It’s not like everyone in the socialsphere is chomping at the bit to market to their online pals, but the fact is it’s a seemingly natural attempt to co-opt a fairly normal offline behavior. The markets as conversations crowd sees this all as incredibly natural.

Since Facebook’s announcement there’s been plenty of criticism. There’s the typical rants against insidious stealth advertising techniques, but privacy concerns are the primary cause for alarm. It may even be illegal. But I doubt it.

Don’t worry, the government is getting involved, so it will all probably work out.

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Filed under A Culture of Participation, Business 2.0, Privacy, Social Media, Virtual Communities, web 2.0, When New Meets Old

How can innovative “pay by..” models stem file swapping? …(or can they?)

“Physical” music sales are down. Forever. And they’re not alone. The question now isn’t if people will download music, but how. Will they steal it? Will they know they’re even breaking the law? Will they pay for it? Lot’s of record companies and big retailers seem confident they will. If they buy it, what can they do with it? Will it be “theirs” or will it be theirs only if they have iTunes?

Is DRM it, or are there obvious solutions right under our noses?

If your favorite band offered you their new album for FREE, would you still pay for it? Conversely, if you just took it for free without asking, would your favorite band be pissed at you? Still, is free web-distribution the little guy’s best chance for recognition (and future sales)?

Seems also like the music industry just doesn’t get the dynamic of evolution inherent in new media. Sure, they’ll win some battles. But they’ll lose the war.

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Filed under A democratic medium?, Business 2.0, P2P (Peer to Peer), When New Meets Old

Lifecasting: The Age of Narcissism, Exhibitionism blooms

Lifecasting comes naturally to today’s youths, who are used to living their lives in public, posting details of every hookup and breakup on their Facebook or MySpace pages. Anyone with a laptop, webcam and Internet connection can do it. As with any new medium, people are trying to figure out the rules of etiquette. The budding phenomenon raises questions about the privacy of people who may not want to appear in the live streams, as well as copyright implications of, for example, broadcasting music that’s playing in the background. But companies such as Los Angeles-based Ustream, which powers Gnant’s webcast, and Justin.tv in San Francisco are racing to become the dominant purveyor of such live, unfiltered programs. In the last year, the technology behind live streaming has become so cheap that start-ups such as Mogulus, MyStreams and Veodia can afford to give it away in hopes that they can make money through the mainstays of TV’s reality shows: advertising and product placement.

Excerpt from Welcome to their world — all of it, from the Los Angeles Times (free password req’d)

A short overview of Lifecasting is available from the UK Times Online.

Previously from WNM: Mommy blogest


Filed under A Culture of Participation, Technology, our Mirror, User generated content, Virtual Communities

Newspaper v Internet: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em

While most newspapers are trying to stake bigger claims online, one new publication is pulling material off the Internet to be printed in ink. John Wilpers, editor in chief of BostonNow, a free weekday daily introduced last month, said he wanted to fill the paper with items that local bloggers submitted to the BostonNow Web site. Last week, editors began culling posts and running excerpts next to articles from reporters and newswires. The blog items, which appear in gray boxes, are still relatively few, but Mr. Wilpers said he thought the feature would grow.

Mr. Wilpers, who previously edited two other free commuter newspapers, Metro Boston and The Washington Examiner, said he wanted to address what he believed was the news industry’s biggest problem: an inability to connect with the communities it covers.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot of smarts to look out at the Internet and see thousands writing on their communities, whether they be geographic or thematic,” Mr. Wilpers said. “They’re writing about Jamaica Plain or Dorchester or the Boston music scene or windsurfing on Massachusetts Bay.” BostonNow also hopes to help connect bloggers with fans. With a current circulation of about 85,000, BostonNow potentially offers a much larger readership than most local bloggers are used to. The greater exposure could translate into increased ad revenue for their own sites.

Read this article
from the New York Times

It’s no surprise that “print” is looking for new revenue answers online, but gimmicky solutions aren’t the answer. The history of media evolution suggests those mediums that can’t adapt or integrate, die. (Least we assume the Internet is the end-all, be-all of communications media.) Although newspapers face this challenge, it’s not like publishers have to reinvent the wheel to get good content online. The bigger obstacle is getting everyone to understand you can still make money in a subscription-free environment.

Previously from What’s New Media…all things web meets newspaper.

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Filed under Blogosphere, Business 2.0, History of New Media, Media Evolution, When New Meets Old