Category Archives: media

Google: Stop Making Editorial Decisions on My Searches!!!!

Google has changed. It used to be a search tool. More recently it has become a media company.  And its impact on what I see and do not see is not transparent.

And this really, really pisses me off. My most recent complaint is that Google is introducing into my search requests top level links to content that is less than accurate, less than useful, and highly partisan. Google is trying to create news stories and the sources that I want to find.

Cut it out!

Let’s get this straight. I use Google search to find links to information — NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT!


Larry David is Right. Hollywood is About A**holes

This post is a reaction to the Harvey episode. For years, he lured young vulnerable women into “meetings” and once there, he got his rocks off by forcing his sexual inclinations upon them. Vomit.

How could one be for Harvey? Could one say without a pre-check with one’s psychiatrist that Harvey is  misunderstood?  Of course not! Like Ailes and  Cosby., we feel and show collective revulsion.

And yet …. this was the norm within certain circles. This has been a rite of passage that young women had to endure in  order to make  it in the entertainment industryJennifer Lawrence, for example,  in a nude applicant line up? Come on! And yet, there she was. Told that the photo of her nude with other models might be an inspiration to lose weight.

The bottom line is rather simple — power breeds contempt. And Hollywood has a rather intense power structure. We should not be surprised, therefore, that Hollywood systematically endorses contempt for young people. Sexually and otherwise.

The most obvious solution here is to think why we give Hollywood such power? Why do we create the opportunity for predators like Harvey Weinsten to do things over decades that cause such harm?

This is not Hollywood as entertainment. It is Hollywood as gross out.

The History of Opera on TV!

Lucy Worsley is not for everyone.

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She likes dressing up in historical costumes and talking about sex.

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She gets excited about history no less! And, one has to admit, that she tells a pretty good story on TV.

She has done a number of shows about the British royals. Their secrets, their blunders, their family lives, their sex lives and on and on. I quite enjoyed her take on the Regency. Perhaps that is because I am a huge fan of the Regency period. And yes, the size of George IV’s under garments is astounding.

Lucy has now turned her gaze to the history of opera.

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And from this review, it appears that she is telling the story well.

Another Season of Curb?!

Make no mistake, I love Larry David. There are several reasons. First, he is very funny. More precisely, he knows how to take the small unpleasant details of life and convert them into humor. Second, Larry understands the value that this has. He doesn’t want to do anything else but comedy – Woody Allen take note.

Larry did insanely well as the brains behind the Seinfeld Show. Then he upped his game with Curb Your Enthusiasm. That series ended and we were stuck with reruns. But Larry is coming back for a 9th season.

The Guardian gives the details – go for it! You deserve it! Here is a great scene

The Jimmy Kimmel Test versus a Prostate Exam

Jimmy Kimmel is a late night TV show host. That means that Jimmy Kimmel is a highly effective communicator. And Republicans are no doubt annoyed that Jimmy Kimmel’s newly born son would dare to develop a heart condition that required immediate open heart surgery.

Why? It was not that Jimmy Kimmel could not afford the surgery and had a sob story to tell. It was that Jimmy Kimmel dared to wonder on the air what would happen if he could not. And Kimmel laid into republican plans that would have prevented less fortunate kids with serious health issues from getting health care.

So last summer, a Republican by the name of Bill Cassidy appeared on the show and promised to commit to a “Jimmy Kimmel test” for any new health care legislation. The test has these components

  • coverage for all
  • no discrimination with respect to pre-existing conditions
  • lower premiums
  • no life time caps

Well, the health care bill that Republicans were pushing and nearly passed met none of these criteria. Cassidy went for it anyway Fortunately, it failed in the Senate. But wait! The Republicans are trying again – and Cassidy is a co-sponsor!

And Jimmy Kimmel is taking a rhetorical flamethrower to their new efforts because it is even worse than the one that went down to defeat before. It is difficult to argue with Kimmel. After all, he is right. But do  Republicans care if he is right? Apparently not. They need a legislative victory, and they are determined to get one.

Here is Jimmy. Man that dude can talk!

Thinking about Galore and the Media Business

It seems a long, long time ago that we were introduced to “business models” for generating content on the web. The mantra was to drive traffic to your site and then capitalize on that traffic with ad revenue. Lots and lots of folks tried to do that and I would argue that the results were less than spectacular.

So if we now realize that not everyone can build an ad driven content creation web business, where are we all headed? The answer is, as far as I can tell, we don’t know. We don’t know because we do not have alternative business models.

At the same time, there have been a few steps forward in our thinking. We have started to realize, for example, that the web is incredibly fragmented  and likely to remain that way. Web users take in content only in those areas that they are most interested in — and actively try to block all else —which blinds them  to a vast amount of content that is being generated. As a result, the more enlightened thinking is to work within those fragments, rather than to build huge generic traffic generators. Google, Facebook etc. have already won that war.

Galore media company is an example of ~a company building its business model on this way of thinking. Galore focuses its attention on a particular demographic — young women from 16 to 24. And Galore’s value added is to build excitement within that target group for products and services that firms are offering. Not with ads. But with other tools.

My best guess is that we will see more media companies like Galore — facilitating connections between target groups and providers of goods and services for that group. And as these media companies gain traction, they will start diversifying by offering new types of services that merge web and real world events.

They key point is that they work within a fragmented rather than unifying  wen model.

Stay tuned!

John Oliver Meets Legal Godzilla

You may have heard about what happened to Gawker Magazine. A billionaire backer funded Hulk Hogan’s defamation suit against the magazine, and the litigation drove the magazine to bankruptcy. The magazine simply did not have the financial resources to appeal the huge jury award.

This same strategy is being pursued again. This time by coal mine owner John Murray, against TV personality John Oliver. Murray claims that Oliver defamed him in a TV show about coal mining that highlighted certain aspects of what Murray has said and done. In the segment, Oliver hurls invective at Murray (not actionable) and repeats information from public sources about what Murray has said and done (not actionable). So you would think the case has no chance. But as Mashable reports, if Murray can get the case in front of a state court jury, the risks to Oliver become significant.

If you watch the TV segment (availabe at the above link), you get a sense of why this case is worth following. The whole point of Oliver’s piece is to demand a more open and honest discussion of the future of coal mining in America. Pursuing that, Oliver calls out hypocrites who pretend to be advancing the interests of coal miners in order to make a buck. That is something worth knowing, and if Oliver is to be punished for doing that, we lose a valuable voice in media.

Stay tuned!