Category Archives: media

TikTok is Bullshit … and its Good Bullshit

In case you missed it — as I did — TikTok is the fourth most downloaded app of 2018. It is a social network — ho hum — and it does not pretend to be anything other than a distraction.

yet another one.

So why is it so popular. This article gives you a hint.

Or you can just read this on why folks get into it

… it had been designed to perform algorithmic pyrotechnics that were capable of making a half hour pass before I remembered to look away.

In other words, it is manipulative in the extreme.


The Secret’s Out! You Need More Cocktail Content!

This game has been played before. Food Network became the place to watch food related content 24/7. Ditto for ESPN and sports. How about a network that only offers content about cocktails?

Fred Minnick thinks this is a “game changer”.

He may be right. Or it may be that people want less to watch endless content about highball glasses than they want to watch endless content about the parties and events and excursions and travels where those cocktails play a role.

My guess is that Fred will end up providing both. It will give new meaning to the phrase “high life”.

Beware the Dreaded Gut Doctor!

Digital advertising does not work very well. The reason is simple. People don’ click on banner ads very frequently.

The cure?

The Gut Doctor!

The Gut Doctor is an example of a type of message that appears like an ad on a web page that makes an outlandish pitch. Like “The Gut Doctor says Throw Out this Veg!”

What veg? You need to click on the ad to find out. And of course, you never do find out. All  the Gut Doctor is trying to do is to get you to click.

Check out this Vox article to see how this works. In my view, this is a symptom of what has gone wrong with digital media.

New Media Stories: Bon Appetit

A long time, ago, the food magazine Bon Appetit was a brash alternative to Gourmet. Gourmet was all about food porn, with amazing photos of dishes that were far too  complex to prepare. That did not matter. Gourmet was aspirational You subscribed because you wanted to live that way, not because you actually could live that way.

This cover from Gourmet gives you a hint of what wen on inside

Image result for Gourmet Magazine

Times have changed. The old Gourmet mag may or may no still be around, but that no longer matters. Lifestyle aspirations are not what they were. Now people aspire to actually do stuff in the kitchen – not just dream about having stuff that comes out of one. Why? Because videos of chefs in kitchen show how this stuff is done.

That used to be the media idea that Julia Child monopolized. But now, there are lots and lots of people trying to occupy that space. Bon  Appetit is trying to do this as well. And I think they are doing a pretty good job of it.

Their editor in chief, Adam Rapapor, talks about how BA has changed from magazine to media channel. And I think he makes some good points.  One of the BA channels is is ideo from the “test kitchen”. Molly makes mushroom carbonara in this example. Enjoy!

Go for it!

Jon Stewart Did Not Buy into Tucker Carlson! Do You?

Tucker Clarson has emerged as a star on Fox. What is the big deal? I do not know. And I am no sure that I want to know, as the only segment I saw featuring Tucker Carlson was many years ago when he made a complete fool of himself trying to debate Jon Stewart on Crossfire.

Carlson posed as a “serious” person, but simply could not respond to Stewart’s critique that the pose was fraudulent. And, truth be told, I think Stewart was right.

So … flash forward. The Washington Post has an article about Carlson’s approach to journalism. I read it, and thought once again how much we all miss Stewart’s daily lampooning.

Alex Jones as the Dark Side of Our Freedom

Here he is


There was a time when I would not have given a dude like Alex Jones the time of day. Why not? The conspiracy lies that he circulates, like the Sandy Hook massacre was a put up job, are beyond gross.

But he has used social media to build a following, and he has had that following for a long time now. Finally, he is getting yanked from social media platforms.   None too soon.  The weird thing is that he is not getting yanked because he spreads false information.

… the platforms cited hate speech, not misinformation and propaganda, as reason to ban Jones’ programming. While consistently peddling false information with no regard for evidence or fact is a public menace, it’s also the purview of the current president. (Donald Trump has appeared on InfoWars and praised Jones’ “amazing” reputation.) Plus, it’s a tougher case than these platforms simply saying Jones is using them to spread conspiratorial hate that leads to real-world harassment.

The question is how to protect ourselves from the next Alex Jones. And the one after that dude. Because his type of nonsense has become a fixture in 21st century America media.

Has Gwyneth Platrow Gone Bonkers?

You might think so after reading this part of her comments to Harvard students about the questionable advice her internet business “Goop” offers women.

It’s never clickbait, she told the class. “It’s a cultural firestorm when it’s about a woman’s vagina.” The room was silent. She then cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled, “VAGINA! VAGINA! VAGINA!” as if she were yodeling.

Hmmm … that does get your attention.  What is going on?

As the article points out, Gwyneth, along with Donald Trump, have come to realize something about modern media  Controversy gets attention. It matters less whether you tell the truth than you say things that raise the eyebrows. Trump uses this for political purposes. Gwyneth does this to get advertising revenue for Goop so that she can enjoy her high end life style.

And what advice does Gwyneth offer? Check out the article. Here is a sample

One article recommended that people steam their vaginas, a process that has been widely criticized by gynecologists , who say it could upset the vagina’s pH balance and lead to dangerous burns.

Steam? Did I read that right? Yikes!