Services concluded with TCM playing "A Face in the Crowd," starring Andy Griffith. (The scene to the right is from early in the film, when he dominates the screen. Note that as his star rises he becomes smaller.)
The screen above shows a rant by CBS host Craig Ferguson on the subject of his own alcoholism. It's a good monologue.
That's not why it is here. Note that when you link to it you will find it comes directly from CBS. It is of high quality. You can see exactly how many times it has been viewed -- about 320,000 by last count -- and what people think of it.
This is invaluable data. There's also space for an ad on the top and an adblock in the corner that could, in the future, contain another ad. A short ad could also be embedded into the stream, by CBS. There's already a few seconds advertising the show at the end.
There are many ways in which CBS (and YouTube) can monetize this, and the cost to CBS is zero. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. Bupkis. The null set.
Viacom also claims that it's avoiding "piracy." Which means what exactly? It seems to mean that they're not going to have their video content hosted on Web sites like this, with context provided by people like me.
Sad, but true. The first industry to get hold of and make money from most technologies is the porn industry.
When you have high-income buyers ready to pay big for what they want, you have a business model that can't be beat. True for porn, true for gambling. While many "early adopters" are geeks who will embrace a technology for its own sake, porn customers are goal-oriented.
So it was porn that pioneered the business model for videotape, porn that pioneered the 900 number, porn that pioneered the DVD and the paid Web site. Attempts to outlaw porn merely act as taxes on this market, just as in every other area.
Now porn is looking at higher capacity DVDs, where there is an ongoing format war between Sony's Blu-Ray and the HD-DVD standard. Sony says it won't sell to pornographers. Does this mean HD-DVD will sweep the field?
The words "finger" and "dike" come to mind obviously, but the report also shows exactly why Google should not have bought YouTube in the first place.
Censors seek leverage. Google offers leverage. The Judge could easily extend his ban from YouTube alone to Google generally. So could any other judge who finds something on YouTube they don't want to stay there there.
A quick note. The woman's name is Daniela Cicarelli and I'm certain the video looks just like any other 20-something having sex on the beach. This obsession with watching celebrities do it is, to my mind, silly. But so it goes...now back to our story.
The economics of this decade can be summed up as a fight between abundance and scarcity. (Pictured is the first oil well, courtesy the Paleontological Research Institute.)
Digital goods are abundant, their economics that of abundance. The time and attention of buyers is limited, the products on offer unlimited. So if you can monetize small slivers of that, as Google, YouTube and MySpace do, through truly deep personalization (it's all about you and what you want to know, see and feel) you're going to make money.
In contrast there is oil economics, which the current Administration has been making paramount. Oil is based on an economics of scarcity. The providers have the whip hand, and by manipulating supply they can maximize their value. OPEC does it, refiners do it, integrated oils do it by owning their own dealers.
The producers of "copyright" goods -- movies, TV, music, books, software, etc. -- all depend on an economics of scarcity. You've got to see that movie now, you've got to turn on the TV to this channel at this time, you've got to get the #1 hit and be the first on your street to read the #1 book. You want to run the new Windows applications, so you need Windows now, and new hardware to run it. This makes the supplier of the good king, able to name their own price by manipulating supply -- just like an oil company. And it's good to be the king.
Most comments on this have come from media insiders, who have an auitomatic bias for, and affection for, the operation of the business. They don't see it through the gimlet eye of the accountant. For that reason, ignore what anyone in the media tells you about this. They want NBC to succeed. They want to work there. Real businessmen don't care.
For generations GE has had a rule that guides its actions toward subsidiaries. You grow earnings by 15% per year, or you're gone. There are two ways to do this. If you grow revenues, and keep operations lean, your earnings will grow. If you can't grow revenues, you better cut expenses.
What GE is saying here is that media revenues can't grow 15% per year, so it's going to cut. The media business model is broken.
Note that I'm not just talking about TV here. NBC Universal is more than TV. I'm talking about all media -- music, movies, the lot. General Electric has decided these are no longer growth businesses.
What might it do instead? A lot of things. Jack Walsh liked finance. Jeff Immelt calls his strategy "ecomagination," by which he means green energy and energy-saving technologies. I think the key word here is technology. Technology is still a fast-growing business. Media is not.
Let me start this week by saying I'm straight, married, happy with myself, but that my best friend in college was gay. His coming-out changed me, because I still loved him afterward. Still do.
History tells us that gays who are honest with themselves, and others, pose little threat to society, no matter how much some hate groups may disagree.
Closeted gays, on the other hand?
Very dangerous. That makes this an issue for straights as well as gays. Finding, naming, shaming, and preventing evil are in everyone's interest. Self-hating, closeted gay people do tremendous damage. Self-hating closeted people no matter what their trips cause tremendous damage.
Back when I was young the best example of this was Roy Cohn (above). Cohn was Joe McCarthy's chief lawyer. He came up at a time when to come out meant to lose everything you had. He was a bully. While his homosexuality was an open secret, and he even went to gay bars in the 1970s, he never admitted to the AIDS which killed him in 1986. His life was fictionalized in Tony Kushner's Angels in America.
He was an archetype. He hated himself and so practiced hate on others. Pretty good definition of evil in my book.
Everyone knows Google's corporate
slogan – Don't Be Evil.
Note, it's not don't do evil. It's not
an absolute. We often face hard choices as adults and corporations.
Absolute good vs. evil choices are rare.
Still, the effort is worthwhile, on the
bottom line. Because Google is perceived as being ethical, as doing
its best not to “be” evil, a lot of people (me included) cut it a
lot of slack. And the more slack you earn as an Internet company, the
more credibility you have, the more money you can make.
It should also be noted that evil is a
relative variable here. Evil compared to what?
A decade ago, Yahoo made a Clued-in
move when it bought Seth Godin's company, Yoyodyne, and made him
(briefly) its chief marketing yahoo. But Godin's ethics soon grated
on the higher-ups, and Yahoo has been in the ethical gray area ever
I would argue that this, along with its
decision to become a “media company” or portal, taking its eye
off the search ball, enabled Google to come into being in the first
But that's how Yahoo defines itself, as
a “media company.” It now has a market cap of $35 billion. Are they glad they dissed Godin
and do business with slime? Maybe they are. But Google is worth
almost $124 billion.
This was Frank Capra's thinly-veiled attack on fascism, which he cleverly chose to set in the USA. Gary Cooper is John Doe, a man created by newspaperwoman Barbara Stanwyck as a circulation gimmick. Edward Arnold plays D.B. Norton, the newspaper owner, who wants to use Doe to make himself dictator.
How easy to update is that? Just turn the newspaperwoman into an afternoon anchor, set it at Fox News, and you don't even have to change the script.
The game for today is setting the new cast. For that let's play the I want, I'll take, I got game. You know that one. I wanted a big star, I'll take a TV star, I got me a nobody. That way we have some budget options: