Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"Frederick gave Bach an impossibly long and complex musical figure and asked the old master to make a three-part fugue of it...So difficult was the figure Bach was given that the twentieth century's foremost composer of counterpoint, Arnold Schoenberg, marveled at the fact that it had been so cleverly contrived that it 'did not admit one single canonic imitation' - in other words, that the Royal Theme, as it has come to be known, was constructed to be as resistant to counterpoint as possible. Still, Bach managed, with almost unimaginable ingenuity, to do it..." James R. Gaines - Evening in the Palace of Reason

Reading Gaines, a deft writer, wonderful style, great story telling - his book is now out in paper. Bach meets Frederick the Great - Highly recommended.

Scott Rosenberg writes in Salon...

"But there's nothing god-given or force-of-nature-like to the shape of their product or business; it's simply an artifact of history that you could roll together a bundle of disparate information -- news reports, stock prices, sports scores, display ads, reviews, classified ads, crossword puzzles and so on -- sell it to readers, and make money.

Today that bundle has already fallen apart on the content side: there's simply no reason for newspapers to publish stock prices, for instance; it's a practice that will simply disappear over the next few years -- it's sheer tree slaughter. On the business side, it is beginning to fall apart, too. It just makes way more sense to do classified advertising online.

The loss of classified revenues doesn't doom newspapers, by any means. But if classifieds represent -- as Menn's piece says -- 27 percent of newspaper revenue, and the newspaper industry is accustomed to a 20 percent profit margin, well, your industry just went from a healthy black to a nasty red.

What should be really alarming for newspaper owners is that the same process that ate their classified income is going to affect their other revenue streams. Just as classifieds went from costly to free, the display advertising will begin to dry up, as youth-seeking national advertisers follow their targets to the online world. And the very core of the newspaper product, the professional news report, is under siege, thanks to a myriad of missteps in the newsrooms and the rise of amateur (in the best sense), free alternatives."

The four hundred year death spiral continues for the dead tree gang. Read Scott's well written commentary cum comments here. (Thanks to Dave Winer for the tip)

Elizabeth bows DealBreaker here, Congrats and Cheers!

Thanks to popurls we have discovered Pixrat, in beta, here

Enjoy baseball? Gotta love all the inside baseball via Ballbug, here