Thursday, July 31, 2008

"He who is afraid of a thing gives it power over him." Moorish proverb

"See first that the design is wise and just; that ascertained, pursue it resolutely." William Shakespeare

"Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether." Thomas Carlyle

Today's image: Mojada by El Funko. Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Way too much going on this week. Back next time with a post on hiring high potential candidates.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Abstract Expressionism was invented by New York drunks." Joni Mitchell

"Keep to yourself the final touches of your art." Baltasar Gracian

"Art is either plagiarism or revolution." Paul Gauguin

Today's image: remember by ropeboy. Awesome. Thank you for sharing.

Robert Scoble, Tech geek blogger and Philip Seymour Hoffman body double, is one of my favorite bloggers. You may know him as the guy who,
with Shel Israel, literally wrote the book on blogging, [Amazon info]. You may know him as the guy who previously blogged in the name of Microsoft. You may have followed him or recently discovered him to be the guy doing FastCompany.TV for the Joe Mansueto venture Fast Company.

Robert Scoble is Web 2.0 and we can all learn something from him. My sense is his charm comes from his consistent daring to be naive. It's a naivete born of a deeply pathological curiosity. An intellectual honesty that is at once refreshing and engaging.

Thanks to FriendFeed (excuse me, but you have taken a moment and checked out FriendFeed, the very hottest social media app of the moment, right? It's here, thank me later) As I was saying, thanks to FF became involved in a conversation last night that started about one of Robert's blog posts [Related: Robert's post "The passionate vs. the non passionates"]

This discussion brought to mind a famous line used often by that great gentleman, the one renowned as a Count in the royal court of American music. I speak, of course, of the pride of Red Bank, New Jersey, the brilliant Count Basie. "One more once" the Count was heard to say in performance, this after having said "One more time."

One more once

Stop trying to get better

Start getting different

Stop tweaking the numerator

Change the denominator

The most effective solution set is not about getting better, it's about getting different - dramatically different. It's about changing the game and the messy stuff of innovation. It's all about learning how to fail faster to succeed sooner.

The old school adage is apt here..."If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." Let me also mash in some classic Dee Hock for flava..."The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out."

Bonus: Tom Peters on Passion! Hard is soft, soft is hard. Passion, energy, values, character, enthusiasm. Highly recommended as the best use of three minutes you'll spend on the internets today. Video here. Hint: this video contains the magic formula for hiring great talent, especially sellers. It works every single time and the candidate resumes are not at all important. Thanks, again to FriendFeed and to Peter Dawson for the tip. Thanks too to TP.

Search engine of the week, next week: Omgili - Find out what people are saying

Sergey Brin: iPhone Users Conduct 30x More Mobile Searches (and other fascinating stats)...

"On Sunday July 13, Apple announced that 10,000,000 apps had been downloaded via the App Store. A little over a week later - on July 21st, 25 million apps have been downloaded." The entire Ryan Spoon post here. Thanks to Scoble via FF for the tip.

Trade secret: Once watched Mel Karmazin setting up the closing of a deal. Wanting to recruit a rock star candidate, Mel took a blank sheet of paper and after signing his name to the lower third handed it to the soon to be future employee saying "Fill it out." Genius! What would you do with such a "blank check?" The brilliant move on Mel's part was putting the pressure on the candidate. While it's easy to say you would go for it and stick it to the man, the reality is very different. Put in that position one tends to ask for what one really needs and, perhaps, a bit more. The last thing any candidate wants to be thought of in that situation is rude. No one wants to be the crass opportunist that takes advantage of a generous open ended offer. As a practical matter, the candidate ends up bidding against themselves. It's almost a reverse Dutch auction. I've borrowed this set up to the close and found the majority never, ever tried to stick it to the me. In my experience, the majority have actually settled for less than I was willing to pay because they wanted the gig and did not want to come across as taking any unfair or obscene advantage of my blank check offer. Don't make that mistake; never sell yourself short. Go for it! There is almost always more on the table than you believe. Here's the lesson. You can always come down. Attempting to go up, once you've established a number, well, that's a different story.

Next time: Why it's smart to find out what people need and then be the first to suggest they be paid more.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"What a people talk about means something. What they don't talk about means something." William Saroyan

"Repartee is what you wish you'd said." Heywood Broun

"One today is worth two tomorrows; what I am to be, I am now becoming." Benjamin Franklin

Today's image: Tequila by Felony Fabre. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Much has been written about the pay radio mess. Readers of this blog are aware my sense was the odds of the merger being approved were 6 to 5 against. My thought being the marketplace is almost always the best arbiter in such cases. Regulators, properly, should have simply denied the merger in the public interest. Moreover, the pay radio federal licenses required competition in the spectrum as a condition of the grants. The FCC should have affirmed the spirit, intent and continuing relevance of that original grant. Competition should be encouraged. The marketplace should decide the winners. Clearly, my reading of this entire matter has proven to be wrong.

Now what?

The drama is far from over.

Mel gets to make good on his claim that the combined services can save millions. The pay radio business model gets a radical reinvention. The subs now hostage to one service, the content providers and other business partners now forced into dealing with one player in the space will write the rest of this story, or not. Alternatively, there may be appeals to congress or action in the courts.

Going forward the combined company needs cash to keep operating. The pesky details including billions in debt need to be addressed. Don't count out Mel. He no doubt has a plan and like other CEOs who have found themselves up against it, Mel holds the protections of bankruptcy in reserve.

Seems a significant allocation of resources have been and may still yet be invested in an issue involving players that, in the big picture, deliver a small, niche audience, less than ten percent of the nation's estimated radio listening.

In this case regulatory intervention does not appear to have created any real long term benefit for the consumer. Then again, I may be wrong.

Back to the countdown.

It's official. This is the summer of FriendFeed. There's an amazing conversation going on, join in.

Just finished Buying In by Rob Walker. The Timesman best known for his popular "Consumed" column delivers a well paced narrative, a fresh and entertaining journey into the world of murketing (sic). This is the must-read marketing book of the summer. Highly recommended. [Amazon info]

Please make a note of it: Radio star of Chicago fame Eddie Schwartz has moved. You may drop him a line at his new address: Berkshire Nursing and Rehab Center, 8200 W. Roosevelt Road, Forest Park, IL 60130. My thanks to Robert Feder, Chicago's official scribe of all things media, for the tip.

Congrats & cheers: The legendary Tom Merriman getting his just desserts, a special tribute, more info here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

"I am suggesting to you the simple idea that people work harder and smarter if they find their work satisfying and know that it is appreciated." Robert Six

"Walking on water wasn't built in a day." Jack Kerouac

"Eloquence is vehement simplicity." Richard Cecil

Today's image: into the SKY by harald kirr. Amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Stephanie Clifford writes Leftover Ad Space? Exchanges Handle the Remnants via NYT here. Kudos, Stephanie. Good writing.

Tuned in: Thoughts on Radio's Digital Future is the new online column by iBiquity CEO Bob Struble. Highly recommended. Kudos, Bob and welcome to the conversation.

Bonus: feedly. The perfect Firefox 3 add-on. I'm lovin it.

Coming soon: Playas. The Conde Nast Portfolio gang bow a new page where the best and brightest will soon come to play.

JCal via his weekend email made an excellent point worth re-posting here...

"Why all the focus on death?
The life of a startup CEO dealing with the rabid but sometime naive
blogosphere is one of extremes. You're killing or you're killed,
you're the shinny new object or yesterday's news. You can couple the
link-bait based blogosphere with main-stream media journalists who,
instead of acting like the voice of reason and "sticking to what got
them there," have taken the link-baiting bait. The MSM has had to
incorporate the flame warring, rumor mongering and link-baiting ethos in order to keep up in the page-view cold war.

This is either the shot in the arm MSM needs to compete, or they're
chasing the blogosphere Thelma and Louise-style off a cliff. Time will
tell I suppose.

Anyway, Facebook has had crushing success while MySpace continues to grow. Apple is hitting the ball out of the park while Microsoft continues to set sales records while fumbling into various markets. If Microsoft and Apple, MySpace and Facebook, and a Coke and Pepsi can't kill each other why is everyone obsessed with death?"

Bravos to JCal! Spot-on.

Not ready for prime time: Cuil. On my second search got the following "result"...

Sorry, an error occurred.

Please try your search again. If the problem persists, please be assured that our team is working quickly to resolve the issue.

Congrats & cheers: Network radio rock star Chris Corcoran promoted to SVP of Dial Global programming division.

Have an amazing week. Make something happen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon." Konrad Adenauer

"You can't take a crash course in serenity." Shirley MacLaine

"The true genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction." Samuel Johnson

Today's image: Padre e hijo by Paco Espinoza. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Got talent?

Two of the biggest challenges consistently high on the agendas of effective leaders are recruitment and development.

Recruitment, that is, casting, while essential to the enterprise is increasingly difficult. We are not involved in the process with the frequency needed to acquire or sharpen the skill sets necessary to improve our success rate.

Simply put, we don't hire often enough to get good at it. Further, in too many cases we only hire under the pressure of those time sensitive scenarios associated with replacement. This leads to the inevitable creative compromise, a shift in focus with more emphasis on expediency than on quality of hire. "Good enough" becomes the de facto standard. Process is diminished to event. This is akin to the profound contrast found when comparing preventive health care with the critical care associated with emergency medicine.

The solution - adopt and enforce a policy of continuous recruitment. In the first phase of this policy managers should be tasked with succession planning. The objective being to identify and cultivate the best replacements before any are needed. In the second phase, already prepared to address un/expected replacement hiring, managers should focus on networking and directing a strong outreach program. Continuous recruitment recasts the role of HR from an accounting of compliance (i.e., shepherd of EEO model execution including postings and related paper trail) to a driver of policy engagement. HR ensures the homework gets done.

Development has become more ad hoc and less formal. For example, the first time seller is typically provided the attention needed to secure employment beyond the new hire probation period while there is rarely support for any ongoing formal sales development program dedicated to improving the effectiveness of the entire sales organization. Similarly, novice air talent command the attention needed to reach a minimum performance standard while veteran staff are, in the majority of cases, expected to sustain a certain accepted and often unwritten standard of performance on their own. Veterans get hit and run coaching sessions as needed and more often than not the result of a problem requiring "corrective action" or documented discipline. This will go into your permanent file!

Every talent benefits from having a coach but too few enjoy that advantage.

Talent want to be led not managed.
We need to catch them doing something right.

This presents an interesting paradox. At a time when there are more development resources available than ever before fewer firms than ever appear to be making investments in those resources.

As part of a 2007 survey of media organizations we asked about development investment (HRD). Over 78% of those responding told us development was a management responsibility, a function assigned "in-house." Less than 16% of those directing sales development "in-house" were able to provide an outline or summary of their development program and less than 9% indicated development (including training) was a budgeted line item. More interesting was the state of development on the product side. While 92% of those responding told us product development was done "in-house" fewer than 10% of those were able to provide an outline or summary of their development program and less than 5% indicated product development (including training) was a budgeted line item. [Related: A significant number of operators suggested their investments in programming research should be properly attributed to product development, however, our survey assigned research to a separate investment category] It should come as a surprise to no one that the majority of development dollars budgeted were used to cover convention/conference attendance, some used to pay for trade journal subscriptions (on/off line) and only in a minority of cases were development funds used for actual development or training activities.

"Stars are not born, but people with the potential to become stars are born" so said Steve Ridge, president of television for Magid. As part of a story in the New York Times he went on to say "The key is identifying the potential early on and cultivating it by putting them in an environment to be successful." Steve's remark is spot-on. Read the Brian Stelter piece "Needing a Star, CNBC Made One" here.

Are you providing your stars with an environment to be successful?

The end of days: The popular parlor game of predicting the death of certain media is very much alive and...well, uh, mixed. Following are some recent posts predicting the end stage of newspapers, tv and radio. Can't say I agree completely with any of them. Nonetheless, with kudos to Duncan and Mark...

Duncan Riley: Television will be the first traditional media medium to fall. Newspapers will survive, radio will die, but not quiet yet says Duncan. [Related: FriendFeed comments here]

Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins: Old Media Deathrace 5000. Radio will be the first to fall and is killing itself opines Mark.

Revenue revolutionary: Dan Pacheco blogs It's Time for a Revenue Revolution. Kudos, Dan. Interesting approaches, thanks for sharing.

Congrats & cheers: Two radio rock stars. Mickey Luckoff, legendary bay area general manager on his induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Jack Swanson, bay area programming ace, on posting the 120th consecutive #1 book at KGO. Mickey and Jack, two of the best ever, truly exceptional leaders, none finer. The exceedingly bright Carolyn Gilbert brings her intellect and proven leadership chops to Tribune signing on as EVP, Multi-Media Sales Group.

Have a wonderful weekend. See you next week in a brand new show.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"None are more liable to mistakes than those who act only on second thoughts." Luc de Vauvenargues

"Problems always appear big when incompetent men are working on them." William Feather

"Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet." Jean Jacques Rousseau

Today's image: Dreamy World by dhahi alsaeedi. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

The Slow Growth of HD Radio. The assiduous Tom Webster of Edison Media Research reviews the bidding and makes a suggestion...

"HD has to start with great, new digital brands first, with distribution over HD receivers AND online, and at least some of these have to be big, high profile national shows. Radio's goal should be compelling digital brands for the future, and in that context HD radio is just one means of distribution...The solution is not a programming issue but an HR strategy issue."

Bravos to Tom. He's right, it's not either/or, rather it's an issue of AND. Read Tom's entire post here. Thanks, Tom. Let's keep the conversation moving forward.

Let me suggest we run with Tom's concept of "big, high profile national shows" AND continue local innovation (e.g., The gifted programmer Mark Pennington and his award winning offering - RIFF2)

The national creative is getting better. My thought is it still lacks the power of localization. It needs the local tag, that specific and very local "door buster" to drive retail. It's what Rob Walker calls "the Desire Code...(his) name for the complex factors, rational and otherwise, that spark us to make particular purchase decisions." [via]. It's what Douglas Atkin refers to saying "The time has arrived for brands to take their place among others as new iterations of community in contemporary society." [via]. The first tribe of wireless has the ability to create communities from scratch practically overnight. Nothing subtle about this, what's needed now is full on, in your face, retail selling, take the gloves off stuff engaging the Reptilian brain. Let's agree to stop playing around and commit every industry resource to a full blown initiative of Manhattan Project or Moon shot scale. Let's agree to put every advantage available into play and create our own future. It's analog, it's digital, it's online, it's wireless in every configuration. Every platform matters.

Doc Searls: The new business of free radio. Doc understands the big picture as few do. Have to disagree with his notion of towers being less useful in the future. As it pertains to analog, agreed but HD Radio offers the potential of a unique depth and richness of practical apps. Wireless wins.

Stay tuned: I'm willing to wager that branding wizard Kelly O'Keefe and team have something special up their Radio 2020 sleeve.

Now, on the N=1 Tech desk: The uber-cool tech maven Dave Winer. Thanks to a wee bit of script this blog now features a preview of Dave Winer's TechJunk, Hot Product News for Tech Innovators. Check it out, left column. Use the link and put it in your reader. Thanks, Dave!

Summary judgment: Song of the Summer of 08 - I Kissed a Girl, Katy Perry [YouTube]. After conferring with radio programming aces Brian Kelly and Mark Edwards, advantaged, as well, by the considered opinion of pop music aficionado Austin Johnson, it seems fair to pronounce Katy the winner.

NPR API, the back story: Steve Gillmor delivers the goods with NPR's Dennis Haarsager, Zach Brand and Daniel Jacobson via The Gillmor Gang here. Kudos to Steve for a good show. Bravos to Dennis for his refreshing and exceptional leadership. Highly recommended (the show and Dennis' leadership)

Run that by me one more time: WGCI is a top ten no show in the 12 to death pre-currency Chicago PPM data. Here's the 12+ ranker. 1. WGN 2. WDRV 3. WBBM-AM 4. WTMX 5. WUSN 6. WLS-FM 7. WVAZ 8. WLS-AM 9. WLIT 10t. WLEY, WOJO. 25-54 pers, WDRV #1, WTMX #2. The headline news for me was reach. 12+ cume - WDRV #1. WLIT #2. WTMX #3.

Congrats & cheers: Early happy birthday wishes to the one year old My Damn Channel (7/31). Web 2.0 ace Rob Barnett and his gang of co-conspirators are writing their own sheet music. It sounds, and looks, mighty cool. Facebook signs search and advertising deal with Microsoft (MySpace has a somewhat similar deal with Google).

Closed circuit to Google: I'm lovin my iGoogle but what's up with the slow loading of GMail? Seems to be getting even slower, more often than not requiring a reload prompt..."This is taking longer than usual. Try reloading the page." Is it a bug that is part of the iGoogle "experiment"? Have anything to do w/Firefox 3?

It's a social thing: Best line of last week, Jason Calacanis..."FriendFeed drinks Twitter's milkshake." My thought is last summer Twitter was white hot, this summer it's FriendFeed that's clearly on. Twitter fail?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"The chief aim of wisdom is to enable one to bear with the stupidity of the ignorant." Winston Churchill

"He who gains a victory over other men is strong; but he who gains a victory over himself is all powerful." Lao-Tse

"Put a grain of boldness in everything you do." Baltasar Gracian

Today's image: Quiet.lane by Chris (archi3d). Great shot. Thank you for sharing.

Completed a new module in our leadership playbook yesterday.

The ongoing, developing lessons of Brett Favre and Jay Leno.

What's a manager to do when one of your stars "retires" and then changes their mind?

You've replaced them, moved on, now what? Should you pause and reconsider?

Jay Leno, another example. They've already promised the job to Conan, announced the last Friday of Leno and the first Monday of Conan.

What's NBCU to do now?

Mike Ditka said it best "There's no loyalty in sports." Your thoughts?

LATER: Ron Fell, ever the clever and very creative guy, offers a killer suggestion for how NBCU can retain Leno and in the process reinvent late prime. Check out Ron's concept by clicking on comments below. Bravos, Ron!

Bonus: passive-aggressive notes

Congrats & cheers: Steve Harvey, Eddie Webb, Doug Banks, turning in great Spring book performances in Chicago. Miles Young promoted, named CEO, Ogilvy Group. Michael Adair joins Glam Media. Bill Morningstar hires on with MLB. Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz sign as new co-hosts of Disney-ABC property At The Movies.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"A word, a lock, an accent, may affect the destiny not only of individuals, but of nations. He is a bold man who calls anything a trifle." Andrew Carnegie

"The art of statesmanship is to foresee the inevitable and to expedite its occurrence." Charles Maurice de Talleyrand

"The only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing - to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts." John Keats

Today's image: green windows and flowers by Elisabeth Gaj. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Here's the good news for those working at Clear Channel and Tribune. There is a better than even chance both firms will put an end to getting better and start getting different, begin discovering and inventing fresh new approaches, begin the critical process of abandonment. While it is certain to be messy, this break from business as usual, this embrace of creative collaboration and innovation will set these guys apart, put them deep into some serious learning and likely create sustainable competitive advantage. The economic pressures of both deals will move the focus from tweaking the numerator to changing the denominator. Accordingly, solution sets and results will shift from a preoccupation with market share to the strategic business of market creation. Clear Channel and Tribune may well prove to be two of the best outfits to work for today. My advice to grads and others looking for entry level jobs in ad supported measured media, hire on at Clear Channel or Tribune.

Previously: "Broadcasting can be reinvented just as the dead tree guys will yet find a way to survive. To start we need to make something happen on the air and on the street. It will be hard work, it will require inviting freaks to the party, real show business folks, the odd balls, the gifted creatives, the hardcore news animals, the geeks, and all those other "difficult to manage" types. And we need to fill the station with them...programming, sales, accounting, marketing, every department gets a carney, a certifiable loon. Every all hands meeting filled with dissent and snark, pregnant with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Every department manager gets to take a flyer, make an educated bet, or guess, and spin the wheel. We have to learn how to fail faster to succeed sooner. We have to have the guts to do something for no other reason than because it makes great TV or killer radio." Read the entire post from the summer of 2005 here.

Can't find my way home: Congrats to CBS for offering a custom iPhone version of but you guys forgot to provide a link to your main site.

Bonus: The Most Public Index via NowPublic, Crowd Powered Media.

Congrats & cheers: Radio programming ace and marketing maven Lee Arnold having the courage to stand up and tell it like it is - again - regarding the continuing failure of industry Halls of Fame to properly recognize the stars of the show. Read Lee's latest on this issue here. Eric & Kathy, Johnny B and Steve Dahl on their great Spring book performances.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Our experience is composed rather of illusions lost than wisdom acquired." Joseph Roux

"We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities." Walt Kelly

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe." Anatole France

Today's image: Roatan Beach - Perfect Day by janusz l. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Roger Ehrenberg blogs about lessons learned from a failed startup...

The Seven Deadly Sins

While we certainly made more than seven mistakes during the nearly four-year life of Monitor110, I think these top the list.
  1. The lack of a single, "the buck stops here" leader until too late in the game
  2. No separation between the technology organization and the product organization
  3. Too much PR, too early
  4. Too much money
  5. Not close enough to the customer
  6. Slow to adapt to market reality
  7. Disagreement on strategy both within the Company and with the Board
Read the entire post here. Bravos, Roger. Well done. My thanks to Fred Wilson for the tip.

Roger makes an important point about leadership...

"Instead of having product management as the advocate for the customer and the product evangelist, we had technology running the show in a vacuum. Huge mistake. This allowed us to perpetuate the science project for much, much longer than we should have. There were no checks-and-balances built into the system. This was a recipe for failure."

In my experience, when you do not appoint and empower a C-level advocate for the customer (i.e., the reader, the listener, the viewer, the advertiser, the user, the member) you are doomed to fail. Moreover, the advocate must have authority to match responsibility, anything less is also a fatal mistake the beginnings of which manifest as near-death experiences.

The fourth sin reminds me of a line by the brilliant strategist Gary Hamel... "Money makes you stupid, a lot of money makes you really stupid." The good doctor Hamel also said "We live in a world in which the way you create wealth is variety. You try new things. Well, the whole core principle in finance is that variance is a bad thing--variance from a budget, from a plan. That kind of thinking slowly permeates everything, and people begin to manage to the budget rather than manage to the opportunity."

Bonus: Clay Shirky, the Gothamist interview from April 2004. Killer line..."New York is 45 stars and 7 million extras, but it's a different 45 every day." Read the interview here.

Let the marketplace decide: This week we were witness to Jesse Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg using the N word on TV. Jackson's use was not intended for broadcast while Goldberg's was. My sense is both uses are unacceptable. Jackson and Goldberg know better.

Jackson being caught unawares is not a defense of usage. Goldberg's claim of her color being an explicit permission of usage does not a prima facie or reasonable case make. Let's agree that using the N word in public is racist speech no matter the color of the speaker. Feel free to use that word or any others to your liking when engaging in private conversations with friends and family but please, keep that racist filth to yourself, contained and not introduced into the commons of public speech. Fox News was right to call out Jackson by playing and referencing his remark. Sitting in a TV studio, mic'd and standing by for air is never a safe venue for private conversation, that's broadcast 101. Again, the Rev Jackson, one very media savvy guy, knows better.

Barbara Walters and ABC should have placed Goldberg on double-secret probation and in the process made it clear to her, and every other talent on the program, that no one gets to use the N word or any other racist language on The View. But it appears that will not be the case. Goldberg's use of the word, no matter the bleeping, generated buzz and word of mouth for the show. It seems that getting buzz for the program is more important, more prized than doing the right thing and setting high standards. Civility, good manners and common sense sacrificed for rating points.

Shame on you Barbara. You know better.

Which brings me to the online video controversy of the moment - Loren Feldman. Feldman says he's head of production at the video production company 1938 Media. He also claims to be a satirist and an artist. In Feldman's "official statement" regarding his Technigga video he says "If you think it's funny and clever great, if you didn't like it that's ok as well. That's show biz I guess." Feldman's statement goes on to talk about freedom, the implication being he should be protected by freedom, in this case freedom of expression. To put this into proper context, the video is from last year and was part of a weeklong project that made fun of several groups including (using Feldman's words here) jews, nerds and nazis. The video became an issue when it seemed a national brand might be doing business with Feldman. Members of the black community shouted foul. But it didn't end there.

Feldman decided to use his artistic foil of choice, the puppet, to create another video. In the new video the puppet is black, hired on, so we are told, as part of a new affirmative action program at Feldman's outfit. The video is replete with an anachronistic Amos 'n' Andy minstrel-style "black" voice over. Funny? Clever? My take is patently offensive and stupid without excuse. We should thank Feldman for this second video. It offers insight, shows us who he really is. Tells us what he truly cares about and in the process reveals the core of his so-called art. In my opinion, Feldman's goal here is not to entertain but to stir the pot, to fan the flame, to gain attention, it's all about him, lest we forget. All about his rights to be plainly offensive, all about his liberty of birth to be the online video village idiot. His blatant mockery of the sensibilities of others, the pure insensitivy of this latest rejoinder call his motives and his character into question. The lowest rung on the show biz ladder is probably street performer and Feldman seems to be below it continually reaching up without success but making a great deal of noise in the attempts as if to say "Look at me, look at me." Press on Feldman. Let's allow the marketplace to decide.

Let's see which advertisers and others will stand up and stand by you in support of racial stereotyping for fun and profit. Fair warning. We'll be exercising our freedom of expression too. That's show biz.

Friday, July 18, 2008

"The most effective way to cope with change is to help create it." L.W. Lynett

"Every man is two men; one is awake in the darkness, the other asleep in the light." Kahil Gibran

"The rewards in business go to the man who does something with an idea." William Benton

Today's image: Contro il muro by morillo. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

Summer reads: Get Amazon info clicking the title. Motoring with Mohammed by Eric Hansen. Hansen is a first-rate travel writer, fun reading. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. Science fiction in the tradition of Wyndham Lewis and Mervyn Peake. Amazing. Buying In by Rob Walker. The Timesman we love for writing the column "Consumed" in the NYT Magazine favors us with a book "The secret dialogue between what we buy and who we are." Just like the column only better. Personality not included by Rohit Bhargava. "Why companies lose their authenticity - and how great brands get it back." The Myths of the North American Indians by Lewis Spence. First published in 1914, insight into Native-American culture that is part ethnography, part history. Enjoying all of these - highly recommended.

David Pogue has been booked to keynote this fall's NAB Radio Show. Today's video is David presenting at TED. When it comes to tech, simplicity sells

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him." J.R. Tolkien

"It is a malady of our age that the young are so busy teaching us that they have no time left to learn." Eric Hoffer

"As bread is the staff of life, the simple sustenance of the body, so appreciation is the food of the soul." Priscilla Wayne

Today's image: Verduras by toalafoto. Great color. Thanks for sharing.

Too early to tell: The first wave of reports related to the audio apps used on the new iPhone 3G are a bit over the top. I love Pandora, won't give up my, and you can count me a fan boy of the AOL Radio app. Yes, my media behavior vis-a-vis audio has changed dramatically since Saturday when I picked up the new phone. It's simply the profound effect of the new toy. My "new" audio media behavior is an anomaly, aberrant noise, ephemeral stuff. Yesterday afternoon I was back to ATC in the office and in the car via FM radio. Last night I was back to playing with audio on the iPhone taking a bite out of broadcast and cable video. What's happening here is the natural, expected, new toy joy. It is generating a considerable load of evangelism.

What is not happening, just yet, is the death of radio. Yeah, I know, it is so damn cool to call stuff dead. Never mind those that, again, take this latest moment of new tech to proclaim the end of AM & FM broadcast. The first tribe of wireless is very much alive and enjoying 230 million domestic uniques a week (wonder how much online traffic American broadcast is getting from outside the country? Betcha it's a bunch).

It's the money: If you want to slow the adoption rate of anything find a way for it to cost money. That's the single biggest obstacle facing iPhone, and the other mobile platforms, in achieving mass adoption of their audio alternatives to broadcast radio - the hard cost of hardware and service. Once we reach the point where the expense is determined by the user and not the providers there will be excellent opportunities to capture major attention share, please take a moment and jump to Project VRM.

Think beyond today: Web 2.0 ace Kurt Hanson gets it exactly right about the iPhone radio apps. Read Kurt's post here. Bravos, Kurt. Well said. My thought is it is not important to predict the future when it may prove more practical and productive to predict or imagine a future. We need to change the denominator and to do that we are going to need to get into the new business of market creation rather than obsessing exclusively over market preservation. In sum, there has never been a better time than the present to be involved in the business of audio and video. The future of media is limited only by your imagination. Once the technology becomes transparent, and it will, the potential is practically without limits.

Fun with numbers: Rank the following syndi TV shows by size of audience. Check the answers below. Dr. Phil, Entertainment Tonight, Jeopardy, Judge Judy, Oprah.

Bonus: Starbucks' Lessons for Premium Brands. Harvard Business School professor John Quelch says the biggest mistake Starbucks made was going public. Read the article here. [Related - Professor Quelch's blog]

Arbitron has released a comparison of Diary vs PPM reach data for Los Angeles. Click on image to enlarge. Great to see radio programming ace Jhani Kaye getting proper credit for his exceptional work. Congrats to all.

Fun with numbers - solution: Ranked by size of audience. Jeopardy, Judge Judy, Oprah, Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Phil. The #1 syndi show remains, as evah, Wheel of Fortune.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are." John Burroughs

"Whatever we succeed in doing is a transformation of something we have failed to do. Thus, when we fail, it is only because we have given up." Paul Valery

"In prosperity, caution; in adversity, patience." Dutch proverb

Today's image: untitled by melinka!. Great shot. Thank you for sharing.

Early returns: Pandora kills on iPhone. Adding a new listener every two seconds, average time spent is over an hour a day. Jason Kincaid blogs Pandora Usage Stats Prove It's iPhone's Killer App here. Kudos, Jason and congrats to team Pandora.

This is how he rolls: Frank Gruber drives to work in DC and listens to Chicago radio thanks to AOL Radio and his iPhone. Check out the vid. Thanks for sharing, Frank. Very cool.

AOL Radio iPhone App [Episode 33 - SOMEWHAT FRANK TV] from Frank Gruber on Vimeo.

Bonus: Apple's walled garden. Dave Winer puts it out there (again) and he's right. Bravos, Dave.

Congrats & cheers: NPR opens new API. Very smart! Public media leads, commercial media follows, or not.

Social Media Landscape graphic thanks to Fred Cavazza [Related post] Click graphic to enlarge. Closed circuit to Fred - you need to add disqus.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers." Arthur Koestler

"Every beginning is a consequence - every beginning ends some thing." Paul Valery

"The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly." Vance Packard

Today's image: Kauai Postcard by konaboy. Great shot. Thanks for sharing.

AOL Radio (with CBS Radio on board) on the new iPhone 2.

Tech maven Leo Laporte posted the following on FriendFeed yesterday morning...

"Pandora is great, too. It's the death knell for broadcast radio."

Clearly, CBS Radio gains an advantage with iPhone users.

There are still some issues here, it's early. One comment on Leo's post said "Useless, until I can run it in the background" (pb30).

Perhaps the biggest issue is not with this single app but with iPhone penetration. One million units sold in the first weekend is impressive but in context still a small number. Apple is saying iPhone and iPod users have downloaded ten million apps from the new App Store.

This all gets interesting when developers offer AOL Radio, Pandora and other radio/music apps across more mobile platforms.

My thanks to Leo Laporte for the image.

Doh!: My sense is Leo and Jeff Jarvis [related], have both missed the big picture here. They are enjoying broadcast radio content on another platform. This marks not the end of broadcast but a beginning, access of broadcast content via another media.

Reviewing the bidding: Aaron Landry provides a good overview of iPhone mobile social networking apps. All the usual suspects are here. Kudos, Aaron. Well done. iPhone demo iPhone Demo from Toby on Vimeo.

Congrats & cheers: BuzzFeed & Jonah Peretti on securing their $3.5 mil first round [via CNET]

LATER: Kelly O'Keefe weighs in via comment...

"What this suggests is that those people (myself included) who won't give up their iPhones and iPod, prefer these devices with a healthy serving of radio. After all, AOL Radio, mentioned above, is powered by broadcast radio."

Bravos, Kelly! Well said.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know." Mark Twain

"The secondhandedness of the learned world is the secret of its mediocrity." Alfred North Whitehead

"Learning is a treasury whose keys are queries." Arabian proverb

Today's image: Sitting, waiting, wishing by NebulskiN. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Bonus: One Person Trend Stories. Priceless.

Kubler-Ross, measured media edition: The five stages of grief. 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance. Where is your organization?

"As with the printing press. If it's really a revolution it doesn't take us from point A to point B. It takes us from point A to chaos. The printing press precipitated two hundred years of chaos." Clay Shirky @ TED on institutions vs. collaboration. Start video below; highly recommended.

Have a wonderful weekend. See you next week in a brand new show.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"Never cut what you can untie." Joseph Joubert

"Simplicity, of all things, is the hardest to be copied." Richard Steele

"The last thing one knows - is what to put first." Blaise Pascal

Today's image: Bing Ji Ling - Fire & Ice Cream by merkley. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Congrats & cheers: Rafat Ali

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"We may convince others by our arguments, but we can only persuade them by their own." Joseph Joubert

"Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We know too much, and are convinced of too little." T.S. Eliot

Today's image: Black & White Beauty by Rikkilynn07. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

F5: Two interesting ongoing discussions. First, The Nicholas Carr writing Is Google Making Us Stupid: What The Internet is doing to Our Brains. Now followed on by the the contrary opinion of Danny Hillis. Read both via Altantic Monthly here. Second, a reminder that racism is alive and well in America. The latest example, an online video producer loses support of a sponsor, Verizon, for featuring a video last year which many, including this blogger, find patently offensive and insensitive. The video producer claims it to be a form of comedy or at least entertainment, many objecting to the content say it is the blatant racism of stereotyping blacks. You decide. Read Corvia here, and Shey Smith here. I'll not name or provide a link to the the video producer. In my opinion, the guy is a hack and he'll get no traffic from this blog. Besides, at this point he's a very easy guy to find. This is certainly a situation Tom Joyner and Tavis Smiley need to bring to light and examine in some depth. Tom? Tavis? [I've reached out to both gentlemen]

Bonus: A N I M O T O. Create videos and trailers. Very cool.

Congrats & cheers: Radio programming ace Brian Kelly, wife and new mom Katie on the birth of Emerson John. Jim Thompson named prexy Broadcasters Foundation of America. Radio programming and marketing maven Tim Dukes joins Tribune as vice president of promotions.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"Artistic temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs." Gilbert K. Chesterton

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." Frank Lloyd Wright

"Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence." Ray Kroc

Today's image: Silent [screams] by Ravi Vora. Amazing. Thank you for sharing.

The way ahead: McClatchy exec Howard Weaver offers up McClatchyNext, a wiki for journalists and others to talk about news. [Related: blog] Kudos, Howard. Enjoying the discussion.

Sweet home Chicago: Eric Logan joins Harpo Productions as Executive Vice President. Eric previously served with distinction as a radio programming executive posted at US99 and held corporate programming positions while at CBS/Infinity. Eric jumps from pay radio following the earlier lead of Lee Abrams. Trend? The smart kids are getting out of pay radio.

Congrats & cheers: Brian Kennedy named director of digital news gathering, CBS News & CBS Sports. Roger Keating joins Hearst-Argyle as SVP, Digital Media., on their launch today [back story]

Grapes: Two reds perfect with your mixed grill, good values at $10. Columbia Crest, Grand Estates, Merlot, 2005 (Washington state). R, Roogle Shiraz, 2006 (Australia).

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"Summer is drawn blinds in Louisiana, long winds in Wyoming, shades of elms and maples in New England." Archibald MacLeish

"Few things are impossible to diligence and skill." Samuel Johnson

"In all things preserve integrity; and the consciousness of thine own uprightness will alleviate the toil of business." William Paley

Today's image: Hitchhiker's Guide to Your Galaxy by Krisztina Tordai. Stunning. Thanks for sharing.

Congrats & cheers: Marcus Brauchli named WaPo executive editor.

Ink-Stained Retching: Tell Zell [Related: A priceless react by Alex Dering via Poynter... "Is this how it ends? With stubby fingered vulgarians (all mad props, Spy magazine) kicking over every little thing of any value and style and taste?"]

Monday, July 07, 2008

"Leadership is the initiation and direction of endeavor in the pursuit of consequence. Anything else is criticism from janitors." Royal Alcott

"If you mean to profit, learn to please." Winston Churchill

"Work is the price paid for reputation." Baltasar Gracian

Today's image: Everlasting in blue by kimtojin. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Warm up that Plan B: If you're in the ad-supported measured media dodge best to get something real ready now and on hot standby. The economy is not coming around. Ted Forstmann, one of the brightest guys in private equity, says we are in a credit crisis "...the likes of which I've never seen..." [The Credit Crisis is Going to Get Worse by Brian M. Carney, via WSJ here]. Also in the article, Ted shares some wisdom from Warren Buffett, once telling him about the three "I"s in every cycle...1. Innovator 2. Imitator 3. Idiot. My sense is the Idiots will continue to be obsessed with the numerator, blamestorming - making excuses, delegating blame to the business cycle and other external forces. No matter, their "getting better" strategy is past its best used by date. The Idiots will create opportunity for a fresh new cycle led by Innovators. The Innovators will get busy, focused on the very serious business of getting dramatically different and, in the process, change the denominator. For those playing along at home, Ted is Farid's boss. Hint: "The source of Google's competitive advantage is learning by doing" so says Google chief economist Hal R. Varian. Read more Google, Zen Master of the Market via NY Times here. Bravos to Ted for telling it like it is and congrats to Brian on the get with kudos for a piece well done.

Buzz: Wal-Mart gets a new logo (Blue w/orange sunburst) and loses the hyphen becoming Walmart. FireShot - the Firefox screenshot extension, very cool. More info here (thanks to Dave Winer for the tip).

If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room: Dave Winer leads the league (again). He bows TechJunk [related blog]. If you want to stay on the absolute leading edge of tech, get this into your reader. Bravos to Dave!

Bonus: GuruFocus. Stock picks and market insights gleaned from the truly rich (e.g., the major player wealth including Warren Buffet)

Congrats & cheers: Lisa Lambden & Michael Rosenblum to be married next month. Michael blogs about it here. Public Radio Programming Directors Association bows new site. Radio programming ace Dave Wellington joins Clear Channel, new skipper at WWDC and WCHH. (thanks to Lee Arnold for the tip). The 2008 Women to Watch winners including Sandy Constan, Nancy Hill, Charlene Li, Maureen McGuire, Kavita Vazirani, Mary Beth West and Vivi Zigler. More via Ad Age here.

Grapes: More good values in red under $10. Penfolds, Koonunga Hill, Shiraz Cabernet, 2006 (Australia). Dona Paula, Los Cardos, Malbec, 2006 (Argentina).

Sunday, July 06, 2008

"In the choice between changing one's mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof." John Kenneth Galbraith

"We tend to throw out the most meaningful and most revolutionary if we ask people about their preferences." Malcolm Gladwell

"...the only effective way to understand what people truly mean is to ignore what they say." Clotaire Rapaille

Today's image: Storms coming by Eddie O'Bryan. Great shot. Thank you for sharing.

We're in luck: Fred Winston has captured the images, added quotations and posted some good stuff here. Wonderful! Thanks, Fred.

Bonus: Chasing his piece in New York Magazine on Microfame (and the new rules of internet celebrity) the uber-cool linker Rex Sorgatz serves up the topline in the Pop17 interview here. Bravos to Sarah Austin. Congrats & cheers to Rex. What level of "microfame" have your talent achieved? What, exactly, are you doing to improve their "celebrity?"

Pre-game prep

One jump to a blog post with a quote, two links and...right here on our page, three slide shows. Start your week thinking, reflecting. Invest in your weekly pre-game prep.

Awareness precedes change - Tom Asacker blogs here. Kudos, Tom.

Friday, July 04, 2008

"Liberty is the result of free individual action, energy and independence." Samuel Smiles

"Leisure is time for doing something useful, and this leisure the diligent man will obtain." Benjamin Franklin

"Pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes." John Ruskin

Today's image: Red White and Blue Fireworks by Kadath. Fine shot. Thanks for sharing.

Think Twitter is silly? Look what it just did...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

"It is no paradox to say that in our most theoretical moods we may be nearest to our most practical applications." Alfred North Whitehead

"Act so that the maxim of your act could be made the principle of a universal law." Immanuel Kant

"This time, like all times, is a good one if we just know what to do with it." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today's image: Ratingen - Breitscheid by Ventura Carmona. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

The holiday approaches. This might well prove to be my last post of the week. Then again...

The Summer Tune of 2008: Like everything else it's a pro-am folks. In this corner the pro, Sean Ross and in the other corner, Dan & Lane those uber-cool Vulture folks from NY Magazine. Each assisted by comments. You decide. Comments welcome. FYI - Brian Kelly, the radio programming ace that I continue to have child-like faith in tells me it's still "too early to tell."

Unfiltered: Client CEO to me "The only competitive advantage is people. Our people are better than the competition, as a result, we win. We spend more on training than our competitors do on advertising. They don't get it." (FD: on the day job we provide training to the CEO's managers)

Mea culpa: Some years ago I called out Seth Godin for his exclusive use of the PDF format in the Change This initiative. I said he was wrong. Turns out Seth was right. PDF has now become an ISO standard. My apologies to Seth.

Bonus: Flickchart (beta) and the blog. You decide the best movies of all time. The workout for your brain - MindHabits (thanks to Steve Rubel for the tip)

Buzz: Google closing their Dallas and Denver offices, the election is relo or severance. Best of luck to all involved. HBO presents The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not for Sale, more here [official site]

Given up Twitter for the summer. Hanging my hat at FriendFeed. It's on. All the big kids are playing there.

Congrats & cheers: Abhay Parekh bows Flowgram. Amazing!

Found along the way while looking for something else...Mike Tyson quote "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth."

Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.