Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Poetry is the shortest way of saying something. It lets us express a dime's worth of ideas, or a quarter's worth of emotion, with a nickel's worth of words." John Grier

"Most clear writing is a sign that there is no exploration going on. Clear prose indicates the absence of thought." Marshall McLuhan

"The thorough man of business knows that only by years of patient, unremitting attention to affairs can he earn his reward, which is the result, not of chance, but of well-devised means for the attainment to ends." Andrew Carnegie

Today's image: Head Above Water by Philippe Sainte-Laudy. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Leadership: Robert X. Cringely offers us some wisdom, thanks to Janna Raye...

"Modern corporations suffer from systemic-level issues that emerge in top-down hierarchies. Managers are there to control staff and budgets, not to lead. Although you can make valiant and often successful attempts to control things and processes, you will never again be able to control people. We've evolved, basically, and the information age has had a lot to do with it. So we still "manage" companies the same way as when we actually operated assembly lines in America--the good old days! Now, people need leaders, not managers, and that's what a fractal organization enables.

"In fractal organizations, it's the staff deciding how to continuously improve processes in their functional areas for efficiency of time and resources. These organizations thrive with a new pay model also, based upon results or value of work delivered and not how much time it takes to do the task. Those who are really good will get to go home early! These are not the organizations that are shrinking. Like galaxies, they continue to expand, actually aided by a strong gravitational pull of the leaders at the center. Those who do it well create a compelling vision and keep it alive. They allocate resources to projects that align with the vision, and reward arm- and team-cluster leaders for the creative ideas their staff bring to the organization. It's a shared vision and collective goals that are missing from the vast majority of organizations, which is why failing projects continue to drain resources. Really caring about what you do and feeling proud to be a part of something special and wonderful is what every human desires, even if they say they don't."

Read Robert's entire post here. Bravos, Cringely, well done.

Thank you very much: Marketing maven Tom Asacker kind enough to send along his very cool new book, A Little Less Conversation, Connecting with Consumers in a Noisy World. [Amazon info]. More on Tom's writing after the reading.

Congrats & cheers: Radio programming ace Mark Pennington promoted to PD of legendary Detroit rocker WRIF. Well deserved. Thanks to Lee Arnold for the tip. Adult Alt bows on AccuRadio today. Kudos Tom Teuber, Kurt Hanson and all involved. NPR launches online community, smart. [Related: NPR]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Seek simplicity, and distrust it." Alfred North Whitehead

"It is not in the power of the most exalted wit or enlarged understanding, by any quickness or variety of thought, to invent or frame one new simple idea." John Locke

"To think is to differ." Clarence Darrow

Today's image: Harvest (Summer Memories) by ToniVC. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


RKO Radio Rep
RKO Radio Network

A reunion of RKO Radio folks has been talked about for years. It always seems like a good idea when the subject comes up however thus far nothing has happened. So, on with the show. A gathering is being planned for 2009 in Los Angeles. If you worked for RKO Radio or know of someone that did please help us get the word out. We are now collecting contact information. Get in touch via RKORadioReunion@gmail.com

Dwight Case once said "If we had an RKO reunion we would need to hold it at Soldier Field." We'll see how many we can gather in LA next year. Should be fun.

- 30 - Dan Conover publishes his last newspaper article online after former dead tree bosses pass. It's worth your bandwidth...

"The past was low-bandwidth. It required intermediaries who decided what was best for the most people and then served it up to us. One size fit all.

The present is high-bandwidth, and expanding so rapidly that each year obsoletes the previous year’s technology. One size no longer fits all, and the notion that others can (or should) mediate what we have a right to know and discuss strikes us as anti-democratic.

This shift meant that our newsroom religion’s belief in the sanctity of its gatekeeper function fell instantly into question. More information was a good thing, but our inability to control and shape it struck us as a dangerous slide toward anarchy."

Read the entire article, The Media Interregnum, here. Kudos, Dan. Well done.

Back this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true." John Keats

"A man must learn to endure that patiently which he cannot avoid conveniently." Michel de Montaigne

"In talking about a genius, you would not say that he lies, he sees realities with different eyes from ours." Constantin Stanislavski

Today's image: 1jpg by Gavin Goodman. Wonderful shot. Thanks for sharing.

When they don't know what they don't know: Seth Godin makes a good point, Probably not stupid...

"When the board of directors embraces a fading old media model instead of embracing a strategy that leads to rapid growth, it's probably because each of them started with a worldview about the way things worked and were going to work. Add to that little direct experience, and it's no wonder they decided what they did. You would too if you were given the same resources to begin with.

Changing worldviews is very difficult and requires quite a bit of will. Changing the data at hand is a lot easier, and that's where marketing can really help. If you, as a marketer, can package data in a way that people with a certain worldview can accept, you move the conversation forward far more quickly than if you merely dismiss the non-customers or the doubters as stupid."

Read Seth's entire post, here.

Chicago Tribune streets new redesign Monday. Blog and video tour here. Thanks to Twitter pal Col Tribune for the tip.

Bonus: Clay Shirky - It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure. Highly recommended. Web 2.0 video here. David Foster Wallace syllabus for Lit Interp class, here. My thanks to Sophia.

Congrats & cheers: Matt Thompson bows Newsless.org Alex Ross awarded MacArthur genius grant, well deserved. His always interesting blog, The Rest is Noise, should be in your reader.

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Luck is an accident that happens to the competent." Albert M. Greenfield

"No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannize him and thus force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability." Samuel Johnson

"True effort, in fact, as of a captive struggling to free himself: That is thought." Thomas Carlyle

Today's image: Surfacing by Catherine Jamieson. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Are we "overretailed"?
2008 ending soft, nobody is making their numbers
2009 looking tougher

Nancy Lazar, chairwoman and economist at Manhattan's ISI Group tells Barron's "It's the consumer's turn to go through a restructuring." [9/22 Bailout or Not, Credit Will Be Crunched by Sandra Ward]. Ms Lazar suggests the US is "overretailed" and "internationally oversupplied." To put this into perspective, consumer spending represents two-thirds of the US economy. In our experience retail sales is a key indicator in forecasting ad spend. While imperfectly correlated, ad spend exhibits a tendency to chase retail sales. Recent events in the financial markets suggest we are witness to the beginning of a deleveraging process. Larry Jeddeloh, founder and chief investment officer of TIS Group is also quoted in the same Barron's piece, "This is not the end of the credit crunch -- the credit crunch is just beginning." He goes on to say "Saving, and reducing debt and value shopping are the new trends." Kudos to Sandra Ward on a well written overview. Our thoughts this morning...

  1. Deal flow will remain stagnant until sellers of media properties embrace the new reality of single digit multiples. Moreover, creative financing including seller paper will likely be needed to drive and close deals for cash/credit short buyers. Supply clearly exceeds demand.
  2. Characterizing the US economy as one in recession, or not, has become an academic exercise. No matter the term of art used there is an abundance of evidence suggesting a slowdown in consumer spending. When retail gets a cold, ad-supported measured media goes into the hospital.
  3. Competition for ad dollars will remain intense, increasingly an extreme sport. Failure to develop new business, at levels sufficient to be material, will exacerbate the consequences of an accelerated attrition in key account categories (e.g., durable goods, automotive).
  4. Pricing of broadcast inventories, especially those subject to traditions common in the transactional bid-ask, must reflect a new, more coherent value proposition. As a practical matter, broadcast operators need to be more mindful of what the dead tree guys are doing. Fighting for their survival print media are attempting to re-order how the ad-supported media game is played. [Hint: PPM provides radio with a robust reach story]
  5. Discretionary purchasing power will decline. As households tighten spending, accounts in the discretionary space will revisit and in the majority of cases will pull back on ad spend.
  6. Those with the courage and audacity to shift focus from market share to market creation will gain competitive and strategic advantage in the days ahead.
Congrats & cheers: Legendary radio star Fred Winston sounded great on WGN this past Saturday. WSUM, UW Madison student radio, continues to surprise and entertain. Station chief Dave Black and team are doing a simply exceptional job. The Isthmus and Rich Albertoni on a well done piece about WSUM, School of rock, here. MTVN on backchannel, very nice.

Pig on the runway: A scarcity of bank capital combined with a continuing poor state of economy seems likely to keep the pay radio pig from getting off the ground. The Mel Karmazin led XM/Sirius combo faced serious multiple challenges before last week's series of problems in the financial markets and now faces what may prove to be the most challenging task of all: Raising the capital needed to manage/refinance debt obligations while keeping the doors open long enough to reinvent the venture. The big issue appears to be the current pay radio business model. Will it support and sustain the enterprise following the realization of Mel's proposed $400+ mil in economies? My sense is the odds are 6 to 5 against the pay radio pig taking flight in 2009. The question being heard around midtown and downtown is will Mel attempt a reorg under protection of bankruptcy? [Related - Robert Holmes provides a very good review of the bidding @ TheStreet.com, Sirius XM Up to Its Ears in Debt, here]

Bonus: Chumby adds Pandora. Very cool. More info here.

Have an amazing week. Make something happen.

Friday, September 19, 2008

"You better be working on something that can really make a difference." Tim O'Reilly

"Blow your own horn loud. If you succeed, people will forgive your noise, if you fail, they'll forget it." William Feather

"Distinction is the consequence, never the object, of a great mind." Washington Allston

Today's image: my last shot by Pollo Patagonico. Very cool. Thanks for sharing, all the best.

Microsoft has three new TV spots. No Jerry. Game on.

It's pirate day on FriendFeed, uh, Frrriendfeed. Bravos! There are few things better than having a fine sense of humor and encouraging adults to play. Genius!

Bonus: A blog that deserves to be in your reader. Clive Thompson blogs on science, tech and culture @ collision detection. Bravos, Clive!

Keith Olbermann Issues a Special Comment on Yesterday's Lunch, thanks and kudos to Michael Terry [via Rachael]

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

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"The street finds its own use for things." William Gibson

"We are as gods and we might as well get good at it." Stewart Brand

"The nature of an innovation is that it will arise at the fringe where it can afford to become prevalent enough to establish its usefulness without being overwhelmed by the inertia of the orthodox system." Kevin Kelly

Today's image: E is for Elevation by Love, Loren. Great shot. Thanks for sharing.

Jason Fried shares his thoughts, Things We've Learned at 37Signals, wherein he makes 14 points, here's one...

6. Interruption is the enemy of productivity - when Jason and DHH were across the pond from each other they were super productive and they did work. When DHH moved to Chicago they got a lot less done. Proximity invites collaboration. Interruptions: tap on the shoulder with a question, required meetings, shouting someone’s name, “Hey Check this out”, phones & blackberry’s. Great quote: “Average work day has been traded in for work moments.” Most people get work done in the mornings or late at night. Not that there’s more work today - just that there’s less time in the daytime. Fragmented day is not a productive day. Strategy: on Thursdays nobody talks to each other. Passive collaboration instead of active collaboration. If someone is busy they can put it aside and come to it when they’re ready. Interruption points screw your days up.

Read Jason's entire post, a summary of his Web 2.0 presentation here. Kudos, Jason. Well done.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Difficulty is the nurse of greatness." William Cullen Bryant

"Find a purpose in life so big it will challenge every capacity to be at your best." David McKay

"Few things are brought to a successful issue by impetuous desire, but most by calm and prudent forethought." Thucydides

Today's image: an amiable split by Lorrie McClanahan. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Say it ain't so: WADV is the RAB streaming audio platform which will be dedicated to covering next week's Advertising Week V. WADV will be streaming a great many sessions next week however The Radio CEO Summit session will not be one of them. There is no good excuse for this. Yahoo! buys a full-page ad in the Advertising Week V program, the insertion is far-forward, check, it's left-facing, uh, ok, the ad copy uses a url that does not work, no, please, no! There is no good excuse.

Bonus: Marketing maven Tom Asacker offers his take on Microsoft's new Bill Gates & Jerry Seinfeld campaign, The Bill and Jerry Show w/videos, here. But wait, there's more...

Tom has also posted a new thought piece that you need to read and share with others on your team. A Little More Action..."turn up the volume of your childlike sense of wonder, compassion and rampant enthusiasm." Find the article here. Bravos, Tom. Spot-on.

Congrats & cheers: CBS Radio programming ace Mark Edwards and his KEZK team taking home the AC Station of the Year hardware from R&R and leader of the CBS Radio gang Dan Mason honored as Radio Group Executive of the Year. Others honored in the first round included Mike McVay, Ryan Seacrest, Tom Owens, Bob Call and Eileen Woodbury. MadTown's WJJO picked up Active Rock Station of the Year. Complete list of winners here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"It marks a big step in a man's development when he comes to realize that other men can be called in to help him do a better job than he can do alone." Andrew Carnegie

"Behind every argument is someone's ignorance." Louis Brandeis

"Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar." William Wordsworth

Today's image: Yes, it really is that blue! by *christopher*. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Birds of a feather: Thanks to OMMA and David Honig we are made aware of this incredible insight...

"Any person in contact with an existing customer of a firm is three to five times more likely to respond to a message from the firm."

This from research conducted in 2004 by Chris Volinsky, AT&T Labs Research with Foster Provost, a NYU business professor and Shawndra Hill (then an NYU grad student now a professor at the Wharton School).

BBQ does not mean cooking out. BBQ is not a verb. BBQ does not = grill. BBQ = meat, special meat: The BBQ Song. Thanks and kudos to the smart marketing folks at Alka-Seltzer, they're making Speedy proud. Video is 3:25 and well worth your bandwidth. [Related: The Alka-Seltzer Great American Road Trip here. The important lesson here is..."How fun is your brand?"]

Have an amazing week. Making something remarkable happen.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are." Talmudic saying

"Neither man nor nation can exist without a sublime idea." Dostoevski

"The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market." Oliver Wendell Holmes

Today's image: Graffiti Alley by Metrix X. Great shot. Thank you for sharing.

F5: Greg Strassell, SVP programming for CBS Radio, writes about the evolution of HD Radio and the CBS HD2/3 initiatives. Via RBR here. Kudos, Greg. Well done.

Congrats & cheers: Internet radio ace Kurt Hanson and company bow Slipstream Radio, partners with Triton Digital. More info here. Our uber-cool social media pal Col Tribune proves that some dead tree guys do get it and gets nom for Groundswell award, well deserved. Details here.

Take Two: Bill & Jerry are back. New Family runs 4:30 and features the two rich guys slumming that they may better connect to real people. The creative is available now via YouTube. The theme is connecting. Seems to me the only connecting going on here is happening between the agency and Microsoft's cash. There's wasting money and then there's burning money. They've managed to do the latter. Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami drinks Mr Softy's milk shake. You decide. [Hint: If you want to create buzz hire Dale Pon, few know that territory better. Should you want to stir emotion w/pictures and sound then Chuck Blore is the go-to guy] The dolls and guys at the Economist have a different pov...

"One of the world’s richest men comes across as unassuming and approachable, the antithesis of Apple’s aspirational cool, which some find annoying and snooty. In a country that loves to poke fun at “elitists” (especially during elections), it would be wrong to write off Microsoft’s new campaign just yet."

Read Postmodern wriggle. To save Microsoft, Bill Gates adjusts his shorts here. Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins blogs I Don't Care What You Say, I Love the Microsoft Ads, here. The latest official word from Team Vista, thanks to Chris Flores is here. Earlier, David Webster, general manager of brand and marketing strategy at Microsoft said...

"We've crossed the line where we're not going to let a competitor define our story anymore," he said. "We want to tell our story not somebody else's." [via AdWeek]

Totally agree with David's concept, all he's missing now is one pesky detail - the story.

Must-read: Hugh MacLeod shares a piece from his upcoming book, Ignore Everybody...

"good ideas have lonely childhoods"

"You don't know if your idea is any good the moment it's created. Neither does anyone else. The most you can hope for is a strong gut feeling that it is. And trusting your feelings is not as easy as the optimists say it is. There's a reason why feelings scare us."

Bravos, Hugh! Outstanding. Read the entire post here.

Bonus: Got Flickr? Got a Flickr set with at least 18 images? You're ready to play the Flickr Memari Beta, thanks to zefrank here.

Closed circuit to high profile Chicago based media company - running XP is ok, running IE6 is not.

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

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Error is not a fault of our knowledge, but a mistake of our judgment giving assent to that which is not true." John Locke

"I don't want any yes men around me. I want everyone to tell me the truth - even though it costs him his job." Samuel Goldwyn

"To know one's ignorance is the best part of knowledge." Lao-Tse

Today's image: Thinking by Sidereal. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

What did we learn this year?
What will our business be?

It's budget season in media. Each year at this time clients invite us to participate in their planning process. Over the years we have developed a set of discovery learning tools that help teams to better understand their problems and challenges. We begin with a series of questions. What did we learn this year? What is happening? What is not happening? What can we do to influence the action? What will our business be in 2009? Being involved in these planning sessions provides our team with a richer perspective on local media markets. This insight becomes valuable when we are developing the econometric models used to produce our annual ad spend forecast.

Congrats & cheers: Rock radio programming ace Fred Jacobs and crew have put the finishing touches on their agenda. Next week in Austin they'll present their 13th Jacobs Media Summit. Looks to be their best evah. Don't miss it if you can, all the smart kids will be there. More info here. Tom Webster, new media maven in residence at Edison Media Research, promoted to VP Strategy & Marketing. Well deserved. Release here.

Bonus: Neil Perkin blogs on leadership here and shares a cartoon on making money from social media here. Thanks to radio programming rock star Dave Logan for the tip.

Monday, September 08, 2008

"All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions." George Bernard Shaw

"What praise is implied in the simple epithet useful! What reproach in the contrary." David Hume

"Life is like a game of poker: If you don't put any in the pot, there won't be any to take out." Moms Mabley

Today's image: Edge of the Earth by Zack Schnepf. Amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Let me bring two items to your attention. A must-see video by Malcolm Gladwell on hiring, here. The outstanding must-read piece in yesterday's NYT Magazine by Clive Thompson. I'm So Totally, Digitally Close to You...

“The current generation is never unconnected. They’re never losing touch with their friends. So we’re going back to a more normal place, historically. If you look at human history, the idea that you would drift through life, going from new relation to new relation, that’s very new. It’s just the 20th century.”

Psychologists and sociologists spent years wondering how humanity would adjust to the anonymity of life in the city, the wrenching upheavals of mobile immigrant labor — a world of lonely people ripped from their social ties. We now have precisely the opposite problem. Indeed, our modern awareness tools reverse the original conceit of the Internet. When cyberspace came along in the early ’90s, it was celebrated as a place where you could reinvent your identity — become someone new.

“If anything, it’s identity-constraining now,” Tufekci told me. “You can’t play with your identity if your audience is always checking up on you...“You know that old cartoon? ‘On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog’? On the Internet today, everybody knows you’re a dog! If you don’t want people to know you’re a dog, you’d better stay away from a keyboard.”

Read the entire article here.

Super-sizing sellers: Mel Taylor blogs about online revenue strategy for local media and he brings a wealth of practical experience to the subject. In his latest post Mel proffers the notion that you are better off with a team of "Super Sellers"...

"Competitors like Google, niche sites, directories and others, are looking to grow their local online share at the expense of Broadcast and Newspaper. Traditional media must leverage the assets that these players do not have at the local level: dominant reach, client relationships, sales force, marketing muscle, and a trusted brand."

Mel goes on to suggest a four point plan of action. Read Separate Web Sales...Or Super Sellers, here. Kudos, Mel. Well done. My sense is the most important point you make is ensuring that managers have the knowledge needed to lead the charge. In perhaps too many cases the managers don't know what they don't know. Accordingly, the first step in getting serious about developing multi-platform revenue is a rather radical one, learning to accept our ignorance. The second step is to foster experimentation. Give Mel's concept a go keeping in mind your focus should be on getting different not on getting better. Properly, the mission would seem to be one of changing your selling strategy rather than tweaking your current tactics of best practice.

HR is broken: Giving Mel credit for his approach, however, what will be required for his strategy to work is an investment in HRD (i.e., human resources development). As blogged here previously, media is not doing a good job of investing in training or development. The paradox is at a time when there is a great abundance of resources available there is a scarcity of dollars chasing those resources. I know of a smart station exec who is paying their own way through the RAB Digital course. This type of self-improvement investment tends to be the uncommon and rare exception. It seems to me that until the CEO recognizes and respects the critical importance of reinventing or at least rebooting HR and HRD making progress at the local level will continue to be be very difficult. Did you watch the Malcolm Gladwell video? The one mentioned above, first in today's post. You should. It's about hiring and will get you thinking. You should revisit your hiring process. What's your new hire batting average? If you really want to gain a sustainable competitive advantage invest in your people, especially now when others are not. The ROI is exceptional.

The job market, a new definition: PaidInterviews, a new site in the employment space, launches later today. Sarah Perez provides an advance overview here. Bravos, Sarah! She makes an excellent point that sites in the job vertical are boring. Just checked Monster for the first time in years and they're playing the same old tunes. Good luck to the PaidInterviews team.

Stay tuned: Katalyst Media, the Ashton Kutcher + Jason Goldberg venture, bows blahgirls. In the words of the Joker, Why so serious? Should one of the girls be smiling?

Bonus: 280 Slides - Create and share presentations online. Free.

Have a great week. Making something amazing happen!

Friday, September 05, 2008

"The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them." Mark Twain

"Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data." John Naisbitt

"He who has begun has half done. Dare to be wise; begin!" Horace

Today's image: Childhood by Thomas Hawk. Outstanding. Thank you for sharing.

Go Big or Go Home: Business advice from Bono. From an article headed "New U2 album delayed till 2009"...

“We’ve hit a rich songwriting vein and we don’t want to stop,” Bono says on the band’s website. “It gets a bit dark down here but looks like we’ve found diamonds not coal. I thought a while back we might have the album wrapped by now, but why come up above ground now if there’s more priceless stuff to be found?”

Read the entire post by Tim Walker @ Hoover's Business Insight Zone. Kudos, Tim. Well done.

Bonus: Malcolm Gladwell - Video - How you hire the right person. Highly recommended.

Eaten alive: Giles Coren, restaurant critic for the Times in London, is known to engage others via email. His latest email rant to his subeditors is a classic. Read "I have never ended on an unstressed syllable" via the Guardian here.

Social media: Find Your Social Media Score - 12 Questions for marcom teams self-test here. Thanks to John Bell @ OgilvyPR.

Bill & Jerry: The first spot in the new Microsoft campaign is out and getting mixed reviews. It's been reported Jerry is being paid $10 mil to star as the talent in the $300 mil campaign. The 90 second spot left me cold. I'll await the considered opinions of Lew Lazare, Tom Asacker and Joseph Jaffe. In the meantime, you decide. Watch it here. [Related: Microsoft tries to explain Seinfeld ad - Deborah Gage, Microsoft Works to Perfect Windows Vista - Steve Lohr, First Microsoft/Seinfeld Ad Bombs - Sam Gustin]

Thursday, September 04, 2008

"If you speak the truth, have a foot in the stirrup." Turkish proverb

"A smile is the chosen vehicle for all ambiguities." Herman Melville

"Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today's image: cloudy by twentyeight. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Ongoing discussions about the leadership problem in media leads me to add one more quotation. Something more to think about, the bottleneck is at the top...

"Where are you likely to find people with the least diversity of experience, the largest investment in the past, and the greatest reverence for industry dogma: At the top."

Gary Hamel

Podcasting: Fad or trend? Kurt Hanson offers the pov of three bloggers and his take here.

Congrats & cheers
: Radio programming ace Patty Martin & her team at The Drive in Chicago. Early pre-currency indications are, again, history making and please let me add, well deserved. A highly respected local tells me "...a consistently well-positioned, well-programmed and well-marketed station since day one." There you have it dear friends, the secrets to great success.

Internet radio rock star Kurt Hanson and crew at AccuRadio are launching 30 new channels in 30 days. Check it out here.

Making the hits: Web 2.0 impresario and video entertainment ace Rob Barnett is making things happen. Kudos to the My Damn Channel gang, they continue to amaze. In August the site delivered 2.8 million views. But wait, there's more...now they're adding Yahoo! as another distribution partner.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement." Alfred Adler

"Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer

"That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false." Paul Valery

Today's image: Follow your bliss by IrenaS. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Tom Asacker
has a new book coming next month.

I know Tom but have not been provided an advance copy.

Not able to comment on how good or how valuable the book will be.


A Little Less Conversation: Connecting with Consumers in a Noisy World

Sure sounds like a good bet, get your pre-order in today. Amazon pre-order info. [Tom's related post] Congrats, Tom. Looking forward to another good read.

Learning to lead: This ain't your dad's broadcast business. Rock radio maven Fred Jacobs blogs about leadership and tech this morning...

"If we're going to compete, we need to go to school. Everything we've learned about content creation, communication, and entertainment has value. But how it is distributed and enjoyed by end-users is radically changing, and understanding those dynamics is crucial for transitioning radio from the cozy business in the '70s, '80s, and '90s to the one that must compete with Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Sergey Brin."

Read Fred's entire post here.

My sense is what's needed is more than a good measure of continuing professional education, however, that would be a good start. How it's possible for someone to be leading the charge at a media firm in 2008 and not be fluent in VRM, Clay Shirky or Denise Shiffman (or in the least able to grok each) should be cause for concern. If the CEO is not able to appreciate the transformative power of RSS, the simplicity of WebKit or the potential of Google's new V8, they damn better have someone on staff that does. That someone, CTO/CIO, should have a place at the table along with their head of HR.

Show me a media company without a bright CTO/CIO in the inner circle and I'll show you a company living and operating in the past. [Hint: Assigning this job as an additional duty to one of your bright, young computer geek field-based CEs is not a serious approach and will not get the job done. Those tech on the cheap days are over, Sparky]

Show me a CEO who still believes HR is a "girl job" and not a critically important senior executive post and I'll show you a company functioning past its best used by date. We are involved in a war for talent and in most cases just not prepared to fight. The next cohort entering the workplace expects their employer to appreciate their sensibilities or at minimum to understand what's important to them. Never before has there been a group of better educated or more qualified young people entering the work force and too few in broadcast have a clue as to how to recruit, develop or retain this most precious of all resourses.

What these leaders have in common is a shared denial, they fail to understand the reality of strategy decay. They are the perpetual followers, all paying attention to the same things and not paying attention to the same things. They are caught up in trying to get better when the most effective solution is being obsessed, driven with getting different. It's not about tweaking the numerator, it's about changing the denominator. The fish stinks at the head first.

Bonus: From our friends at BBC comes Radio Pop.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"There is no such thing as a pretty good omelet." French proverb

"In the long run, men only hit what they aim at." Henry David Thoreau

"We will either find a way, or make one." Hannibal

Today's image: Cherry* by imapix. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

They do exactly what you ask
Then you tell them they're wrong

One of my goals in 2008 is to meet the person that first decided it was a good idea to ask users to do something and then, when they do it more than expected, you tell them that they've broken "the rules" and that they're wrong. Bad user!

One call per month. One winner per household every thirty days. One "major prize" winner per household per year.

What is happening here is the reverse of any effective heavy user program. The heavy user is being punished rather than rewarded for expressing your brand as a preference. We catch them behaving exactly as instructed and then we tell them that they're wrong. "How dare you show up again at another of our on location broadcasts!"

Can you imagine?

"Excuse me Miss, you have already taken a ride on our airline earlier this week, you'll need to take your business to another airline. So you know, you are flying this airline way too much."

The call-in programs suffer from poor screening. They have not learned how to recognize and play (reward) the hit callers.

The promotion departments suffer from poor judgment. They have not learned how to champion frequent winners and cast them into the role of spokesperson and advocate - recruiting, teaching, encouraging other players.

What we have here is a failure of imagination. Should this be some kind of corporate policy have the courage to tell them they're wrong and make them aware that it's costing you business. Tell them abusing heavy users is bad luck.

Your heavy users cannot call enough, win enough, participate enough, talk to others favorably about you often enough.

Those that consistently dismiss that big left hand side of their long tail, those that have no respect for the attention and devotion of fans do so at their own peril.

Keep the words of Jack Welch in mind..."If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near."

The sign post up ahead - Chrome: While you were away enjoying the holiday there was a significant development in the tech world. There's a new question this morning. What's your Chrome strategy? What could turn out to be the browser, if not the OS, battle of 2009 could be a great moment of potential opportunity for your team. Get Chrome on your agenda and into your planning discussions, especially if you work in media. [Related: The soon to be famous Scott McCloud comic book for Google here]. Kudos to Google.

Bonus: Gin, Television and Cognitive Surplus. A talk by Web 2.0 rock star Clay Shirky via video @ Edge here. Outstanding, highly recommended. The lesson here is about the change to consuming, producing and sharing. As engaging, the Nicholas Carr response to Clay here.

Grant McCracken is an anthropologist, author and blogger. He offers two great posts that are worth your bandwidth. Brands Behaving Well. Brands Behaving Badly. The smart kids are putting his blog into their readers. My thanks to marketing maven Tom Asacker for the tip. Should you not have Tom in your reader, you're missing one of the best marketing reads out there. Highly recommended, check out Tom here.

The game of the name: Edward Dolnick writing an Op-Ed in the Times this morning, Fish or Foul?, tells us "Until a few decades ago, Patagonian toothfish was a trash fish not worth trying to give away. Renamed Chilean sea bass, it sold so fast that it nearly disappeared from the sea."

Video @ work? Perhaps Google Video for business is a good solution for your company. Think YouTube for enterprise. Info here.

Trade secret: Email subject lines using 60 or fewer characters increase open rate.

Congrats & cheers: ESPN on their brilliant full-page ad paying tribute to Michael Phelps' run for the gold without any mention of NBC..."For 9 nights, we weren't watching us either." Olympics boost NBC Today Show to best ratings since 2000.

The great voice silenced: The King of Voiceovers has died. Don LaFontaine was an amazing performer gifted like no other. He will be missed. [Related ET story]

Have a great week. Make something amazing happen!

Monday, September 01, 2008

"When the mouse laughs at the cat, there's a hole nearby." Nigerian proverb

"Trust everyone, but cut the cards." Finley Peter Dunne

"The enemies of the future are always the very nicest people." Christopher Morley

Today's image: Gone by zemotion. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

Great quote from the San Jose Mercury News interview [article & podcast] with Bret Taylor, FriendFeed co-founder...

"One of the things you want to do when you discover something interesting is that you want to talk about it."

How are you and your team encouraging that conversation?

Back story: New Google browser, Google Chrome, debuts tomorrow. Thanks to Sundar and Linus for the update here.

Tom Fishburne
has a new book out. This One Time, at Brand Camp. More info and cartoons here. Thanks to Seth for the tip.

No Time to Think by David M. Levy from Google TechTalks. [58:08] Highly recommended.