Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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New Media Thoughts

Rather than just one of those random links entries, I’ve decided to go with a more focused one. Here are a few things from the last few weeks to think about as you consider the changing state of the media. (Come on, I know you spend all your time thinking about the changing state of the media . . . we all do.)

New Distribution

NBC has released the pilot for their new show Conviction as a free iTunes download. Now in the face of the Lazy Sunday hubub this looks pretty good, but does it go far enough? Why not put it out on your website as a free download? Let the world start sharing it as they’d like. Allow them to watch it in any way they want. Really get the word out. Don’t get me wrong, this is a big step, and a good idea, but I just don’t know that it goes quite far enough.

New Channels

I’ve wondered why more people aren’t talking about the possibility of marketers owning media channels. Gary Stein recently wrote about it, but I think generally it’s an untapped market. Rather than spending all the money on a media buy, why not create your own channel? Speak to consumers directly. I know it’s easier said then done, but it’s almost as if people just go with the advertising automatically and skip over the idea. I’ve though about this a lot in terms of branded blogs. If a company can’t find a blog in their niche to advertise on, why not create it themselves? Yeah, it oversimplifies the problem, but owning the media channel is sure to be a hot topic in the near future.

New Programming

Bradley Horowitz is the head of the Technology Development Group at Yahoo! and he’s just started a blog which is sure to be a must-read. In one of his first entries, he wrote about the value pyramid of social software. In the entry he wrote about the future of “programming”:

In the new paradigm of “programming� where there are a million things on at any instant, we’re going to need some new and different models of directing our attention. In the transition from atoms-to-bits, scarcity-to-plenty, etc. instead of some cigar-puffing fat-cat at a studio or label “stoking the star-maker machinery behind the popular songs� we’re going to have the ability to create dynamic affinity based “channels�. Instead of NBC, ABC, CBS, HBO, etc. which control scarce distribution across a throttled pipe… we’re going to have WMFAWC, WMNAWC, TNYJLC and a whole lot more. (The what my friends are watching channel, The what my neighbors are watching channel, The New York Jewish Lesbian Channel, etc.) I expect we’ll also have QTC (the Quentin Tarantino channel) but this won’t be media he made (necessarily) but rather media he recommends or has watched / is watching. Everyone becomes a programmer without even trying, and that programming can be socialized, shared, distributed, etc.

In the old media world, programming was where a network added it’s value. Today, thanks to new disruptive technologies, the definition of programming has changed. I want control over what I see, after all, I know what I like a whole lot better than some guys sitting in an office. Things have changed.

Take the olympics, for example. Yesterday while at the gym I was listening to Mike and the Maddog and they were talking about watching around noon as a commentator setup the next event while on in the background was ESPN News reporting that Shani Davis has won the gold medal. NBC waited until something like 9pm to show the race. It’s a business and they need to try and try and get themselves as many eyeballs as possible, but when you can get the same information in all these other places, what’s the point? Now the olympics happens to be an incredibly controlled event, and getting that video from any place but a recognized source is probably tough to impossible. But it’s only a matter of time. Not to mention, if everyone else is talking about who’s won doesn’t it take away a bit of the excitement, and in turn the eyeballs?

February 21, 2006