Making your own bed: are there limits to professional responsibility?

True story: a friend told me how she invested a large amount of money in order to advertise her product on a fairly central website. The campaign bombed and my friend queried the veracity of the site owner’s claim that his site is a popular place of convergence: “you cannot tell me that your site is popular and charge for advertising, when in fact all that you have is a large number of visitors. This is disingenuous!” she fumed.   Continue reading “Making your own bed: are there limits to professional responsibility?”

e-Murder most foul?

Ghost: Murder most foul, as in the best it is; But this most foul, strange and unnatural. (Hamlet, Act 1. Scene V) 

According to US President Barack Obama; video games are a clear and present health hazard that is endangering the American people. While many still consider video gaming to be a geek-dominated, unsavoury fringe activity, offers in-depth analyses of the way games and digerate cultures interact.  Gamasutra is a website dedicated, as its masthead declares, to ‘The Art & Business of Making Games.” Created during the late 1990s, Gamasutra offers news, opinions, features, job connections and general information about and around video games.   Continue reading “e-Murder most foul?”

The Rise of the Digital Natives

Who are the digital children of 2017? e-Learning specialist Marc Prensky coined the term Digital Natives and used it in two major articles he published in 2001 (Part I , Part II, PDF.) Digital Natives, he says, “are used to receiving information really fast. They like to parallel process and multi-task. They prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite. They prefer random access (like hypertext). They function best when networked. They thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards. They prefer games to “serious” work.” ” Continue reading “The Rise of the Digital Natives”

To Whom the Turnstile Spins?

As you may have seen for yourselves, media’s ‘new e-business’ aspirations have caused quite a stir. I have ToingToing!ed about it here and The Financial Times Online offers a decent detailed assessment of the situation, both pieces are offered for free, I hasten to add.  Advertising does not bring in the money anymore (did anyone tell the agencies, BTW?) and so, content providers, such as Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, are desperately looking for new ways to generate revenue.  In an earlier piece I ToingToing!ed about Murdoch’s conundrum: he is trying to recoup a USD 209M loss in quarterly profits incurred by his newspaper division. In what seems like an overreaction, Murdoch decreed that usage charges will be introduced to premium publications (such as the Wall Street Journals, aka WSJ) and that “users would pay “handsomely” for WSJ content.”  This is where the legendary producer Max Bialystock would quip “You keep saying that, but you don’t say how…” Increasingly, many content providers who push so-called ‘new media business models’ name micropayment as their ‘how’.   Continue reading “To Whom the Turnstile Spins?”

The Insane and the Genius

A quote attributed to Albert Einstein argues that ‘insanity means doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. Scriptwriter Bruce Feirstein, who wrote some of the James Bond movie scripts, asserted further that the distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.  Armed with such heavyweights-uttered quotes, we can reflect on things billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corp. said about the future of online news.   Continue reading “The Insane and the Genius”

Life at Fahrenheit 451

As a teenager, I literally stumbled upon François Truffaut‘s powerful interpretation of Ray Bradbury’s 1953 book Fahrenheit 451. I went to see the movie simply because it featured Julie Christie, the woman who invaded my pubescent dreams as a blonde Russian siren named Lara in David Lean‘s adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s epic Doctor Zhivago. On my way home from the movie theatre I stopped at a second hand bookstore and bought a copy of Fahrenheit 451:   Continue reading “Life at Fahrenheit 451”

Pulitzer’s Digerate Media Relevance

American media supremo Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) dedicated his life to the pursuit of excellence in writing and publishing.  He was an uncompromising and committed journalist who sought to redefine journalism and turn it into a discipline, complete with its public goals, professional ambitions, value systems ethical considerations and criticism of itself, as well as of other. He bought and developed the New York World and St. Louis Post-Dispatch– two well known newspapers of his time.  Pulitzer is credited with coining the term “Yellow Journalism.” Continue reading “Pulitzer’s Digerate Media Relevance”

The Long Tail is Wagging Freeconomics

In 2006, Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, came up with an article with a fascinating theory (later published in a book called The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More) that made some serious waves. Anderson argues that “economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers.” Translation: if, for example, you own a music store, a shoe emporium, book market or spice stall,  you will only be able to carry limited stock – you will therefore tend to carry only best-sellers, that is, items that have a better than average chance of selling. Continue reading “The Long Tail is Wagging Freeconomics”

Google Goes Semantic… Finally!

Why do we learn? In his book Human Motivation Robert E. Franken, Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary, defines motivation as “the arousal, direction and persistence of behaviour.”  Consider Franken’s definition – we get aroused, we work with a sense of direction, and we persist – we keep doing things, as we learn them.  For Psychiatrist John Birtchnell  “Curiosity is a major precursor to mental creativity. It is an extension of the more fundamental drive of exploration. It is more that just wanting to get somewhere, it is concerned with discovering how and why things happen.”  (The Two of Me: The Rational Outer Me and the Emotional Inner Me, p. 183)   Continue reading “Google Goes Semantic… Finally!”