Blog Entry #5

In response to:

In Chapter 9 of the text on page 116 you will see the following comment:

“Some believe that content providers, including television networks and movie studios, should put ads in their programming and give them away for free.  Others believe the best value proposition is to emphasize the value of content over advertising and sell episodes of films directly, advertising-free, at a higher price than ad-supported media products. At the same time, numerous content providers can cite past failed experiments with a “pay wall” model in which users are expected to pay for content (which may have been previously offered for free), but refuse to do so.”

Comment on this comment by telling which of these models, or some other one not mentioned here, you think will become the standard way of advertising.  Or maybe you think advertising will change completely.  Tell us how. 

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With the focus of media shifting to emerging technologies like tablets and e-readers, the traditional advertising methods will have to be adapted to stay relevant.

I don’t believe that television will change much. Since the primary revenue stream for t.v. networks is advertising, they really  have no choice but to continue including ads or go bankrupt. To be honest, since “Tivo” and the DVR revolution most people just record their shows and fast-forward through the commercials anyway.

The big changes will probably come from the  online media sources. Advertisers will be tracking users more closely and directing specific ads based on the viewing history of users. And the payments system will probably be very similar to Google’s system where advertisers only pay for the number of people who interact with the ad.

This is actually a much better system for the advertisers, especially small businesses. Instead of spending an exorbitant sum of money for an ad campaign on a major network, companies will be able to target those who are most likely to purchase their product, and do so at the cost of only a few micro-transactions. 

Efficient, streamlined, and laser-direct; wasn’t that always the promise of technology?

Blog Entry #4

A Response to:

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/cbs-fight-with-dish-spills-over-to-cnet/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/25/business/media/lawsuits-are-filed-over-dishs-ad-skipping-technology.html?_r=0

The links above take you to articles that illustrate a classic “limiting factor” issue. In this case CBS and Dish are going at it in court. Read the pieces and comment on the issue. See if you can define what the problem is. Is there a solution? Is it really a problem? Should it be a problem? Do you agree with one side or the other? Why?

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So, all of the major Cable networks are taking legal action against Dish and its magical Hopper doohickey. Apparently the Cable networks are pissed that Dish found a simpler way to handle the most annoying part of utilizing a DVR equipped television; fast-forwarding through all the commercials.

Is this really a problem? Only if you’re currently operating or working for a cable network whose primary revenue stream comes from ads.

Here’s the deal: if Americans don’t want to watch the ads, we won’t watch ads. If cable networks want us to watch the ads, then they will likely suffer financially. The reason ReplayTV failed was because their plan was too far ahead of its time. Now Americans know the technology exists, and the novelty has enchanted us. We want it, and we have the money.

Though the cable networks will likely win their case, it is only a matter of time before someone else finds a way to use this technology legally. When that happens, all the networks will have to find a way to innovate if they want to survive the wrath of America’s deteriorating attention span.

My opinion: Networks should offer an optional service to subscribers which allows the skipping of ads (for a nominal fee). No ads for customers, and the networks have the chance to recoup some of the lost advertising revenue. Win-win.

Blog Entry #2: Digital Nativity

A Response to:

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/08/28/being-a-digital-native-isnt-enough/

Ah, what a tangled web, Humanity. I’m fairly certain that the concept of being a “digital native” is inherently linked to the concept of “de-evolution.” Indeed, in our efforts to make revolutionary  technology more accessible (and more stimulating) we have paved the way for generations of beings who more commonly associate gravity with the gentle slope of their “Angry Bird” on its way to its target than they do with the findings of Newton.

However, this isn’t the fault of the “digital native.” This person wasn’t presented with the option to develop intellectual prowess in the normal way because they were force-fed mommy’s iphone and Finding Nemo, instead of going outside or reading.

I remember running around and playing pickup dodgeball games with neighborhood kids. I remember scrapping my knees and playing in dirt, and not ever having heard the words “anti-bacterial.”

The point is that kids need to learn to walk before they can run, they need to read and write before they’re introduced to a keyboard, and they need to know multiplication tables before being handed a calculator. Need evidence? I’d be willing to bet test scores decreased, obesity increased, and family values were ousted when the Super Nintendo was released. I’d win that bet too, trust me, I was there.

I realize that this is kind of a hardline stance, and I have been asked the question: “Well if it’s so bad, what are you going to do to change it?”

Indeed, standing in the way of progress is very rarely a good thing, but so is cutting corners. That is why, to this day i have never owned a smartphone, and why every extra cent I earn makes its way into savings towards a piece of land to raise my family on. My children won’t fall victim to the complacency that accompanies “easy of use.” They’ll learn not to repeat the mistakes of the past through history books, not wikipedia articles. And they’ll understand community; the kind that comes from speaking face-to face, not through facebook.

And one more point to bring this beast back to my opening de-evolution statement. I recently witnessed (on facebook) a young lady who was bitching to everybody that would listen about how her diet wasn’t eliminating her love handles. Upon reviewing her list of posts, it became apparent that on that very day she had essentially spent 8 straight hours liking cat videos on facebook.

I rest my case

Blog Entry #1: E-textbooks

After having read the U.S.A. Today article on universities requiring students to buy e-textbooks, I have come to some
conclusions regarding the enabling, limiting, motivating, and inhibiting factors of e-textbooks.

Though I have never personally used an e-textbook, I can certainly see how the incorporation of textbooks in my technology-
based research repertoire could be useful and efficient. The ability to instantly reference a webpage, or to copy an excerpt
or definition directly into one’s notes is definitely an enabling characteristic. The versatility of technology also means
that e-textbooks are readily accessible through a variety of electronic devices.

As limiting factors go, some of the commenters on the article pointed out that an intelligent shopper could probably find a
used physical copy of the book on the internet, and e-textbooks are impossible to sell back later. In a tough economy, this
fact alone could make e-textbooks less attractive to students.

Still, the convenience of carrying your book on a flash drive instead of lugging it around in a bag is appealing.
Portability and convenience are the motivating factors for this technology.

Inhibitors to the success of this product among students are that e-textbooks are economically unsound investments, and that
a book loses its intrinsic value when you take the literature off of a page and onto a screen.