Posts from November 9, 2004



: David Letterman on the Middle East: “Is it too soon to hit on Mrs. Arafat?”

On the Bushes’ new dog: “Our last president also had a dog who would lick him under the desk.”

Blog M&A

Blog M&A

:, a blog run by Noah Schachtman, was just bought by

Our martyr

Our martyr

: Peaktalk has a link to video of Theo Van Gogh’s memorial.

Ad:Tech: Online Publishers

Ad:Tech: Online Publishers

: Next up: a session for web publishers to talk about their issues with smart folks up there: Martin Nisenholtz of the NYT, Larry Kramer of CBS Marketwatch, Caroline Little of WashingtonPost.Newsweek and Debora Wilson of The Weather Channel.

The theme among them all is that the way to grow is not to get new audience but to get the audience to spend more time on the site. Martin says his users spend 38-40 minutes per month at and that’s on the high end of the scale.

They like video.

They say that we need to acknowledge that people don’t come in through the home pages. Every page is a home page, one says.

Martin talks again about taking advantage of the distributed nature of the web. He said good things about this at Web 2.0.

Martin sings praises to Wikipedia; it creates depth behind a simple page and “introduces serendipity into the experience.” That’s what a newspaper is, he says; it’s not usually a search experience.

Martin says that even the NYT doesn’t have enough content and has to leverage more content. I just spoke with someone from Starcom who made that point: Print publishers should be helping to organize content beyond their walls; that is their traditional role.

Wilson says they see a point very soon “when all electronic media will be IP delivered.” That means not broadcast or cable. That means TV explodes.

Larry Kramer and Caroline Little say they reached profitability on cost-cutting for the last few years and it was very frustrating: “At one point I felt like sending out an email: Bring your own toilet paper to work.” Now, they say, they have to invest in new product development. That is the way to grow.

Nisenholtz talks about the need to do more than just make profit but use that profit to mee the paper’s prime directive. Covering the election is not profitable but it’s necessary.

He also points to new video reports by NYT technology reporter David Pogue. I’m eager to watch them; won’t try on a Treo connection…

Ad:Tech: The Cheap Revolution

Ad:Tech: The Cheap Revolution

: Rich Karlgaard of Forbes scared the fancy pants off the advertisers at Ad:Tech this morning with his view of the Cheap Revolution.

After talking about what good shape the American economy appears to be in — productivity is rising as fast as it did in the industrial revolution of the late 19th century; interest rates are low; jobs are rising — he told a few stories:

A teenager in New Jersey started a new web development company — Plotdev working with people around the world he met at He works for big names (e.g., PDiddy) and when asked how much he charges vs. big New York shops, he said “10 percent.” When you get an MRI, there’s a good chance your results will be read by a radiologist in India making $24k a year vs the average $350k in America. A bigtime consultant look at Google’s technology, all built on $2k pizza boxes and open-source, and said if they’d gone to big systems integrators to build it, it would have cost 10 to 15 times more.

We’re entering a world where things can cost 10-15 percent of what they cost here now using big American companies. The Cheap Revolution.

Of course, those new, cheap sources don’t need to be halfway around the globe. The Jersey kid did it from here. Google did it from here. This isn’t an outsourcing story. It’s a story of the populist economy. And it’s going to have a big impact on every segment of media.

The Cheap Revolution has already come to print media: It’s a lot cheaper to create a weblog than it is to create a print product.

The Cheap Revolution will next come to radio and TV; see various exploding TV posts.

The Cheap Revolution will come to advertising on the media side as citizens’ media creates new and inexpensive outlets for marketing and as as smart, creative people with Macs build advertising for one helluva lot less than it costs today.

The Cheap Revolution will not — cannot — come from the top down. It will come from the bottom up. It will come from you. You want to start a media property? Blog. You want to start a radio show? Podcast. You want to start a TV show? Vlog. You want to ad an adman? Build a Gawker Media blogvertorial (sorry about that). Or better yet, rethink what it means for a marketer to have a conversation with customers; that’s what these guys at Ad:Tech still don’t seem to get. They will.