Posts from January 5, 2005

Culture clash

Culture clash

: Zephoria blogs, quite rightly, that there’s a culture clash brewing in the reported merger of SixApart and LiveJournal.

SixApart produces publishing tools. LiveJournal produces social tools. They each give birth to cultures, but as Clay Shirky taught me long ago, those cultures are very different.

Live Journal is a culture, not simply a product or commodity that can be bought. From an outsider’s perspective, it might appear as though they are similar properties – they are both blogging tools, right? Wrong.

Jump inside LJ culture. People who use LJ talk about their LJs, not their blogs. They mock bloggers who want to be pundits, journalists, experts. In essence, they mock the culture of bloggers that use Six Apart’s tools. During interviews with LJ/Xanga folks, i’ve been told that MovableType is for people with no friends, people who just talk to be heard, people who are trying too hard.

But then again, these are just tools that can be used for anything, even shopping lists. The better the tools, the more power they put in the hands of the people, the more surprised and delighted you’ll be with how the people use them.

It’s all downhill from here

It’s all downhill from here

: Andrew Tyndall, who does an authoritative report on TV news, tells TVNewser that cable news has reached its apex and now it’s downhill:

“I believe that 2003 will turn out to have been the peak of the penetration of cable into the news audience. From now on, cable news will lose viewers to online digital TV (via cell phones, via browsers, via satellite…) faster than they gain them from broadcasters.”

Mr. Stern calling

Mr. Stern calling

: Had a nice chat with Howard this morning.

He had asked me to file another Freedom of Information Act request with the FCC to find out what the FCC had proving that Viacom executives knew about Janet Jackson’s entertainment malfunction before it happened. He asked me to report back, so yesterday, I sent email to Gary Dell’Abate offering to call. This morning, Will from the show called me in the car. Howard hates talking to people on cell phones, so I said I’d call as soon as I got to the office. But suddenly, I hear Howard reading my email on the air. My phone rings and I accidentally hang it up. Damn. I pull over on the worst possible spot on the interstate, call back, and get on the air as trucks and buses are speeding six inches to my left me at 80 mph. I think this would be a most ignominious way to die: hit by a speeding bus while talking to Howard Stern. That’s one sure way to make sure your obit gets carried by the New York Post.

So we talked about the Janet Jackson FOIA I filed and how the FCC ducked. Details here. And we talked about the other FOIAs, including this one with Air America’s Morning Sedition. And, of course, we talked about how the FCC is kneecapping the First Amendment. For more of my posts on the topics, click here.

We talk for awhile and after I hang up, I get to hear the last half of the conversation, the delay is so long. Then Robin says it’s good someone is looking into Michael Powell and the FCC. Howard says no one is looking into it but “us and [ironic pause] a blogger.” This becomes a blogging discussion as Robin says they’re gettin more popular but Howard says most of them (present company excepted, of course) are just diaries: “Everyone wants to have some sort of show.” Artie says, “So any idiot can start a blog… I’m going to start a blog.”