Digital media

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The Huffington Post is gaining momentum.  A lot has been written in the media world about Ms. Huffington and Mr. Armstrong, the politics of bringing these two companies together and the lack of harmony.  Most of the press has been bad.  Sadly, all the falderal has taken the public’s eye off the ball. It appears that AOL and the Huff Post have been moving forward regardless.  Ms. Huffington has recently been given more responsibility at the company for most everything but advertising. That too, may move to her at some point.

The Huff Post started as an online media company. Online created and defined it.  Now it is just a good, improving media company in a digital world.  By June it will offer steaming TV content on the web 12 hours a day.  It is also growing internationally with a number of global news bureaus. The company has also invested in new heavyweight marketing and comms talent. The two companies are integrating, sharing a vision and evolving.  Apparently, while all the backchannel stuff was going on and the funky press bouncing around, there was a plan.

The Huff Post is a great media property and will be quite a success story. AOL’s days as a brand may be numbered. Kudos to Tim Armstrong and Arianna Huffington.  Happy coo-king.  Peace! 

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When is a newspaper article finished?  Well, maybe never.  I’m was reading today about Apple’s new educational releases, e.g., iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U, in The NY Times paper paper and wanted to save the article to my OneNote document.  (Not many people know about Microsoft OneNote — but should.)  Anyway, in order to save the article I went to the NYTimes.com and while lighting up the URL noticed the article, first published at 10 A.M., had been updated at  9:02 last night.  Now that update may have made the paper paper but it may not. So why read the paper paper which may have old, perhaps, less than accurate news? The reason is the form factor.

When the accuracy of the content in news reporting out-weights the form factor (user interface, e.g. paper vs. screen, vs. Siri) the war will really be over.   

But back to the first question. When is a newspaper article finished?  Will publishers be interested in changing stories in a year because they know it to have inaccurate info?  Will it be legal to do so? If it’s on the web and accessible, shouldn’t it be the truth?  Now there are some more things to nosh on.  Peace!

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I had a great day yesterday thanks to the Internet.  TechCrunch Disrupt was held in NYC again and streamed live. For freezle. Fred Wilson (AVC.com) of Union Square Ventures started things off interviewed by TechCrunch veteran Erick Schonfeld and Fred offered some gems on venture investing.  Union Square has invested in Twitter, Etsy, Disqus, Foursquare, Tumblr and Zynga, lately making Kleiner Perkins appear standing still.

Some Fred thoughts:

  • It’s better to be an anthropologist than technologist in venture capital.
  • Social, global, mobile and cloud are the key trends.
  • We invest in the cultural revolution.
  • We like people who have a deep obsession over a long period of time.

Dennis Crowley of Foursquare was there and smart. Chris Dixon an investor and edge burnisher was a panelist. Michael Arrington, three quarters funny, interviewed his boss Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL. Between speakers and panelists, there were green room interviews – a very nice touch.  Back in the day (a year or two ago) if you tried to stream something like this, it would have been a herky jerky mess.  Not now.  Not with Ustream. The afternoon was a start-up jump ball in front of other entrepreneurs and VCs, some of which I watched but found to be a bit below the morning program.

The event rocked.  And speaking of rock, in the 70s and 80s in NYC, it was the rock star start-ups who were rock stars.  Now they are tech dudes. The art is different, the drug is Red Bull and the output is hard to dance and hum to — but tech is really bringing NYC back. Plus there was a big East Coast/West Coast thing going at the event, too.

If you can attend next year…or if you can’t but can clear the decks to watch the stream, do it. There’s money to be learned. Peace.

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Media planning and buying has always been about the “Who.”  Demographics, psychographics and, lately, socialgraphics or the social graph are part of the Who science.  Buying the Who used to be done on a cost per thousand basis and now can be done on a cost per click basis.  Buying the Who is still big business.  But the web has become so pervasive in our lives, so instrumental in all areas of marketing – from product research to ratings and recommendations all the way to the actual purchase – that the Who is not as important as the “What.”  What are consumers doing? What tools are they using to ready themselves for purchase. Where the consumer is along the purchase continuum and where they intersect with choice-influencing content is beginning to trump the old reach and frequency model.

The What vs. Who approach is much more experience focused, looking at the lifecycle of a purchase decision and inserting selling content at key waypoints of the journey. It’s a new way of selling and it is changing the business of the JWTs, BBDOs and Ogilvys of the world.  All aboard!  Peace.

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