A blogger's nightmare is having too much to talk about

I’m coming up for air from a few days of writer’s block, and I think it’s because there’s just so much to write about these days. The moment I start concentrating in one area, something even more compelling pops up. The bane of bloggers isn’t a lack of things to say; it’s having too much to say.

So I’m just going to go through some things quickly, beginning with the networks getting together to offer a video-on-demand service that encourages people to not use TiVo. The point? They want those same people to watch the ads! Call me a nut, but this is too little, too late.

The business of The New York Times offering an API for its content is intriguing and smart. I hope it sends a message to other companies, and while I fully endorse the concept, it’s still about keeping users inside the walls of The Times. We’ll see.

One of the brightest minds in media, Jack Myers, took a shot at media company ownership this week in his Media Business Report. I’ve been saying this kind of thing for a long time, but Myers is above my pay grade, so his commentary carries significant weight.

…most executives remain committed to outdated and dangerous mass-media-dependent economic models. Media companies today – even the largest digital media companies – are in danger of following the railroad industry model and becoming Industrial Age mass distribution vehicles rather than Relationship Ageâ„¢ interactive brand and human connectors.

Nice, and absolutely spot-on.

The L.A. Times painted a chilling picture of the future of television in an article called Broadcast Networks Under Siege that examines the shocking ratings’ declines in May.

Broadcasting, simply put, isn’t casting broadly anymore. As the sweep suggests, the TV networks are losing not just their viewers but also their sense of specialness. They’re becoming just the lowest numbers on the multichannel dial, rather than the last outposts of mass culture. It’s true that this evolution has been happening for years, but this year a tipping point was reached, a Rubicon crossed. Broadcast exceptionalism — its supposed immunity from the market forces afflicting all other media — is finally dead.

Right, and the problem is that tipping point is, while acknowledged, problematic in terms of reacting, because we’re deep into a cycle of expense reduction. Broadcasting still makes a lot of money ($70 billion last year?), and more eyes are focused on salvaging that than actually responding to technology and changing consumer behavior. It’s a tough place to be.

Finally, there’s this gem from Robert Lichter in the American Journalism Review:

“I think there’s a feeling that journalists have overstepped their boundaries,” he says. “People don’t look on [journalists] the way journalists like to view themselves – as the public’s tribune, speaking truth to power, standing up for the little guy. They don’t look like the little guy anymore. They’re part of the celebrity culture.” Increasingly, he says, “people like the news but hate the news media.”

Go read the whole article by Paul Fahri. It’s filled with lots of good stuff that I’d love to comment about. However, I’ve got this writer’s block, see?

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