Essay: The Fading Levers of Commerce

Here is the latest in my ongoing series of essays, Local Media in a Postmodern World.

The Fading Levers of Commerce

Hello, friends. I’m writing a new book, so it’s hard to find time to continue my essay series, but the article referenced in this one so got my goat that I simply couldn’t stand it. Last week, Fortune published a missive critical of Apple for encouraging ad blocking on the Web by building new mechanisms into iOS9 that allow for easier ad blocking software by developers. Why is it critical? Because it’ll do exactly what its promising, and that is intolerable to the ad industry. Sheesh. Give me a friggin’ break! Look in the mirror, ad people. You’ve brought this on yourselves.

Revisit “The Evolving User Paradigm”

I published this essay 5‑years ago, and it remains one of the most important things I’ve ever written. I re-read it earlier today, because I continue to witness evidence of its truth. And so I re-present to you today, The Evolving User Paradigm.

Free Range Content Consumption

flytvsmHere is the latest in my ongoing series of essays, Local Media in a Postmodern World.

Free Range Content

Facebook’s wish to put media content inside its own application is potentially self-destructive to those providing the content. Moreover, for Facebook, it smacks of the days of AOL. All of this would be irrelevant, if media could bring itself to release its content into the wild of the Net, but that appears more and more to be an impossible task.

To media companies, their competition is and always has been other media, which is an absurd proposition online. When a TV station, for example, behaves online only as it does in the linear world, it has already lost in the battle for relevance.

It’s Time To Revisit Our Mobile Strategy

Here is the latest in my series of essays, Local Media in a Postmodern World.

Time to Revisit Our Mobile Strategy

While local media companies focus their attention on the creation of apps, the way most people are accessing their content is through the open Web. We simply must pay attention to how we are being viewed and apply creative efforts to monetize that. Most TV stations use content management systems (CMS) that serve complex web pages to users who click on links they like on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or any other of the major mobile apps people use. This is a self-destructive strategy, for not only do our monetization efforts go unnoticed; it puts unnecessary hurdles in user paths before they can read or watch the links.

Confidently Facing Chaos

Here’s the latest in my ongoing series of essays, Local Media in a Postmodern World.


One of the most difficult challenges I hear for local media companies is overcoming the appearance of chaos in the reinvention process. More than anything else, this prevents people from navigating the really disruptive waters and choosing instead to stay with what they know. This despite considerable evidence that mass media’s business model is going the way of the video rental store.

To the ordered mind, anything smacking of serious change is chaotic, but it can be foolish to try anything that attempts to go above, around or beneath it. We need the skill and ability to move THROUGH chaos to find our way to lasting prosperity in the new era. That’s what this essay is all about.

Meanwhile, the headline of Brian Stelter’s New York Times report on the 2013 version of the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s “State of the News Media” report says it all: Local TV News Is Following Print’s Path, Study Says.

Those who follow my work will find none of this to be “new.” However, I’m saddened by this year’s report, because I’m afraid we’re getting to the point where even deliberate attempts to steer a different course will only have limited success.

The report illuminates a few important trends:

  • Audiences of local TV news continue to shrink — There is nothing on the horizon, no new concept in local TV news that will bring back those who’ve left. None. So unless there is a major blue sky (and blank slate) reinvention project ahead, local TV — despite an occasional good report, such as advertisers still preferring TV — there is no future.
  • Where programs have changed since 2005, they’ve gone for more weather, traffic, and sports. Live reports have replaced stories, and audiences are beginning to notice. This is accelerating the flight from local TV news.
  • People increasingly get news from their friends and then proceed to learn more.

I strongly encourage you to read the entire PEW report. It’s a terrific benchmark of where we’re at from both revenue and audience perspectives.

Redefining Community

Here is the latest in my ongoing series of essays, Local Media in a Postmodern World.

Redefining Community

I’m officially back to working for myself, with a gig that, I hope, will help advance my thought. I tell everybody today that I’m not a business consultant, a news consultant, or a sales consultant. I’m a reinvention specialist, and not just for media anymore. As Mary Meeker wrote in her Internet report last year, we need to reimagine everything, and that’s what I’m all about. I’m redesigning The Pomo Blog and also building two new websites that will further explain what I’m doing. Out with the old; in with the new. Of course, I’m going to keep writing and advancing the concepts that I’ve been exploring with you for the past 10 years.

As my thinking shifts and expands to encompass the wider reinvention field, I’m starting with a deeper discussion of what our life in “the network” means for doing business the old-fashioned way. The equilibrium of the industrial age is morphing into what feels like chaos in the postmodern age, post-industrial age, or whatever you’d like to call it. Those who fear change miss the remarkable opportunities that are before us, including changing definitions of what we thought were permanent. Consider the word “community,” for example, and how connected people are able to experience life outside the bonds of geography. This impacts media, of course, but it also impacts everybody else.

Enjoy, and welcome to 2013.