Category Archives: Old Media, which is still Big and Strong

Why even the mighty Facebook is DOOMED

So now that social media is an entrenched Big Deal, taking up gobs of bandwidth on the Series of Tubes, you’re starting to see story after story in papers of news and even the Glowing Tube, which still lives.

One hot story keeps popping up, like an invincible monster in a bad horror movie, and that story can be summed up in four words: FACEBOOK IS GONNA DIE.

These stories all point to numbers and extrapolate from there. Teenagers are abandoning the Facebook ship! Now that half the world is on Facebook, growth has stalled!

I’m not saying those stories are wrong. But here’s the thing: Facebook will die. It is not the immortal, invincible juggernaut people think it is. 

Because nothing on the internet stays on top forever. And in the end, angry rocks from space will doom us all.

Want to lose money? Bet your paycheck on predicting what we’ll be using for social media five years from now.

Want to make money? Bet the title of your car that something new will supplant whatever is dominant today.

Facebook will go the way of MySpace–it’s inevitable.

Twitter may fade away, or get smoked by some hot new thing now being created in the dorm room of some 18-year-old at Indiana State University.

Sure, the piles of money Facebook has could keep it on life support forever. Zuckerberg might use those billions to buy other hot new things on the Series of Tubes, or transform Facebook in radical ways.

Yet even if Facebook buys all the other companies in the world, and we all wind up working for Facebook for the next 20,000 years, eventually, rocks from space will blow everything up.

But we won’t have to wait for that. Facebook will fade and die, because we humans are fickle. There isn’t some magical switch that can freeze the quirky intersection of pop culture, technology and fashion.

Fashions come in waves. If short hair is dominant, that automatically makes long hair the hip, rebellious thing to do.

If Facebook is dominant, the cool kids automatically flee to something new and small and subversive until it gets too popular.

The same thing happens with music and movies. True hipster run away once their favorite band gets too popular. Hard-core movie fans are into obscure French black-and-white existentialism and 1960s samurai flicks for the simple reason that they are obscure and unpopular.

The younger the demographic, the quicker they shift allegiances.

Boy bands are a great lesson. No matter how big and unstoppable the media considered N Sync or the Backstreet Boys, they got tossed aside for the next hot new thing. It has always been so and it will always be so.

Because fashion and pop culture work that way. By becoming popular, you guarantee that the hipsters and cool kids will therefore consider you uncool and unpopular, causing your downfall and the rise of some obscure unknown shebang.

So yeah, Facebook will die.

And yeah, something fresh and new and completely obscure will get embraced by the hipsters and cool kids.

Just don’t believe anybody who says they know exactly what replaces it, or when it’ll happen.

The Red Pen of Doom’s Greatest Hits Collection: 10 Epic Posts

  1. Epic Black Car deserves good owner; are you worthy?
  2. The Mother of All Query Letters
  3. Why every man MUST read a romance – and every woman a thriller
  4. The Red Pen of Doom impales FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
  5. The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books
  6. A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER
  7. 30 achy breaky Twitter mistakeys
  8. Writing secret: Light as air, strong as whiskey, cheap as dirt
  9. The Red Pen of Doom murders THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
  10. Quirks and legs matter more than talent and perfection

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award and is represented by Jill Marr of the Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes

2014 predictions in visual design goodness

Though my love for words could not be stronger, I am not blind to the facts, or to pretty photos. And the fact is, pretty photos and visuals matter more than words.

That’s not my opinion. Brilliant men and women in white lab coats have run experiments, doing things like printing the first page of novels that won insanely great awards with no pictures or visuals, then putting total garbage on a page with a better layout and a photo.

Guess what people instantly liked more, and actually read more often?

Visuals take a shortcut to secret parts of the brain, and get them all excited, while words are still tying their shoes and stretching their hamstrings.

So eye candy is fundamental. Embrace it. Show it the love it deserves.

To start off the new year, here’s an infographic about visual design and photo trends that’s interesting, funny and good.

2014 visual design trends

Also: If you go to the original post on PR Daily, scroll down to the comments section to see an example of how NOT to do comments. It’s not wicked smart to pick on nice young college interns, dogs or sweet little grandmothers. Personally, I think internships are the best thing ever, both for the college student and for the company. Everybody wins. If somebody young and eager wants get into the business, it’s an honor they asked to learn from you. 

Also-also: I’m back from three weeks in India, so if I ignored a tweet, email or secret message, it’s not because I secretly hate you. If I really hated you, you’d know it, because I’d send a singing telegram, and I believe the song would be “Nobody likes you, everybody hates you, you should eat some wooo-rms.” Then you’d get handed a bucket of nightcrawlers and some Tabasco sauce. 

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award and is represented by the brilliant Jill Marr at Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes

Slaves of the Internet, Unite! – NYTimes.com

This man speaks the truth. Read him.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/opinion/sunday/slaves-of-the-internet-unite.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1

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Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes

Is journalism dead?

By Alex Corey
Contributing Editor

Every day, you see stories wailing about the death of journalism, about newspapers shedding jobs or closing their doors.

So is journalism dead? Or is it a phoenix, dwindling close to the end of its life points only to come back bigger, faster and stronger?

The rise of citizen-journalists

A big part of the revival of journalism will involve citizen-journalists. Billions of people around the world are now portable news production studios, with every iPhone and Droid giving them the power to shoot photos or video and share breaking news with the world.

The negative side of this trend is quality control. Journalists have editors. There’s no editing involved with hitting the share button on your phone, leading to the very possibility of words, photos and video that simply stink up the joint, and wouldn’t have seen the light of day at a newspaper or TV station.

There’s also the problem of sorting through a sea of random stories, blog posts, Tumblr pages and YouTube videos about breaking news, all with similar taglines and descriptions.

Yet those negatives are outweighed by the positives. Giving any citizen the power to document events and break news can only be good news for transparency and fairness and bad news for censorship and oppression.

Quality control

As far as journalism’s overall quality, the milk’s gone bad–a little bit. The carton says it expired yesterday but you might still be able to drink it.

There used to be a 24-hour news cycle, back when newspapers got printed once a day. Blogs, Twitter and the Series of Tubes have made the old 24-hour news cycle as relevant as your dad’s collection of eight-track Meatloaf tapes.

Now there’s pressure to break news all day and all night, even when there’s not really any news to break. Added pressure for sports reporters covering the NFL to search for a scoop of raisins in the Raisin Bran when there aren’t any raisins to be found because it’s the off season.

With more pro athletes, actors, politicians and celebrities using Twitter and other means to break their own news, the pressure to produce has never been greater.

That pressure eventually reduces quality. It’s hard to do a big investigative story when you’re trying to crank out three blog posts a day while tweeting and replying to Facebook comments. The pressure to produce can lead journalists to begin poking and prodding when there is nothing to be poked and prodded, or to focus on the newest shiny object or controversy, whether that controversy has merit or not. Conflict is news.

White noise

Don Delillo’s nightmare from White Noise could be coming true. Soon enough, we will be speaking TV-glish instead of English and having difficulty distinguishing theWalking Dead on AMC from theWalking Dead on TMZ, the people who are famous for being famous — the Snookies, Paris Hiltons and Kim Kardashians of world.

Rise like the phoenix

Snooki and other passing media obsessions will fade away. Journalism, though, will rise like the Phoenix.

Despite Jersey Shore still being on TV for one last season, there is still lingering hope for journalism and civilization.

There’s a misconception that people aren’t reading as much these days. Not true. People may not be subscribing to newspapers, but that’s because they’re reading those same stories online. And it’s wrong to think content needs to be dumbed down to attract readers. Not to start a conspiracy thread but it is partially the marketing ploys of the media which perpetuate this kind of thinking. For example, you never see Neil deGrasse Tyson on Dancing with the Stars or plastered on a bottle of soda pop, but that doesn’t mean we don’t, as consumers, want to see that. What we see commercialized in everyday life can be misleading.

People want substance, and they’re getting it wherever they can. The Economist could not be denser and meatier, yet circulation of it is skyrocketing while fluffier magazines like Newsweek are going online-only.

While the way we get our news is shifting from paper and broadcast to the Series of Tubes, there’s a growing demand — not less demand — for good content.

Journalism will adapt, evolve and eventually thrive because it’s the only way to feed that demand, that hunger in every person to find out what’s going on in their neighborhood, their state, their country and the world.

Give us the who, what, when, where and why. Show us men landing on the moon and women becoming presidents. And yes, tell us about celebrities, but only if you’re breaking the news that Snooki is going away forever.

Alex Corey, writer from California

Alex Corey

Alex Corey is a writer studying journalism at California State University-Northridge and a staff reporter for the bilingual El Nuevo Sol. He can be reached on Twitter @ptyjournalist and on the Series of Tubes at ptyjournalist.wordpress.com  

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Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong

A media star is born, then goes all supernova on us

Who ever suspected that a sign-language interpreter could ROCK?

Lydia Callis has been the star of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s pressers. (That’s journalism slang for a press conference, which is PR slang for “Hey, reporters, bring your cameras and notebooks and we’ll talk about stuff.”)

 

Do I know sign language? No. But when I watch her, hey, even I get the gist of things. She is seven separate flavors of awesomesauce and deserves her own show, teaching kids across America sign language.

 

 

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Filed under Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong

5 ways to make blog posts GO ALL VIRAL

There is no guaranteed method, no secret way, to make a blog post that causes the Series of Tubes to explode.

Anybody who says otherwise is a lying liar full of lying liaosity.

Because this is an art, not a science.

HOWEVER: There are things that are smart, and give you a chance.

yoda after the death star blows up

If your magical blog post causes the Series of Tubes to blow up like a Death Star orbiting the second moon of Yavin, then Yoda will celebrate by dropping it like it’s hot.

5) Swing for the fences

If all your blog posts are kinda the same — the same topic, the same length, the same tone — it’s a good bet none of them will ever magically shock the world.

Learn from PETA, which gets gobs and gobs of free ink and airtime by trying bold, crazy PR stunts.

Most of them fail. Sometimes, they get a little bad press for a stunt gone wrong.

But they keep swinging for the fences, because there is no real penalty for swinging and missing. Continue reading

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Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes, Viral media math

Hunter S. Thompson + Conan O’Brien + whiskey + machine guns = WIN

 

Most interviews of authors, actors and artists put the B in Boring.

(Related: Top 10 evil tips for authors, actors and artists)

Hunter S. Thompson did it right with Conan O’Brien, because he didn’t sit on Conan’s couch and blab about his latest book / movie / art project. No. That is standard and typical and such. You can’t get atypical results by doing typical things.

Here’s the interview segment.

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

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Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong

Top 10 Myths of Journalism School

Oh, if I could go back in time, and whisper in the ear of my younger self during journalism school.

Not that I was busy screwing it up. Editor-in-chief of my college newspaper, graduated No. 1 in my class, won a bunch of awards, blah-blah-blah. (Related: Who is this Guy?)

But the traditional things that most journalism students think they SHOULD be doing — well, often those are seven separate kinds of wrong.

And there are other things Serious Journalism Majors scoff at, things that you actually should not only embrace, but hug tightly to your bosom.

So here we go with the Top 10 Myths of Journalism School.

Myth No. 10: Hard news is the only true love of a Serious Journalism Major

Sure, unfiltered Marlboros and Jim Beam come close. But nothing beats a scoop about an amazing scandal. You laugh at people trying to make the words flow for their feature story on dumpster divers, a story packed with all these photos, which are for nancypants who don’t have the stones to write more words.

Here’s the truth: hard news is all about news gathering and using the inverted pyramid, which is a horrible structure for any sort of writing and needs to be taken behind the barn and shot.

Hard news is worthy, and does the public a great service. Yet if all you do is hard news, you won’t truly learn journalism — or how to write.

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Myth No. 9: Journalism school will teach you how to write

Once you get that pigskin from j-school, and land your first journalism  gig — at The Willapa Valley Shopper or The New York Times – you’ll go home after 12 hours of banging on the keyboard to stay up past midnight, banging on the keyboard some more while smoking Gallouise Blondes and drinking cheap whiskey sours as you write (a) the next Great American Novel, (b) a Broadway play involving a debutant who falls in love with a struggling young reporter or (c) a Hollywood screenplay about a vast government conspiracy unraveled by an intrepid young intern at CBS.

This will be a lot of fun, and you’ll remember this as being the Best Thing Ever until you’ve been doing it for seven months and turning every draft of your extra-curricular writerly fun into three-point attempts. Also, you will miss this thing we call “sleep” and these other things we call “money in the checking account” and “a social life that does not involve typing on a keyboard chatting with a person who may, or may not, actually exist.”

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Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong, Speechwriting, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes

Journalists just wanna have fun

As a reformed journalist, I can tell you secret things.

Number One: Coffee.

If you want to make a reporter smile, or an editor not growl at you, feed them industrial amounts of coffee.

Number Two: Stress requires unstressing.

Journalists do a stressful job for tiny amounts of monies, and they’re under the Most Insane Deadline Pressure Known to Man, which makes them look for ways to unwind.

Here are my favorite journalists finding ways to unstress.

First we’ve got Bob Herzog.

Bob’s a TV reporter from Local 12 in Cincinatti who took the thankless job of “Traffic Reporter, A Job We Sometimes Have Interns Do” and turned it onto a “Dancing King of the Glowing Tube.”

Then we’ve got WGN anchors Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange, who look quite Serious and Somber while delivering the news.

Once they hit the commercial break, they transform into silly nutballs and do a special shebang, which they’ve honed over the years to take up exactly two minutes.

Also, just because I can, the original Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindi the Lauper.

The Killers once covered Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj covered it EVEN BETTER.

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

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Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong, The Glowing Tube

Old Media versus The Series of Tubes

Internet Fanboys claim that the invincible air attack of the Series of Tubes will shred the ground game of Boring Old Media  — that there’s no way newspapers, TV and radio stations compete with the lightning speed and low-cost goodness of the interwebs,

It’s like a power-running football team from the ’60s trying to win a shoot-out with Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers, who chuck the ball all the time and score touchdowns like crazy.

Four yards and a cloud of dust has no chance. This game will be over at halftime when the score is 44-7.

So, it’s halftime and we’re bored. Let’s talk about a blog so powerful and amazing that it posted not seven times a week, but hundreds of times every day — a blog with a professional staff of writers, designers and minions, cranking out news scoops and funny posts.

A blog so strong that it doesn’t burn through venture capital like cocaine at a ’70s disco, but MAKES monies year after year, with millions of page hits and paid subscribers.

Oh, that kind of blog must be making Boring Old Media quake in their boots. See? The Internet Fanboys are right. I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Except that blog is called “every newspaper on the planet in a city large enough to support at least one Home Depot.”

Continue reading

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Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes