aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, May 14, 2007
The cost of this war
Bill Moyers, back and good as ever, pulls no punches.
Teens choose colleges from websites, not MySpace
The Chronicle (subscription):
Fewer than 10 percent of high-school students used MySpace, Facebook, or YouTube—three of the most popular networking sites—to gather information about colleges, according to the report, “College Search and the Millennial Generation,” which was produced by Eduventures Inc. The research-and-consulting company plans to release some of the findings this week.
Still, colleges and universities that find effective ways to convey information through those channels, as well as in blogs and chat rooms, could gain an edge in recruiting, the report says.
Its findings come from a national Web-based survey of 7,867 high-school juniors and seniors conducted this year. The report also draws on student feedback from 12 focus-group sessions held at schools in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Orlando, Fla.
Most students surveyed (84 percent) said they used colleges’ Web sites most heavily in their research, followed by personal recommendations (75 percent), campus visits (64 percent), and college viewbooks (64 percent).
Hardly even a tantalizing tidbit, I’d be curious to learn more from the report. Alas, I don’t expect much of it will be available for free.
Make money by giving away your music
Yesterday’s New York Times Magazine piece by Clive Thompson - Sex, Drugs and Updating Your Blog - has much to commend it. I urge that you read the entire essay but I will quote here what might reasonably be called the money quote on how some musicians make money by, in essence, giving their music away for free:
Indeed, running a Web store has allowed Coulton and other artists to experiment with intriguing innovations in flexible pricing. Remarkably, Coulton offers most of his music free on his site; when fans buy his songs, it is because they want to give him money. The Canadian folk-pop singer Jane Siberry has an even more clever system: she has a “pay what you canÃ¢â‚¬Â� policy with her downloadable songs, so fans can download them free - but her site also shows the average price her customers have paid for each track. This subtly creates a community standard, a generalized awareness of how much people think each track is really worth. The result? The average price is as much as $1.30 a track, more than her fans would pay at iTunes.
Flickr landmarks in Yahoo! search and “info tags” coming from Zooomr
Thomas Hawk notes that Flickr and Yahoo Take Another Step Towards Integrating Flickr Into Yahoo Search:
Yahoo! Search Blog: Famous Landmarks Get the Flickr Treatment in Yahoo! Search The Yahoo Search Blog is reporting that Flickr has recently added thumbnails of Flickr images for popular domestic and international landmark searches into Yahoo Search.
Those of you who have read my blog for a while know that I’ve pretty much been calling for the integration of Flickr images into Yahoo Search since day one and I think this is another great step forward towards this. [...]
This move on Yahoo’s part though is a terribly smart one. While image search only represents about 9% of Google’s search traffic, by implementing Flickr images more forcefully into Yahoo’s image search they can point to a clear quality advantage over Google’s Image Search… The power of Flickr’s superior image search is actually fairly simple to understand. By leveraging the social network that sits inside of Flickr Yahoo can determine identification, relevancy and rank of images. It’s not difficult actually. Simply by analyzing the social activity around images Yahoo can with relative accuracy determine which are the best images of anything that happens to be tagged.
Hawk goes on to say that Google’s “going about trying to compete in the image search game wrong” with its Image Labeler - he says it’s lame, lame, lame - before concluding with a riff on the history and future of photo search:
Tagging photos was the first step to increasing relevancy in image search, interestingness was the second step. The next step will belong to better categorization of the information that surrounds a photo to even enhance relevancy in search more. geotags, people tags, event tags, at Zooomr we are developing a whole new way to contain tags and organize them as containers. Ways to categorize tags will actually be widgetized and this will be a major breakthrough in the next stage of tagging. We are calling this new tag paradigm “info tags” and they will represent the next step forward in how photographs can be more effectively represented in image search going forward. Stay tuned for more on these.
Harmony or Chemistry?
More on the squabble, and eHarmony’s rejection criteria, from the WaPo. Interesting to note that Chemistry.com is part of the Barry Diller empire.
CBS no arrogant media company
A year ago, CBS launched its broadband channel called Innertube. Now the network has an honest admission: Innertube is not drawing an audience. So the company plans to pursue a “drastically revised strategy” that involves syndicating its video all over the place instead of trying to draw people into its own site. “It represents a stark departure for the TV industry,” writes Brooks Barnes in the WSJ. “Most of CBS’s major competitors, including Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal and News Corp.’s Fox, are to some degree all betting that they can build their own internet video portals.” In the coming days, CBS plans to announce syndication deals with Facebook and Last.fm to add to Joost, AOL, TV.com and Bebo, among others. “We can’t expect consumers to come to us,” says Quincy Smith, the president of CBS Interactive. “It’s arrogant for any media company to assume that.” How’s that for a quote? (WSJ sub. req.)
In other CBS news, today the NYTimes looks at Katie’s ratings flop, Is It the Woman Thing, or Is It Katie Couric? The conclusions are that the format they used at launch was awful and the answer they’ve opted for now is “network news veteran Rick Kaplan” and “some hard-news discipline.”
Says one producer, anonymously, “That show doesn’t fit her personality.”
Agreed. And I agree the original format was a dud. Thing is, the nightly news format is dead. CBS should abandon it and do something else. Create a new format, as suggested way, way back when Katie was just a CBS rumor:
Former ABC News producer Paul Friedman’s advice to CBS News execs: Summarize the news of the day in five minutes or so; spend a big chunk of time-10 minutes or so-on covering one really good story; and give people even more to think about by ending with opinion.