Saturday, August 25, 2007

Somedays, The Media Really Doesn't Matter

Not that those with this blog would be surprised, but raw source media is growing by leaps and bounds, and of course that is driving the citizen media. Today's lesson involves the speed of bad news.

A huge storm rolls through Fayetteville this AM -- which has me up at 6 trying to protect my wife's garage sale displays from the storm. Come inside and while checking radar scans and killing time, I do my usual morning survey of the MSM, blogs and boards.

The notice of an arrest of an athlete catches my eye, so I go to check the thread. We are a county where the jail intake -- read bookings -- are posted on the sheriff's website. Media watch it, but so do citizen media. Check this timeline:

Booking: 3:19 am
First posting: 4:32 am

That's scary enough, but its a Saturday and one can reasonably expect the regular media won't take this up until the Sunday papers, maybe the 10 pm news tonight. I get the expected calls from colleagues that also monitor new media, and it's made those rounds by noon.

Here's the kicker, late afternoon after the garage sale -- about 4 p.m. -- I'm at the checkout of the local natural foods store picking up some turbino sugar (and if you like coffee, let me tell you there is absolutely no finer sugar for your java). Young guy, I'll guess 20 at the outside, notices my hat and begins to make chit-chat about athletics. Mentions an injury that was in the paper this morning. Then he hits me with the whopper.

"So, how about (athlete) getting arrested this morning."

Parce it: This is the checker at the health food store. Not exactly a sports talk/message board environment. He's asking me about an incident that at this time is about 12 hours old, that has not been in any media, on any call-in show, on any sportscast because on Saturday in this town there aren't ANY of these until the evening.

How did he know? Maybe co-workers chatting (I doubt), maybe friends during the day (better), maybe he's also a fan of the county sheriff website (also doubtful). I didn't ask, because I didn't want to prolong or draw attention to the athlete's misfortune -- move along, nothing to see here, move along -- but the most likely source of his news: one of the four or five major Razorback boards which were doing dot-com stock traffic business on the info.

All and all, it's just another brick in the wall.

Friday, August 24, 2007

First Week at NWACC; T-Minus One Week

A double dip this week as the semester begins for both UA and Northwest Arkansas Community College. And, for the first time in almost 20 years, that means I'm back in the classroom on a regular basis. American History, second half, and I must say that it is great.

However, here's the creepy thought for the day. Those students in my classes back at NLU -- these could be their children at NWACC.

Today marks one week left until we depart for Canada and the basketball foreign tour. Expect some travel oriented editions of the blog.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Nothing Like the Start of the Semester . . .

. . . to bring your world to a screeching halt.

But this just in over the transom, the latest in ham-fisted corporate viral marketing. Looks like the Big Ten vs. Comcast bombast is taking it to the message boards. For those not following earlier, Big Ten is creating its own sports network, Comcast isn't wanting to agree to carry it on its cable systems and hilarity has ensued.

Seems Comcast is funding a "student/fan" website that is carrying on a beat-down campaign against the Big Ten commish, and was outed by one of the Michigan State websites.

The thing about those internets people, they may have Cheeto dust on their fingers, but they do know how to look up an IP address: Jump here for more.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Why Didn't I Think of That

This is a little off topic, but I can't resist. I absolutely hate cheese on my burgers. And if I've had to peel cheese off one Quarter Pounder, I've probably scraped cheese off 10,000 during my lifetime.

If only I'd thought to sue. Ten million dollars.

Media Training for Parents Next?

The SID community has put considerable resources into working with student-athletes to make them aware of the risks and pitfalls of working with the media. Maybe we've done too good a job as the media has moved on to find new unsuspecting folks to quote: their parents.

Not many days go by without a parental miscue, from speaking about on coaches to predicting player futures. Today's entry belongs to one of our own at Arkansas, Darren McFadden, who's mom got taken off-guard by ESPN to say her son would be leaving after the season.

It's in the after the interview coverage that we get a glimse, courtesy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, into her remorse:

“ Lord knows I don’t want to be the one to advertise it [if McFadden decides to turn pro after this season ]. I’m not trying to tell anything and hurt my son. They’re going to make me not talk to nobody.”

I'm confident mom means the media when she says "they". The media is doing it's job asking questions and trying to get news, but I'd be willing to bet its the last quote for ESPN.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Oh Behave, Baby

In my best Austin Powers voice, have you seen the mojo? No, not Austin's Swedish-ly enhanced mojo, the brand-spankin' new label for mobile journalists touted by one chain in particular.

Hmm, I thought anyone who wasn't working on the desk was a journalist capable of being moving, but I digress -- don't let thinking get in the way of pimping, oops, I mean marketing, nope that's so 20th century, rebranding (yeah, that's the ticket) this revolutionary concept.

Give a reporter a laptop, a cell card, a digital camera, maybe even a digital video recorder and send them out in the field to send back stories. They will work from their vehicles! Equally stunning news -- they may not come into a desk in the office!!!

When they come to a regular reporter and tell him he's about to become a mojo, is the replicant already coming out of the basement pod?

Fort Myers News-Press is one of the Gannett properties hyping its mojo. They're also adding in those other new-wave terms of "crowdsourcing" (interestingly, now one word so I guess there's a little branding going on there) and "audience building".

The story in the Washington Post about these nifty hyper-local micro-site journalism innovations carried what has become the standard Michael Maness, Gannett VP for strategery, line on crowdsourcing. However, I do think the Dr. Evil twist in this quote is worth mentioning:

Crowdsourcing will "enable people to do digging themselves and maybe find conclusions we won't. It's having thousands of investigative reporters instead of three."

Perhaps I should provide a more serious analogy: Robespierre didn't imagine the Committee of Public Safety getting out of hand either.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Future Continues to Trend Internet

Pew Research Center weighs in with a new poll on public opinion regarding the media. Compared to a similar 1985 survey, the general view of the media is down; but dramatically down among younger news consumers that get the majority of their information from the internet.

More than 50% of those surveyed didn't believe the mainstream media. Not a good trend. Here's a quick story on the results.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

At This Pace, Both the Media and SID are Out

How about this new Google wrinkle -- adding comments from the sources of stories alongside the search results. So, citizen media can write about a story, post it on the blog and Google will gather feedback on the journalists from the people involved.

Read more at the Center for Citizen Media website.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Once Again, You've Got Two Choices

Dipping into the political world, Mitt Romney's campaign got caught in a digital crossfire when the candidate went on with a talk radio host in Iowa. The station was recording everything for its webcam. Politico has a much better indepth take on what happens next, but for the sports world it reinforces the two decisions you have on days like this.

Romney got caught. He's animated, passionate -- bordering on mad -- with the host. Not the cool, collected image he wants. Knowing the radio station would post the video, his campaign people went first and set the stage by claiming here's Mitt unleashed. They made a positive of the candidate taking the gloves off and showing his passion. Nice.

Better than the alternative -- waiting for someone else to define your person for you.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More on Those Internets

Not exactly where you might expect to find one of these chestnuts, but Tony Blankley was railing on against withdrawal from Iraq and promoting his book, The West's Last Chance, when he delivered this prescient thought about the internet.

From the Fishwrap blog:

Mr. Blankley said that technology has helped spread the violent extremist message of radical Islam. "The Internet has been the purveyor of these ideas across the globe," he said, comparing the way the Internet has spread radical Islam's message to the way in which Guttenberg's development of the printing press helped spread Protestant Christianity.

Certainly speaks to the sea change nature of the net, but is he reaching? Discuss.