The Three Day Blog Blitz: Episode 3: Blitzes of our lives

So if you’ve been following this blog in its short inception, you will recall a post I dropped a month or two ago regarding the current state of television as an industry.  Well, as I am a broadcast major with an interest in the future, I’ve decided to devote blog # 10 to the future of this industry.   Most people are aware of the current model of television broadcast.  A network essentially has to guess what will be popular, and then sends it through various transmission methods, allowing each network to produce one show at a time.  This is mitigated a small amount with multiple channels, but the essence remains the same.  However, as the Internets popularity continues to exponentially increase, the need for personalized, compelling content continues to grow.  One step that has been taken on this path is vocal recognition, what some might see as the next step in the continued evolution of lazy television watching.  Through an Xbox download, users will be able to tell their television to change the channel, up the volume, even turn the TV off.

Really, though, the question  is this: how is this all new media affecting the industries?  Personally, I feel like these changes have been pushing great new changes in the media that will take us to the future, as it were.

The Future of TV from Jeffrey Hendrix on Vimeo.

This cool video up here kind of helps illustrate my point.  For those of you with bad connections (or short attention spans), basically this video lauds the future of the industry being in personalized content.  By using A.I. which can study social media trends, television producers can set up personalized content for every user whenever they turn on the TV, instead of the current model that forces us to watch whatever happens to be on.   3-D will also move closer to legitimate prominence, with ESPN showing the World Cup in 3-D this year.  Oh, and by the way, Samsung has made a display that allows you to see 3D TV without those stupid glasses.

In a sort of similar vein, Disney and Youtube are now teaming up to provide new content for their users, in an attempt to shore up the weaknesses behind both companies.  While it makes sense, unfortunately at this time I don’t have a lot of faith in the particular venture.

Switching gears a bit here, we’re going to talk about music.  I’ve been saying it for a long time, but the music industry isn’t dying, the record industry is.  Where people claim internet piracy is having a profoundly negative effect, the absolute truth is that in the past 11 years, concert revenue has nearly doubled.  Now, instead of record labels, companies like Spotify, which allows users to listen to any song they want for free, are the big thing.  The reason why is, of course, exactly what I just stated.  Instant, free access, to prerecorded content is preferable, especially when you can control the content that you listen to.  For record labels, what this means is that a massive overhaul is going to be necessary.  It will start with a major scaling back of their operations.  The fact of the matter is that physical music stores just aren’t as popular as they were ten years ago.  Because of this, gigantic corporations just won’t work as they did before.  The labels need to be prepared to shift their focus as the World does the same.  Interestingly, the new model could actually be described pretty simply:

Connect with Fans (CwF) + Reason to Buy (RtB) = The Business Model

To reiterate, I’m fairly confident that both of these industries are actually in very good positions.  Smart people are in place to do great things to push the industries forward, all inevitably in the name of our entertainment.  As the years go on, these will continue to improve, and we’ll continue to be treated to great content.

 

The Three Day Blog Blitz: Episode 2: Big Wig Blitz

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for day two of the three day blog blitz!  We shall start today off with a video!

Why is Foreign Aid Important? from The Gates Notes on Vimeo.

The video above does more to highlight what Bill Gates has been up to than anything I could ever write in the history of ever.  Mr. Gates has been pushing his philanthropic endeavors farther and farther with each passing year, and in the video, he really does do a good job of explaining why.  As he notes, the economy is in a precarious state, and it is the responsibility of the richer to do what is necessary to get it going again.

This, of course, does not mean that this is his only major project.  In one of the other videos on his blog, Gates talks about the need for better batteries as we move closer to solar and wind based power.  With the current solutions not working, he went to a professor from MIT named Donald Sadoway for help.  From all of this came the plans for the Liquid Metal battery.  The battery, Saloway explains, utilizes specific liquid compounds to get better results with a smaller battery.  Innovations such as these could go a long way in solving the energy crisis.

Moving on, we look at the recent works coming from Google.  Google recently held an ‘E-town awards’ for European countries.  Now, while this doesn’t seem extraordinarily important, it actually is the pinnacle of a great deal of tracking of the most impressive web developments from the European cities.  What it actually found was pretty incredible.  Instead of the large urban areas coming out ahead, many of the smaller towns proved to be greater in these senses.  What was discovered was that small businesses tended to thrive in the more suburban areas, as opposed to the gigantic municipalities.

The graph above was pulled from Google’s blog.  As you can see, over ten billion apps have now been downloaded.  With that in mind, Google has partnered with several app companies to create even better apps at what at the time was extraordinarily low prices.  Through these new apps, innovation was able to be pushed forward even farther than before.  As we move forward with our technology, one has to wonder how Google and Microsoft will continue to evolve with the times.

The Three Day Blog Blitz: Episode 1: Contentious Blitzing

So, for the next 3 days, I’m going to be getting quite a bit of blogging done. So, instead of just panicking through it, I’ve decided at least to have a bit of title fun and give it a fancy name. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Three Day Blog Blitz.

For “episode” one, we are going to fixate on a fairly contentious topic that always seems to find its way into media coverage. This time, we’re going for violence in video games. This, believe it or not, is an issue I’m actually fairly impassive about. I’m not a big video game player myself. I have played games, and I have found said games fun, but it doesn’t make up a major portion of my time in any way, shape or form. Because of this, I felt like I could tackle this issue, so to speak, in a relatively neutral stance.

That said, first we’re going to argue against video games. Studies have suggested that youth who play violent video games tend to be more violent, due partially to the tendency of many games to promote negative themes.  Among these are the exploitation of women and violence towards animals.  Hell, pictured above, we’ve got a picture of some kids holding guns at an arcade (which admittedly do look pretty real).  Other studies have suggested increases in aggression, a greater chance of being confrontational with peers and the potential to pick fights with peers.

Granted, this has it’s flip side.  In fact, federal crime statistics have stated that US juvenile crime rates are at a 30 year low.  The same source also suggests that many of the ‘studies’ done on media violence have been, at best, inconclusive, and also suggests that video games can be a source for learning.  And for anyone else who might worry (Mom), the video game market does a better job of keeping M rated games out of the hands of kids than any other form of media.

All of these statements are equally valid, and are important in considering the ethical repercussions of how things will move forward.  However, there is a certain limit as to what any of these studies can do.  In the end, it’s going to be up to the parents to make these decisions.  I’ll certainly be careful with what games my children play.

How do you save the music industry?

So recently, I watched a couple of  videos.  I don’t have much time to post, so I’m going to keep it brief.

We’ll start with what my iCOM 101 (I like doing the lowercase i… like iTunes!) teacher called the ‘Moby’ video.  Basically there were three take home points in it:

  • Record companies will not be around in 5 years like they were.  Essentially, in five years, the record industry will completely change, and it’ll be sink or swim.
  • Music business is becoming more evenly spread between musicians.  No longer do those record companies hold 99.9995 percent of the pie.  Everyone else has a shot, too.
  • The record companies are to blame for their own demise.  They brought it on themselves by not evolving.

We move on to a video that was entitled “How do we save the music industry.”  This time, there are five points to remember:

  • There needs to be a constant flow of new music to keep people interested.
  • Because of point 1, radio has more potential to succeed than it ever has.
  • CDs were an awful time for music.  Quality took a major hit for the sake of getting records out.
  • Unless your music is going to see top 40 air play, don’t sign with a record label.  You’ll be selling your soul for nothing.
  • All future media has to be interactive and portable, or else people will get bored.
  • Most importantly, music is not dying, or even broken.  It’s just changing, and people have to adapt to that.

What do you think?  I’d like to know what you think is broken, if anything, and how we could fix it.  Just post in the comments section and let us all know!

 

Edit:  I’ve changed my mind.  Music is dead and this video proves it.

Lynda Resources. Also known as things I’ve learned!

I’d just like to leave this here:

Utterly tiny, I know, so I’ll explain what this is.  It’s the lynda page showing completion for the creating your first website with Dreamweaver CS 5.   Good times!

Tweety tweet. The midterm post!

Aight, so today I’ve gotta talk about how media is changing out lives.  So naturally, me being me, I’m going to stick to one thing and strike at it until I get my point across.  Or until I’m bored.  Likely one of these things is going to happen.  The question, of course is, what form of media will I pick?  Here, let’s let an image do the talking.

 

That’s right.  We’re gonna focus on social media tonight.  Now, let’s set the record straight, because I realize that my image seems a bit mean.  I have no issues with Twitter.  How people express themselves is up to them.  Me being a downer, however, I can’t help but point out that there really is no need for people to give constant feedback about the minutia of their daily lives.  No, Sarah Connor, I don’t care about how the T-130x almost murdered you the other day.  I have Youtube to watch and Facebook posts to like.

 

Alright, let’s cut the snarkiness a little bit.  Social media in all of its forms is great, and Twitter certainly has its edges.  For example, we have been able to track the national mood of the US through twitter.  Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking, ‘well, why is that such a big deal?’  And to this I reply with a solid “look at the big picture!”  The advertising potential on this alone is huge, and it’s already being taken advantage of by small businesses all over the place.  Now, direct advertising on Twitter  isn’t as of yet very practical.  But let’s look at this guy, goes by the name of Curtis Kimball.  So, this guy has his creme brulee cart, and some stranger walks up for one of these delicious foods.  As it turns out, the guy found out about it on Twitter.  So our main man, Curtis, sets up an account and now has over 5000 people paying attention so they can know where to go on a given day for some food!  It’s advertising with absolutely no overhead!  And of course, it’s not even limited to twitter, as Facebook, blogging, and even Youtube are being used for this sort of advertising.

 

So yeah, alright, that’s cool and all, but what about the bigger picture?  Well, kids, let’s look at revolution.  Tunisia used social media to keep the flow of information running to the rest of the people of its country during the revolution that occurred there.  And in Saudi Arabia, while certainly we haven’t seen anything of a revolution yet, protest is becoming more widespread as information is much harder to disguise with the advent of social media such as twitter and Facebook.  So we’re starting revolutions with just social media!  Well… really, oppressed countries are, but we could too if we really wanted to.  Hrm….

 

Alright, so naturally the politicians see the value in this too.  Oh look, President Obama has a twitter.  Now, I don’t expect you to click the link.  I don’t expect that the people here are one political party or the other, and I certainly don’t subscribe to one person’s political beliefs over another.  But you can’t deny the fact that this is huge.  The ability to get information instantly to an audience of millions of people with only about a minute of your time taken up?  Amazing!  Oh and guess what?  Republicans are in on it, too.  Evidently, they noticed how successful Obama’s 2008 campaign used social media, and they jumped on the proverbial bandwagon.  And you know what the best part is?  Thanks to the feedback of people around the world, people are voting in higher rates than ever before!

 

There are lots of innovations in the world of social media today, and all of these have played a big part in many facets of the world, from advertising to revolution.  I suppose now, instead of saying “viva la revolucion”, we have to say “viva la twitter!”

 

Innovations in TV: Gotta keep interest somehow!

OK, we’ll be honest.  In my last blog, I showed that TV is still alive, and sort of glossed over the reasons why.  I think it’s high time that we offered some detail.

First off, we have to look at IPTV.  IPTV, Internet protocol television, is essentially an innovation that allows you to access internet media through your HDTV.  Twitter, Pandora, Youtube, and so many other web applications can stream their content to your fancy-pants television.  The best part is, they’re moving slowly to free content as advertising becomes their primary source of revenue.

Now, I can read your minds (believe me, I can).  “Why would I want this when I can access the content when I can use my computer to access the same info?”  The answer is simple: quality.  HDTVs still enjoy an overall higher quality, and since we as a people place higher value on quality, Television has a certain level of safety placed within it.  But how does all this change the world, you ask?  For the same reason that TV changed the world back in the 60’s.

Think about it, back in 1960, John F. Kennedy essentially won the presidential election because of TV.  His more casual, youthful appearance made him simply more appealing than Nixon was, which gave him just that edge he needed.

Seriously, which one would YOU have voted for?

With the new innovations happening now, with higher definition and more media accessibility, our access to information is better than ever before.  Higher quality gives more attractive people a new edge, and is actually starting to replace natural charisma as a driving force… with natural exceptions, of course.

Sorry, Mr. President, no one voted for you for your boyish good looks

In addition, most information can now be accessed with a few clicks of a remote control, all while in the comfort of our couches.  TV is, now more than ever, a lazy man’s dream.

Fear not! Your TV is safe with me!

See, it's a Lion.  Cause you know, I'm the T-Comm Lion?  Come on now, keep up with it.

Alright, let’s face it.  Technology is always adapting, always evolving.  We’re in a world now where you can watch all of those silly after school shows you know you watched when you were a child.  In fact, I’m sure most of us have done that very thing, all the while shaking our heads and saying “what in the world was I thinking?”

Above: Proof that I have no idea what I was thinking.

So, naturally with all of this new technology that keeps moving, some of us might worry that the television industry, as it were, is on the way out.  After all, new media content is easier to produce than ever before.  Any Joe Schmo can walk outside with a camera and shoot their own entertainment pieces.  With media being so accessible, what use do we have for television, right?  Well, I say, fear not my friends!  Television is alive and well, perhaps even better off than it was ten years ago.  The same new technologies that make media content more accessible also happen to make the more professional content more accessible to people.  While certainly, not as many people are sitting around watching TV, more and more people watch TV on the internet.  This new accessibility has allowed for even more freedom with web content, which in turn has opened the door for the next step in television’s evolution

Americans using Internet based Television

© 2010 Gravity Media

As we can see here, the number of Americans who use IPTV (Internet Protocal Television) has skyrocketed in the last five years.  Back in 2006, the number of people who actually used IPTV was so low that it didn’t even register as a percentage of the U.S. population.  The number has increased exponentially, and even though it still only registers as roughly a percent of the population, the evidence of the trend is staggering.  With this knowledge in tow, industry leaders have been working towards synergistic content, working with websites like Google to make even more accessible content.  This trend has already been seen with IPTV using websites like Pandora and Youtube with the click of a button.

Of course, to even suggest that the use of televisions as regular devices for viewing shows is dying, we only have to look at hard facts to know that this is untrue.  Back in January, Super Bowl XLV broke television viewership records with one hundred eleven million viewers.  This isn’t even taking account the number of people who went to bars to watch the game.  On top of this, many shows still consistently break four to five million viewers in their weekly broadcasts, with the show “America’s got Talent” hitting eleven million viewers last week.  Let’s face it, folks; numbers do not lie.  Television is fine.

With television consistently moving to push forward and advance with technology, it looks like we will be blessed to continue pushing forward with good quality programming (and admittedly some not so good quality programming).  If anyone was worried about the future of television, hopefully their fears can be put to rest.

New Technology and me!

I’ve put a lot of consideration into how technology has affected me.  In a lot of ways, I realize, I’m sort of behind the curve.  In a world where over 50 million+ people own a PS 3, I find myself content with my Playstation 2.  In a lot of ways, realistically, things like ‘the Console Wars’ and the race for new technology haven’t affected me.  My iPod is the same one I had five years ago, and it still serves its base function admirably despite a few quirks.  My Playstation 2 still works fine, and I still get more enjoyment out of reading a good book than sitting around a console mashing buttons.  Naturally, however, there have been changes.  As a proud laptop owner, I am part of the twelve million+ people of the 18-24 age group who use Facebook.  In essence, the way that I socialize with people has drastically changed.  With the ability to communicate with friends several hundred or thousand miles away, my horizons have broadened in ways that even 10 years ago I never would have thought was possible.  So even for those of us who like to stay behind the curve, if only a little bit, technology continues to change who we are.  An interesting thing to note, eh?

Here’s the start

For those of you who may not be aware, my name is Christian Ward, the self entitled T-Comm Lion.  If one were being honest, the name of the blog came from two principal interests of mine.  First is Telecommunications (T-Comm), my major.  The second part, the ‘lion’ part, comes not from any strange fascination with the specific animal, but rather from a game called Legend of the Five Rings, a game loosely based on Sengoku Era Japan.  The Lion Clan are supposed to be the right hand of the Empire, the defenders of its honor and name.  In keeping with this, I chose the Lion since I’d like to one day see myself as a protector and defender of the business I’ll be working for.

 

As part of this blog, I am going to be paying attention to three or four industry leaders and later writing about them.  The thing is, I am not going to be looking at Telecommunications leaders.  While it is my major and a great interest of mine, the pure fact is that many of the industry leaders in directing, where I aim to put myself some day, do not keep personal blogs, or at least not ones that they keep regularly.  Instead, I will be focusing on Entrepreneurs, people who created their own businesses and became wildly successful.  Beyond the fact that there are a plethora of blogs written by successful entrepreneurs, making it a natural subject to choose, I myself seek to go into business for myself one day, and the insights that could be found within this information will do great things in my continued success in the future.  Without further ado, the three entrepreneurs I am choosing are as follows:

1) Larry Page and Sergey Brin – co-founders of google.com  (http://googleblog.blogspot.com)

2)Bill Gates – Founder of Microsoft (http://www.thegatesnotes.com/)

3)Allen Frechter – Founder of Plexi-Craft (http://www.plexi-craft.com/blog/)

 

Through following the writings of these three people, I hope to gleam some insights into the world of business, and ensure that I am better prepared for the next stages of my life.  For now, though, I’m signing off.

 

Christian Ward

Telecommunications major, Ball State University

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