Through the MCDM

October 27, 2009


Filed under: com597b — Tags: , , , — captainchunk @ 1:02 pm

I’ve always felt that applying the word social to “social media” was just good enough. I mean, social media is social to a point, but I wanted a word that fit with the technology better. A fit to how the technology was used. Sure you can argue that there is much socializing happening on websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, but don’t forget that a small percentage social media users actually contribute something.

Ladder of participation. This is older, but still gives a decent picture of how it works.

When I look at the future, I see even more devices connecting people to the internet. I believe there will be an increase in participants as children born now will have a “social internet” in their blood. Because of the trend to have nearly all devices connected to the internet, I see social media transforming into an information flow. Both in and out of our lives a stream of information will flow. We can reach into the stream to grab some random data or throw a spear hoping to hit one specific thing. This isn’t vastly different from today, other than for the fact of where the information will come from.

Right now, the information populating the stream is created by people intending (for the most part) to create that information. In the future the information will be populated by the devices that people use without their knowledge. That isn’t to say that their streaming media device will try to trick them, but instead be a trade-off. If the user wants some kind of feature (and they will), then they will need to let the device add and draw from the information stream. We won’t need people consciously adding to the stream, it will just happen.

Perhaps “streaming” is a better word. “I’m using the stream.” “I found it using the stream.” “The stream is so last year.” I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t work.


October 20, 2009


Filed under: com597b — Tags: , , — captainchunk @ 1:15 pm

My local newspaper, the Tacoma News Tribune, has an extremely disappointing video presence on their website. Based on what I can see on their website, video is an extremely low priority. There were exactly three instances of the word “video” on their homepage. Just three. This could have been fine if they had created a centralized video section of the website, but they didn’t. They have a link to AP videos that links outside of the TNT website instead of having the content embedded into the TNT website. Anytime you take users outside of your website, you will lose a percentage of them.

A very, very small section on the TNT main page.

A very, very small section on the TNT main page.

When you click on the link to local videos, you are taken to a page with all of their videos in a player. The player itself is very limited. There is no way to build a playlist or even enlarge the video to fullscreen. There appears to be a way to upload videos, but I didn’t attempt to see how it works. You can at least rate videos and do some filtering of the videos on the page.

The main video page for the TNT.

The main video page for the TNT.

The lack of focus on video is apparent when you see how the TNT implemented a photo blog. The biggest difference is the layout and design. The page was a dark background making for better contrast between the photos and page and the lack of ads. There is so much more thought put into their photo blog that their video section looks downright awful next to it. Why they can’t implement something similar to their photo blog for video is beyond me. They should create a portal that houses all of their videos and enable a search system of the meta data.

This is the very nice looking photo blog for the TNT.

This is the very nice looking photo blog for the TNT.

It is unfortunate that the TNT has chosen to ignore video as much as they have. Their photo blog shows that they know how to present multimedia in a pleasing way, so why don’t they do it for video? I wonder if it has to do with their perceived cost of producing quality video? I believe they could produce good quality video content for a small amount of money, or even start to leverage the Tacoma community for video content. Needless to say, I was disappointed with their video implementation.

October 13, 2009


Filed under: com597b — Tags: , , , , , , — captainchunk @ 6:59 pm
This dude understood the economics of digital information

This dude understood the economics of digital information

I have yet to read Chris Anderson’s Free, but I’m familiar with the topic. I’ve read some of Gladwell’s books and essays, been to Godin’s blog a couple of times, and the same for Cuban’s blog. It is obvious that all of these individuals are intelligent and understand the digital landscape… they just happen to disagree as to what is beyond the horizon.

The fact is I agree with all of them on some points and disagree with all of them on others. Between their arguments lies the answer to the question, “what will the economy of digital goods look like in the future?” Both Anderson and Gladwell grab some case studies that highlight their points, which is a good idea, but the fact remains that you could find a case study to highlight nearly any point on the subject. So while it was useful, the examples held little weight with me.

I appreciated Cuban’s thoughts the most. I believe he is spot on in his suggestion to look to the music industry for guidence. It has been dealing with the problem of “free” for longer than any other media industry. He says the music industry wields “free” as a weapon of commerce, and I agree with him, but I’d add that the music industry needs to take it much, much further than they have. Trent Reznor understands this better than anybody in the music business. He knows how to make money off of his fans and he knows how to give them the free stuff they want. Follow him and he will lead you to the land of business model salvation.

I believe the issue of free comes down to the simple fact that in order to make money, you have to produce something that nobody else is producing. If you can do that, you can make money. What is hard is creating that unique voice and getting people to notice. There is nothing easy about the “free” problem, but as Godin said, the world will morph to fit the solution.

October 4, 2009

Food and Drinks

Filed under: com597b — captainchunk @ 2:11 pm

While thinking of grand topics like water, I came up with food. It’s not groundbreaking, but it felt like it could work for our class project in the same vein as water did for the previous class. Every single person eats food, so everybody will be familiar with some sort of food and everybody will have a story to tell.

There are a billion different kinds of food. From the cliched Ramen of college fame to locally grown lettuce to sushi to pop tarts to Tony’s frozen pizza to a porterhouse from Wolf Lodge in Coeur d’Alene, ID. (I probably shouldn’t have typed that because now I want a porterhouse.) Our experience of food is universal, but manifests itself differently in each person. Some people don’t eat meat, some do juice diets to cleanse themselves, some people grow their own food. If there is nothing else with food, there is at least variety.

The best steak Ive ever had.

The best steak I've ever had.

I’m not sure I can talk about food without talking about its liquid partner. Drinks are just as much a part of food as the food is. I still remember drinking glacial water directly from the ice it flowed from in the Cascades. I’ll just mention wine because all it needs is a mention. The cocktail is an American invention closely tied to the beginning of our country. Drinks are an integral part of every culture on the planet and to leave it out of the food discussion would be lazy.

The Godfather of bartending, Jerry Thomas and his Blue Blazer

The Godfather of bartending, Jerry Thomas and his Blue Blazer

I think our class could produce some very compelling content based on food and drinks.

Edit: Harry is right about the Rosewood Cafe. If you come to Tacoma, you must check this place out in North Tacoma. Good wine and beer and fantastic sandwichs.

The Rosewood Cafe located in North Tacoma, near Proctor.

The Rosewood Cafe located in North Tacoma, near Proctor.

Blog at