Podcasts I’m Listening To [en]

[fr] Les podcasts que j'écoute...

The list of podcasts I listen to has grown a lot during these last months. So much that I have trouble keeping up. Here they are, if you want to get infected too:

  • Mystery Show: solving mysteries, seriously. Like, detective stories without a crime.
  • On the Media: a meta-show about the media.
  • Savage Lovecast: your favorite gay sex-advice columnist
  • Freakonomics Radio: what can we learn about the world through data?
  • Invisibilia: about the hidden forces that shape our lives
  • Serial: true crime, eagerly awaiting season 2
  • Death, Sex & Money: the stuff we don’t normally talk about. Talked about here.
  • Planet Money: they manage to make money stuff understandable and interesting to me (quite a feat).
  • Love + Radio: love. Stories.
  • Radiolab: sciency, geeky, my first podcast love. About all sorts of interesting stuff, from big ideas like death and time to small things like buttons.
  • Reply All: a show about the internet and its hidden corners
  • Startup: raw behind the scenes stories of starting a business.
  • 99% Invisible: design. But you didn’t know design included all this stuff.
  • This American Life: stories. Real stories. Each week, a theme, and stories around it.
  • The Moth: live storytelling, on stage, of true stories. Be ready to laugh and cry, and be taken on the rollercoaster of emotions that is the human life.
  • Snap Judgment: more storytelling, slightly different atmosphere. It took me a few episodes to click, and now I love it.
  • Limetown: like a TV series. But audio, and in a podcast. Fiction.
  • TED Radio Hour: TED talks, radio-ified.
  • Note to Self: the human side of technology. How it’s changing our lives. How we can live with it without it completely taking over our lives.
  • Sur les Docks [fr]: newly discovered, because I’ve been looking for high-quality francophone podcasts. Takes you places.

Some others, that I have in my list but am not listening to (yet?):

Good luck… devil grin

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A Patchwork Post From The Chalet [en]

[fr] Plein de choses en vrac. Y'a des liens qui mènent vers des trucs en français.

I keep falling into this trap. I don’t blog about something because there is something else, more important, that I should blog about before and haven’t got around to writing.

In this case, it’s the fact that just over a week ago, I finally got to see Joan Baez live on stage. I’ve been listening to her since I was seven or so. I know most of her songs. I’ve always listened to her. And a few years ago I decided that I should really go and see her live soon, because, you know, she’s not getting any younger, and at some point people who spend their lives touring and singing on stage might decide that they want to stay at home and paint instead.

Joan Baez at Paléo

And she was coming to Paléo, in Nyon, just next door. I think I cried during the whole show — not from sadness, just from too much emotion. I was glad to be there that evening, because it was the evening to witness, with Patti Smith and Robert Plant, too. Isn’t it strange how somebody can be such an important part of your life (the soundtrack of many of my years, like Chris de Burgh) — and yet they have no idea you exist?

If you’ve never listened to Joan Baez, just dive into YouTube.

During the drive to the chalet a story came up on the podcast I was listening to which is exactly about that. The Living Room, a story from the podcast Love + Radio, which I’m going to add to my listening list as soon as I have a good enough data connection.

I finished reading “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” by Jon Ronson, after devouring “The Psychopath Test” these last weeks. It’s a great book. Anybody spending time online should read it. It’s important. With great power comes great responsibility, but we the people on Twitter and Facebook are not aware of the power we wield. The power to destroy lives. To get the gist of it, use 17 minutes of your life to watch Jon’s TED Talk.

My reading of this book coincides with the unleashing of online fury over the killing of Cecil the Lion. It has disturbed me deeply. I feel an urge to dig through my archives and see what my reactions to Jonah Lehrer and Justine Sacco were, because I remember the stories. I’m worried of what I may find. I will be watching myself closely in future.

I also find myself shy in speaking up against those piling on against Cecil’s killer. Oh, he has done wrong. And I have no love for hunters, and no love for hunters of big cats. But what is missing here is proportionality. And I am scared that by speaking up I will find myself faced with a wall of “you’re either with us or against us”, ie, if you don’t join the mob then you’re defending the killing of lions. Just the way last year I was accused of “encouraging pedophiles” and whatnot because I was opposed to a stupid piece of “anti-pedophile” legislation. To some extent, I feel like I have let myself be silenced. Parallels to be drawn with the harassment episode I went through earlier this year (more on that, someday, probably).

This interview of Jon Ronson for On The Media also gives a very good summary of his book.

(My only gripe with Jon Ronson and his book is that a blog is not a post, dammit!)

Two local newspaper articles made me react today on Facebook (they’re in French). One about “the ideal age to conceive” for women, and one about a carer who got bitten by a Komodo dragon at the Lausanne Vivarium.

The first made me jump up because alongside statistics saying “if you want three kids you should get to work at this age” we find things like “you still have a 40% chance of conceiving at 40” and “don’t worry, it’s still quite possible to have children after 37”. Well, at 40 your chances of success through IVF are more around 10-15% — I’m curious where that “40%” comes from, and what it’s supposed to mean. Certainly not “4 attempts to conceive out of 10 succeed” but more “4 women out of 10 who are ‘trying’ (define that) succeed”. Another topic that’s keeping me from blogging about other stuff, because I have so much more to write about not having children. Well, you’ll get it in tidbits, it seems.

As for the second, well, I was expecting a “scare” piece. “Look, the dangerous animal.” Or “look, another negative story for the Vivarium” (which was running out of funding a couple of years ago). To my surprise the article was really good (edit: wow! they seem to have changed the title!), with the carer explaining how she was actually responsible for how the animal had reacted, and that showed how affectionate she was towards it despite the bite. I realised that reading the title had prepared me for “bad journalism”. But going back to it, the title was quite neutral: “Vivarium carer bitten by komodo dragon”. And so I wonder: how could the title have been better? Tricky.

Up in the mountains, in my chalet with almost no data connection, it’s easy to slow down and “do nothing”. A couple of weeks ago I decided I was going to consciously try and do less things in parallel, both on a micro and a macro level. Monotask more, multitask less. Try and keep my number of “open projects” under control. My podcast-hopping brought me to the “Bored and Brilliant Boot Camp” episode the other day. It really drove home the fact that my brain needs downtime. Bored time. And probably a holiday (I haven’t had a “real holiday” (= with no work to do) in much too long, and I’m starting to feel it. How did that happen? I thought I was over that.) So now, I’m paying more attention to where my phone is, and trying to keep it more in my bag and less in my hand, more in the other room and less just next to me.

That’s it for today, folks. My plan is to write again tomorrow. Or the day after. Let’s see if it materialises.

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A Post About Many Things [en]

[fr] Des choses en vrac!

It happened again. As time goes by and things to say pile up, the pile weighs heavy on my fingers and blog posts don’t get written. Been there, done that, will happen again.

First, a heartfelt thanks to all the people who reacted to my post about being single and childless, here and on facebook. Rest assured that I actually rather like the life I have — it’s full of good things. But it’s very different from the one I imagined. I will write more on this, but exactly when and what I am not sure yet. Also, one can grieve not being a mother but not want to adopt or be a single parent. There is a whole spectrum of “child desire”, and it’s not at all as clear-cut as “no way” and “I’ll do anything”. Check out “50 Ways to Not Be a Mother“.

Most of my working hours are devoted to running Open Ears and a series of digital literacy workshops at Sonova. I’m still way behind on my accounting.

Tounsi (and his pal Quintus) went to see an animal behaviour specialist, because I was starting to get really fed up cleaning after Tounsi’s almost daily spraying in the flat (thankfully his pee doesn’t smell too strongly and I’m good at spotting and cleaning). I plan to write a detailed article on the experience in French, but it was fascinating and I regret not going earlier. As of now, spraying is pretty much under control, and I’m in the process of finally chucking and replacing two pieces of furniture which are soiled beyond salvation.

What I learned:

  • outdoor cats can also need stimulation (play, hunting…)
  • even a 20-second “play session” where the cat lifts his head to watch a paper ball but doesn’t chase it can make a difference, if this kind of thing is repeated throughout the day.
  • making cats “work” for their food can be taken much further than feeding balls or mazes: change where the food is all the time (I wouldn’t have dared do that, didn’t know if it was a good idea or not, but it is); hide kibble under upturned yoghurt cups; throw pieces of kibble one by one for the cat to run after (another thing to do “all the time”); use an empty egg-box to make kibble harder to get to; etc. etc.
  • clicker training for things like touching a reluctant cat: my baby steps were way too big and my sessions way too long
  • Feliway spray is way more efficient than the diffusor (at least to stop spraying)
  • cleaning with water (or water and neutral soap) is really not enough, there are products to spray on soiled areas which break down urine molecules (even if you can’t smell anything, the cat can)
  • spraying can simply be a “vicious circle” — it seems to be the case with Tounsi: he sprays in the flat because it’s a habit, and because there are “marking sign-posts” (ie, smell) everywhere

While we’re on the topic of cats, I’m playing cat-rescuer and looking for homes for Capsule and Mystik (together, used to living indoors but that could change) and Erika (has been living outdoors for 5 years but super friendly).

I don’t think I mentioned StartUp podcast or Gimlet Media here yet. Anyway: want great podcasts? Listen to Startup, Reply All, and Mystery Show. And in addition to Invisibilia and those I mention in that article, grab Planet Money (I swear, they make it interesting even for me!), Snap Judgement (great storytelling), and This American Life.

Reading? Spin, Axis, and Vortex, by Robert Charles Wilson.

Something I need to remember to tell people about blogging: write down stuff that’s in your head. It works way better than doing research to write on something you think might be interesting for people.

Procrastinating and generally disorganised, as I am? Two recent articles by James Clear that I like: one on “temptation bundling” to help yourself do stuff while keeping in mind future rewards (delayed gratification, anybody?) and the other on a super simple productivity “method”. I read about it this morning and am going to try it.

Related, but not by Clear: How to Get Yourself to Do Things. Read it, but here’s the takeaway: when you procrastinate, the guilt builds up and you feel worse and worse. But as soon as you start doing it gets better. And so the worst you’ll ever feel about not doing something is just before you start. Understanding this is helping me loads.

Enough for today. More soon, or less soon.

Thanks to Marie-Aude who gave me a nudge to get back to this blog. I’d been in the “omg should write an article” state for weeks, and her little contribution the other day certainly played a role in me putting “write CTTS article” in my list of 6 things for the day. Merci 🙂

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Here Comes Everybody: Journalism and Ease of Publication [en]

I’m reading “Here Comes Everybody“. I’m taking notes.

In the chapter “Everyone is a media outlet”, Clay explains very well what is the matter with the journalism industry. (He has since then co-authored a report on the future of the news industry, which I need to read.)

In a world where everyone is a publisher, journalism is becoming an activity rather than a profession — activity which can be carried out both by those employed by the news industry and the “amateurs” (oh heck). A profession serves to solve a hard problem, that requires specialisation. Reproduction, distribution, and categorisation are now orders of magnitude easier and cheaper than before: professionals are no longer required for these activities.

Look at iStockPhoto and professional photography: the price of professional photography not so much due to the incredible quality of the professional’s work, in many cases, but comes from the difficulty of finding the right photo. iStockPhoto helps solve that problem, so the photo now costs 1$ instead of 500$, can very well have been shot by an amateur, and be no lesser in quality than a more expensive, specially-commissioned professional one.

As it has become easier to publish, public speech and action have become more valuable and less scarce, just like the ability to read and write became more commonplace with the invention of movable type, and scribes lost their raison-d’être.

Journalism is a profession that seems to exist because of accidental scarcity of published material due to the expense of publishing in the physical world. Scarcity (and therefore cost) is not an indication of importance: water is more important to life than diamonds, but that doesn’t make it expensive (The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith).

When everybody had learned to read and write, and scribes weren’t needed anymore, we didn’t call everybody a scribe, we just stopped using the word; reading and writing is ubiquitous and so not rare enough to pay for, even if it’s a really important skill. Scribes as a profession died out.

As for music and movie industry: the service they performed was distributing music and movies, but now anybody can move music and video easily and cheaply. The problem they were solving does not exist anymore, and so they are trying to maintain it by turning on their customers and trying to make moving movies and music harder artificially.

Because it’s so easy to publish, making something public is less the momentous decision that it used to be. The general criticism of the low quality of online content has to do with the fact we are judging “communications” content (conversation, often) by “broadcast” content standards of interest and quality. We look at Facebook statuses and think “was that really worth broadcasting?” — not realising that it was never intended for broadcast in the first place. It was not meant for us. If you eavesdrop on a dining hall conversation at the table next to you, doubtless you’ll find it uninteresting, but you won’t think “why are they speaking so loud I can hear what they’re saying?”

There used to be a distinction between communications and broadcast media, which has now broken down. Broadcast is one-to-many, a one-way megaphone which attempts to reach as many people as possible of a target audience. Communications, on the other hand, are two-way conversations for specific recipients, one-to-one. Now we also have many-to-many, communications tools which enable group conversation. There is a continuum between broadcast and communications rather than a sharp break neatly following the lines of the technology used (TV/radio vs. phone/fax). Communications and broadcast are mixed in the same medium, and we make the mistake of judging communications by the standards of broadcast.

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Solar Impulse fait demi-tour et la presse fait… trois petits tours? [fr]

Update mardi 14 juin, 12h30: Solar Impulse effectue en ce moment sa deuxième tentative pour rallier le Bourget, à suivre en live sur le site!

Bon, écrire un titre, je vous l’accorde, ce n’est pas toujours simple. Mais franchement, depuis que Solar Impulse a annoncé que l’avion retournait sur Bruxelles plutôt que de continuer vers Paris, je suis simplement scandalisée par la piètre qualité de certains titres et papiers rapportant l’incident.

Solar Impulse décolle de Bruxelles, dans les nuages. Photo : Claude M. CAUWE.

Primo, les sources accessibles à tout un chacun via le site de Solar Impulse, en particulier:

Malgré mes rapports professionnels avec Solar Impulse ces temps, je n’ai pas eu accès à des infos privilégiées sur ce coup-ci, donc tout ce à quoi j’ai eu accès, le reste du monde y avait accès aussi (y compris les journalistes).

Au moment du demi-tour, il était très clair pour moi que:

  • André n’avait pas pu rentrer le train d’atterrissage, mais que ce n’était pas un gros problème en soi de voler avec, si ce n’est que ça freinait un peu l’avion
  • L’avion avait décollé tard de Bruxelles (18h36), avec donc peu de temps de vol “jour” pour stocker du soleil
  • Il y avait pas mal de nuages, pas mal de vent, et je crois même avoir entendu qu’il s’est fait pleuvoir un peu dessus
  • Avec un fort vent de face, l’avion avançait à 17 noeuds au sol au lieu des 30 escomptés: les batteries allaient donc se décharger plus vite, et le vol durer plus longtemps.

Quelle n’a donc pas été ma surprise (et ma déception!) quand j’ai commencé à voir pleuvoir sur Twitter des tweets parlant de “problèmes techniques” et même “d’incidents en série”. J’avais l’impression de n’avoir pas assisté au même vol! C’est peut-être une question de définitions, mais pour moi, “météo” ça ne rentre pas dans la catégorie “incident technique”.

Je ne mentionne même pas l’utilisation généreuse du mot “échec”, qui, franchement, pour un prototype qui effectue un vol encore jamais tenté auparavant et dans des conditions relativement peu favorables (météo), est un peu… ingrate?

Vous voulez des exemples? En voici.

Lesoir.be, pour qui “Solar Impulse fait demi-tour suite à des problèmes techniques” (on lit même dans l’article “L’avion a connu de nombreuses difficultés depuis son départ de Bruxelles.”) — lesoir.be qui s’est d’ailleurs déjà distingué en faisant subir un changement de sexe à la merveilleuse Elâ Borschberg, qui administre de main de maître le blog, le compte Twitter, la page Facebook, le supporters’ program, et tant d’autres choses.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/tdgch/status/79644994977280000″]

La Tribune de Genève titre hier “Problèmes techniques: Solar Impulse fait demi-tour et retourne à Bruxelles” et ne se rattrape pas aujourd’hui avec “Solar Impulse atterrit à Bruxelles après une grosse frayeur” (coupable du même titre: 24heures — et en passant c’est vraiment bête, parce que leur article n’est pas si mal).

7sur7 nous dit que “Solar Impulse rebrousse chemin pour soucis techniques“. TF1 ne nous étonne pas avec “Solar Impulse et le coup de la panne” (mythique, à ce stade j’imagine déjà l’avion rentrer en clopinant à Bruxelles, tracté par un petit avion de tourisme). A la RSR: “Un premier échec technique pour Solar Impulse“.

Ladépêche.fr nous annonce “Echec de l’avion solaire” — là, c’est tout le projet qui tombe à l’eau, visiblement. (On note en passant l’utilisation d’une image de synthèse de l’avion qui date de Mathusalem, alors que rien que sur Flickr, on a déjà bien mieux — j’ose à peine mentionner les magnifiques images disponibles de la part du service de presse de Solar Impulse.)

En anglais, on tweete des choses comme

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/entrepreneur_uk/status/79837567809372161″]

qui donnent l’impression que l’avion n’ira finalement pas à Paris (vous savez comme c’est, Twitter: on ne lit pas toujours les articles, on voit passer les titres, et ceux-ci sont du coup d’autant plus importants comme véhicule d’information). Ici aussi, “Solar-powered plane abandons Paris flight“, où l’on rapporte allègrement “a series of technical problems” et “a series of glitches”, du resucé de l’AFP, en fait.

Après, il y a aussi les petits détails qui nous montrent à quel point un certain journalisme est du copier-coller de communiqués (on le savait déjà, mais au point d’y laisser des guillemets au mauvais endroit, ça donne vraiment l’impression qu’on ne lit pas ce qu’on colle):

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/stephtara/status/79854855803514881″]

Guillemets mal placés, on regarde même plus ce qu'on copie

France Soir essaie de corriger la citation (“Solar Impulse: Echec et demi-tour“) mais du coup, André Borschberg se retrouve porte-parole plutôt que pilote:

Solar Impulse : Echec et demi-tour | France Soir

Oups.

Heureusement, il y a aussi des choses bien.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/BreakingNews/status/79711854166949888″]

Futura-Sciences: “L’avion solaire de Solar Impulse n’a pas pu atteindre Le Bourget“.

Aerobuzz: “Solar Impulse contraint au demi-tour“.

RTBF a pris la peine d’inviter André sur leur plateau et a fait un petit sujet bien informatif, j’ai trouvé.

Il y a aussi les tweets d’André (je suis très fière de mon élève), son compte-rendu sur le blog, l’atmosphère sur Twitter entre “suiveurs de #solarimpulse“, et les magnifiques vidéos tournées par l’équipe multimédia. Celles-ci, par exemple, du décollage et de l’atterrissage à Bruxelles:

Je vous conseille aussi de lire l’article de Martin Gillet, dans la même veine que celui-ci: “Why Solarimpulse’s return to Brussels is not a failure“.

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Nouvelles musiques: adieu la radio [fr]

[en] Years ago, when I sold my car, the radio stopped being my source for new music. Now it's TV series, Facebook, and Tumblr.

Il y a des années de cela, lorsque j’avais une voiture, je passais chaque jour du temps sur la route à écouter de la musique et… à chanter avec. Des périodes CD (c’était avant l’iPhone!) et des périodes radio. J’aimais la radio qui ne parlait pas, qui passait simplement de la musique.

C’était là que je découvrais de nouveaux artistes. Grâce à la radio que j’achetais des CDs (toujours ou presque dans les bacs à 10-15 balles).

Quand j’ai vendu ma voiture en 2007, j’ai perdu non seulement mon local de chant préféré (heureusement je chante avec Café Café, sinon mes pauvres cordes vocales se ratatineraient) mais aussi ma source de nouvelle musique.

En fait, j’ai aussi perdu mon lieu principal d’écoute de musique. J’aime travailler dans le silence, je n’arrive pas à lire ou écrire en musique. Alors j’écoute de la musique quand je fais le ménage ou quand je retouche des photos mais… c’est vrai que j’aime le silence.

Aujourd’hui, piétonne, j’écoute aussi de la musique en marchant ou dans les transports publics, mais c’est très frustrant pour moi de devoir “la fermer” et de ne pas chanter à plein poumons comme j’en ai envie. (Non, je ne suis pas “celle-là” dans le train qui chante pour tout le wagon avec son casque dans les oreilles…)

En plus, merci iPhone, la musique a maintenant une rude concurrence: les podcasts. Je suis accro à On The Media et à Radiolab, par exemple. (Si vous avez des émissions de qualité comparable à me proposer en français, je suis preneuse, hein.)

La radio a donc complètement disparu de mon radar — si ce n’est sous forme de ces podcasts, ou lorsque j’y passe 😉

Depuis quelques années, donc, j’ai conscience que mon “répertoire” musical stagne. Je n’achète plus de CDs depuis longtemps (un des derniers était Back to Bedlam de James Blunt) et malgré ce que pourraient croire certains, je ne suis pas une grande pirate: trop paresseuse pour télécharger “illégalement”, je me contente d’acheter des morceaux isolés sur iTunes. En passant, j’ai la sensation de payer pour le service plus que pour la musique (vous m’entendez, là-bas?)

Source première de nouvelles musiques? Les séries TV (et films), Grey’s Anatomy en tête. Un petit coup de Shazam pour identifier le morceau qui passe, et hop, j’achète.

Deuxième source? C’est ça qui me fait écrire aujourd’hui: mes fils d’actualité sur Facebook et Tumblr. Mes amis qui partagent vidéos et morceaux qu’ils aiment. Parfois, j’achète.

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On The Media: Hyperlocal and Numbers [en]

[fr] Trois sujets à écouter sur On The Media: un sur le journalisme hyperlocal (qui me fait penser au Bondy Blog -- d'ailleurs, pourquoi a-t-on le Lausanne Bondy Blog et non le Renens Bondy Blog? mystère...), et deux sur l'abus de chiffres dans les médias et le chiffre magique 50'000.

I’ve started catching up with my On The Media backlog. Here are two pieces I suggest you listen to.

Is Hyperlocal the Future of News?

This reminds me of Bondy Blog. Started by a bunch of Swiss journalists covering civil unrest around Paris in 2005 from the Paris suburbs themselves, it has since then been handed over to young local reporters. Bondy Blogs have sprouted since then in various cities, including Lausanne and Vernier — though I remain convinced that the Lausanne Bondy Blog should be the Lausanne Bondy Blog at all, but the Renens Bondy Blog. Isn’t it about putting the local spotlight on the underpriviledged suburbs?

Are Bondy Blogs hyperlocal?

Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts followed by Prime Number

You probably know my distaste for numbers and our obsession with metrics (including in the media, which is the topic of these two pieces). Refresher: my rant about un-scientific Twitter metrics, fan-quoting Seth Godin, and Suw‘s heartily recommended “Metrics” series: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4. (I’m not dead against analytics, though. Just cautious.)

Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict is a book, and it’s now in my Amazon shopping basket.

Enjoy!

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Lift10 Workshop: From virtual to real world value — Collective Intelligence as an alternate source of media power [en]

These are my running notes of the Lift conference (Workshop: From virtual to real world value — Collective Intelligence as an alternate source of media power). May contain errors, omissions, things that aren’t quite right, etc. I do my best but I’m just a human live-blogging machine.

Lift10 Workshop day 2

Collective intelligence: gathering to put bits and pieces of the story together.

Obama campaign. Radiohead In Rainbows (in addition to the “pay what you like” promo they sold over 100K box sets at $80).

Massing old media companies are now in trouble. Well-crafted, manicured message. Different from the grassroots culture. Jenkins: media producer and media consumer interact in unpredictable ways.

New media: no barrier to entry as long as you have the technology (phone, internet connection, camera…)

Media convergence surrounds us. Participatory culture and collective intelligence prevail.

Convergence is not about a big black device that will do everything. Different sources/tools coming together, gathering. Industrialized process, cultures, social communication, etc — everything is changing in the convergence world. (It’s happening now!)

Scary process for some (media organizations in particular). Confusion in the marketplace. New media does not stop old media, but forces it to reinvent itself or find a new place. All these things can exist side-by-side, but the power is shifting.

We now have the ability to participate in the creation on culture — and we do it every day. (On Facebook, for example!)

Convergence is about how people use the devices — not the devices themselves. The platform is just a delivery mechanism. When media consumption occurs within social interactions, it becomes collective.

Some facts:

  • 11M e-readers to be sold by end of 2010 (Kindle $1 billion worth of sales)
  • Nintendo, MS and Sony are in a video console war. Wii 67 M units, DS (simple device!) 127 M units worldwide. If something is device-independant, the important thing is delivery. Nintendo have made the rules in this war, all the competitors are trying to implement motion-control.
  • iPad: 1M in one month (another example of a device where its limitations are also its strength)
  • 65M users accessing Facebook through mobile (and these people spend twice as much time on Facebook as anybody else)

Convergence world jargon fest.

Lift10 Convergence World Jargon Fest

Media actives comment on media, etc.

This is not a Western cultural shift. It’s worldwide. Fan fiction (Revelations, Star Wars, 45 minutes) which horrifies franchise holders (let’s go out and get the fans who built this!)

The cost of producing media has diminished dramatically. HD camera for $99.

Video game franchises: great way of stamping our logo on something and expanding over other media channels. Star Wars Galaxies is an interesting case study of this. Consumers have a stake in the survival of the franchise/community.

Like in WoW, you end up with people focusing more on secondary characteristics of the world, e.g. having dance parties instead of blowing up planets.

Sony got it wrong: don’t try and battle with your grassroots fan base… They alienated everybody who loved the game.

Harry Potter fan fiction. Publishing story coming down on fans. (Oh, and the Church. The Studio is promoting “satanic worship”.)

We’re all storytellers (maybe not good ones). We tell our stories on Facebook all the time.

Copyright laws are antiquated… *steph-note: if you read a bit of French, my take on that*

Photojournalism is dead. Clearly, the profession is under attack. Long live photojournalism!

Huff Post. Of course journalism is not dead. These things exist side-by-side. Burn Magazine (run by a Magnum photographer). Verve Photo. Photojournale (John Horniblow‘s baby): content aggregation, editorial work, community behind it (over 400 professional photographers).

Print on demand publishing (Lulu, Blurb — for high quality photography, Amazon Creative Space, Lightening Press).

With less analog stuff around, it’s intrinsec value will finally go up. Not everybody can do it exceptionally well. *steph-note: cf. Hugh‘s prints, for example.*

Now listening to Jay Z (some mashup). Soundcloud: producers and writers come together. Fairtilizer, Last.fm, Spotify… *steph-note: I need to get into Spotify, looks really exciting — damn, not available in Switzerland*

Important thing: corporations now need to be media entities themselves. Brands are forced into content production. How do they deal with that? And with the grassroots, and the shareholders?

Brands example: Cokestudios. Virtual world (music, games, digital economy, etc.). Coke as facilitator rather than message.

Other example: Being Girl. P&G. Choice of brand for feminine sanitary products => stick to it their whole life. Worth catching teens immediately. The site/community is not about tampons, but about the life experiences of teenage girls. Not about the brand, but about the girls. *steph-note: bugs me that I’m force-redirected to my country site, though, I’d like to see what the .com site looks like.* => P&G are now competing with the classic teen girl’s magazine on the stand. Business model: narrow audience => advertising on the magazine. P&G are shifting their money from advertising in magazines to their own. *steph-note: the question of independance of advertising and editorial, taken from the other end… food for thought here*

Pour tout vous dire. Another of these brand-driven magazines. Originally: all about the brand. *steph-note: hey, this reminds me of the origins of soap operas — designed so housewives would watch them so that they could place soap ads.*

Starbucks. My Starbucks idea. You tell us how to fix our corporate problem. Let us know what we should do and where we went wrong. Interesting stuff on Facebook too.

Harley Davidson: people’s stories, it’s all about the experience.

Nestlé: Creating Shared Value. How about that for a very traditional and controlled corporation?

Remain local but communicate in a global context.

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Lift10, The Old New Media: Reinvent Capitalism (Mercedes Bunz) [en]

Here are my running notes of the Lift conference in Geneva. This is Mercedes Bunz’s Reinvent Capitalism, part of the Old New Media session. May contain errors, omissions, things that aren’t quite right, etc. I do my best but I’m just a human live-blogging machine.

Found other good posts about this session? Link to them in the comments.

Lift10 Mercedes Bunz

What’s going on? Algorithms analyzing text, but also writing it. Algorithms can now search online for information and facts and present them in formal journalistic style. *steph-note: did I get that right? I have trouble following.*

Example, Guardian Zeitgeist — chooses articles by itself.

*steph-note: total fail on note-taking here, combination of reading/audio quality/voice pitch/my deafness*

Public: category that is always changing. Communications used to be private, but as they move online, they become increasingly public and available for use.

Michel Foucault, structure of power (in The History of Sexuality).

Need to stop pushing society into a fear of society. Digitization is new business.

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On The Media: Discovering a New Podcast I Like [en]

[fr] Deux podcasts en anglais que je recommande chaudement: RadioLab, une émission scientifique, et On The Media, une émission sur les médias.

You may or may not know that my number one podcast and radio show love is RadioLab. It’s an incredibly smart and funny science programme, and I’ve finally worked through the whole backlog of episodes I had sitting on my iPhone. That’s a lot of hours of listening (and pedaling on my exercise bike in the morning, which is where I do most of my podcast listening).

If you are not listening to RadioLab yet, trust me — subscribe in iTunes right now, you won’t regret it.

The problem I have now is that I’ve run out of RadioLab episodes to listen to, and they “only” air a new episode every two weeks. For somebody who aims to spend 30 minutes a day pedaling on a bike going nowhere with interesting talk stuff in her ears, well, that leaves quite a few hours a week to fill in. Enter On The Media, a one-hour weekly show about… yeah, you guessed, the media (and related things).

I discovered On The Media because I was pointed to their episode Facing the (Free) Music, about the music industry and the internet, you know. I thought it was very good. Actually, you might want to download the MP3 directly or even stop reading and listen right here.

I’ve listened to a couple of other episodes so far and would like to highlight a few pieces I particularly liked. You can even read the transcripts by clicking on the links below if you don’t feel like listening.

Take For Granted [download] is about the reactions to the possibility that news services could be subsidized by state grants. I found it interesting, because I don’t think we have this prejudice against government-subsidized news here. Quite on the contrary, I would tend to consider a state-funded radio or TV station as more likely to be high quality than a private one. I think there is a cultural issue here — but maybe I’m just naive. If news has never been a commercially viable product, then it needs to be funded, and I’d rather have the state behind it rather than big corporations.

News Ex Machina [download] is about Demand Media (heard of them? I hadn’t) and the way they work to be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) content producers online. Here’s a brief summary of how they do it: monitor search keywords; figure out if there is already a lot of content for them (bad); figure out if there is a lot of demand to advertise targeted on them (good); search for other keywords frequently used in combination with those top keywords; bring in a human being to create a headline out of those words; bring in another human being to write an article based on that headline. I know why this chills my spine: because it’s not content creation anymore, it’s pure SEO. It’s keyword stuffing at such a level that the whole content is just stuffing. Sure, one can argue that it is providing searchers with what they’re looking for — but maybe, sometimes, there is something to be said with not finding what you want, and finding something else instead. (Cue A Perfect Mess riff.)

Shot of Fear [download] is a good example of what happens when we mistake correlation for causation, and once the cat is out of the bag, it’s hard to stuff it back in. (“Girl dies of unrelated heart condition” doesn’t stand a chance once “Girl dies after taking vaccine” is doing the rounds.)

Infant Mortality [download] is a walk through history to look at the occasions “baby killer” was used to discredit adversaries (and not only on abortion issues). And what it means when you brand somebody as a “baby killer”.

Star Search [download] is about star ratings, and how these are always way too positive (they average around 4.3 stars out of 5). Interesting to know, given how ubiquitous this type of rating is!

Happy listening!

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