The Vogeler

It's All About Technology

Game of “Convergonopoly” December 6, 2009

So the article your Television is Ringing discusses how companies are moving more towards convergence in order to reduce costs by pooling their resources under one brand or name.  We have all played the game of Monopoly before  (and if you haven’t you should definitely give it a try- but basically you try to acquire as many properties so that you can eventually charge more when other players land on them. The players have no choice later but to pay you the higher price regardless of what the services cost previously.

Do Customers really want Convergonolopy?

What is interesting though when these companies are combining their services to make bundled plans is that they assume that customers want all these services: land line, cable TV, cell phone, and internet. For me though, with the added  internet capabilities of watching content online, and being able to call people via skype, I am moving away as a consumer from landlines and cable TV. These bundle deals are just a dying attempt by landline companies to retain their customers who move to mobile cell phones. The future is internet and cell phones – or just cell phones if Wifi is everywhere. The only way I would buy a bundle deal is if it was the equivalent to what I would spend on my cell phone and internet. 

Who will Succeed?

The companies which are hesitant to cushion the fall of the landline and cable companies by joining forces are the ones that will survive. The article mentioned specifically that Vodaphone was hesitant if not resistant to the joining of forces. Internet providers and cell phone provides will sell the new innovations that people can’t wait to have, not just the old technologies that are sold to them in a bundle.

I am not arguing that convergence should never happen. I have enjoyed bundled plans in the past. But for the future – the companies that will be more successful are the ones that stand apart and introduce new innovations, and not cling onto the past. The companies that retain control of pricing for their customers and enable highest choice of products while still keeping the price levels down. Basically, good companies will not only converge but will also diverge to maintain their autonomy and individuality in their brand in order to do things different for the customers sake – not just their own.

Inevitability

The game of “convergonopoly” can be brutal for the consumers. Even though right now they claim that their prices are cheaper by getting a bundle. Consumers soon will not need the “extra” services they offer. Vodaphone knows this…hopefully others will observe this inevitablity as well.  

Questions:

1) What companies do you think are most successful at converging? There are obvious gains but what do companies lose when they converge?

2) What companies other than Vodaphone would you assume would be more autonomous (perhaps divergent) paths in the future? Why?

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Bam Traditional News!…Web Today Dominates November 30, 2009

Filed under: Reading — kvogel21 @ 1:40 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Eight Traits of the News Media Landscape

I thought that this article was oh so true when it came to what has changed with the way we use media. Here are a few of the topics that I immediately could relate to with personal examples.

Convergence – I am currently trying to incorporate facebook onto my project blog which has been difficult…but regardless of that fact this shows my asknowledgement of having to put my content on multiple channels blog, facebook, twitter, comments on other pages with links to my site etc.

Everyday – Technology is everywhere and we use it everyday. My personal favorite technology necessities are my cell phone and ipod that I carry with me always.

Global and Generational – This I can cover with two technologies I use often including Skype and Facebook. I recently set up my Grandma with a Facebook account that she checks along with her email. Also, I use Skype at least once a week to talk with my Sister in France.

Topic I Disagree with…Unequal:

I just do not understand how unequal this could be. I have two sisters that are in the public school system right now and both have had some experience producing content for the web. One is taking a digital computer class in 8th grade and the other constantly uses a blog for her English class. Both of the examples show education combating the inequalities. Hmmm.? 

Why the News Media became Irrelevent

After reading this article, although there is definitely some truth to the need for people to connect, I think there are other reasons as well that may explain our reliance on these newer technologies/social networking sites. The article specifically mentioned that traditional news organizations have lost site of the value that they provide for customers by being able to answer questions from readers (not just tweet and retweet without responding to comments & questions).

What I Think…Convenience more Important

I think that people do value the traditional news sources in addition to the newer forms that have become so popular. The problem to me is convenience, not so much value. Whereas the newspaper was the easiest way to read the news, and then the TV news – the internet and the many blogs and websites that predominated made it ever so more convenient for people not only to read the news but to produce it as well. The quickest and easiest way for me to read the news today comes from reading it via RSS reader on my gmail account. I haven’t read the newspaper in months – not because I need interaction with the authors but because it is easier to access online content which is hand selected by me. 

1) What classes (if any) were available in highschool that prepared you for creating content on the web? What did you not learn that put you at a disadvantage?

2) Why are the traditional news organizations losing viewers/readers to other internet content writers? What do you think is missing in their content?

 

News Mixer with Mixed Results November 23, 2009

Filed under: Reading — kvogel21 @ 12:08 am

After reading the article about a News Mixer prototype site I was impressed initially. I thought that I could finally have a way to comment in one place for my news. However, it was not quite what I expected and I thought that there was definately mixed results for me upon reviewal.

For one thing I assumed that it would cover a few different major news sites to comment on – but it was just one site covering news in Eastern Iowa. So it was not exactly a useful tool for someone like me living in Seattle.

Another issue I had with their site was that they promoted having such an advanced way of commenting that I was dissipointed to discover that they only had three different ways to comment. I understand they may have done this for simplicities sake, but there have to be other options for users to comment other than just letters to the editor, quips and questions and answers. Perhaps they could categorize even more – basically give us users a few more options.  

My last issue was the limitations of only being able to connect with facebook to comment there as well. I would have liked at least to have a wordpress/blog option (which hopefully will be coming soon). Also there was no inclusion of a way to share a media clip to demonstrate a point in commentary. I would have really liked this option as well.

Overall, mixed results with the initial implementation – but the idea I really liked. The makers of this site just need to include all the options that we take for granted on other more highly developed sites while still keeping things simple enough for the average user to understand.

The second article was so interesting I found myself following links to follow the money and then later to a punch clock campaign (having congressmen post their work schedules for the previous day). It just amazed me that all this information was ready for me to evaluate. I was hoping that there was more information about the distribution of funds from different lobbyists to particular politicians. It seemed that they had more general numbers – which was helpful…but I would have liked more.

1) What are some of your favorite sites to check up on the politicians?

2) What are some ways that the News Mix prototype can improve? What features are missing?

 

Flickr….Increasingly Impressive November 16, 2009

Filed under: Reading — kvogel21 @ 2:02 am

So I read through the article entitled Newbies Guide to Flickr and I must admit I am quite the newbie when it comes to this online tool so this article was right up my alley. I had some idea about what this technology was capable of on this website including the basic function of sharing pictures,  tagging them, and creating albums. These basic functions were not all that impressive since I have been using these types of tools on websites like facebook and myspace over the past few years.

Impressive Innovations

 However, I was amazed at the newer innovations on the site including geomapping (basically tagging a photos location on a map) which I had never heard of before reading this article.  This option was especially important to highlight since I have read recently that technology has been developed to take everyone’s shared and tagged and geomapped pictures which can be viewed panoramic since the entire image is made up of a combination of flickr users pictures. I wish I could remember the place where I found this info – I remember someone talking about it on one of their most recent blog posts. Anyway,  this kind of stuff is fascinating technology innovations. Another thing I did not realize you could do on flickr was make notes about different parts of the image. This was new to me because I believe you only have the option of making a general note about the entire image on facebook – if you can do this though I have no idea how to. This is a great innovation with picture sharing because there always seems to be something or someone lurking in the background that needs to be pointed out for hilarity to ensue. One of the most important things in this article to implement in our blogs we make is to share our photos with an embed option. I am still a little confused as to how to do this – but I am after all a newbie to Flickr.

New Site to Check Out

Other than that, I checked out the site called ZAZZLE which you can create content to sell on mugs, t shirts, sweatshirts, shoes, etc. It looked pretty cool for anyone interested in making their own designs and selling them for what price they determine – not just what ZAZZLE says you have to sell them at. This was a cool selling feature to me, actually being able to determine your own price. Pretty cool indeed- I am not a Zazzle representative by any means but this sounded good to me.

1) How do you share your photos?

2) What are some tips which would help others share their photos with the world? Which programs do you prefer any why? What features do you like the best?

I also thought that the idea of

 

Politifact…I’m lovin it! November 8, 2009

Filed under: Reading — kvogel21 @ 11:54 pm

Newspapers use Youtube videos to attract users was an interesting article which outlined how different “traditional” journalist organizations are moving their content partially online to draw readership. For instance, the article described how the Dallas Morning News and the St. Petersburg Times were both moving in this direction with their recent yotube videos posted.

The Dallas Morning News were posting content which essentially were trailers for even longer stories while the St. Petersburg Times posted a short musical video. Although the Dallas Morning News videos were important information to cover, it seemed that their presentation was not entertaining enough for an online audience. However, the St. Petersburg Times presented a quick paced, fun, entertaining video which promoted their website  Poltifact which helps people know the truthfulness of political statements.

The successfulness of the youtube videos being posted online was also reflected in the number of views the videos had accrued on youtube. For the Unequal Justice Videos they had only accrued a few hundred views whereas the politifact video had over 200,00 views on youtube. This is interesting considering that the Dallas Morning News stated that they wanted to create the videos in an “captivating, dynamic, edgy format…to make you feel not only like you want to look at this, but that you want to put nine dollars down and watch a movie about it.” With this in mind, I actually did view the videos and now can honestly say that I would not put nine dollars down to see them. They are really serious, and emotional but I would probably watch these types of shows on TV rather than pay to see them. In contrast, I thought the third video by politifact was something that captured my attention more. Unfortunately, I am a sucker for entertainment and music and could not help but enjoy this video more.

The problem that I face in reviewing these videos was essentially what the traditional journalists have to figure out. How they are to gain readers/viewers in a world dominated by entertainment media which runs contrary to the idea of serious journalism (ie media as a watchdog). It seems that the St. Petersburg Times has figured out how to capture attention while also being an informative journalistic choice for truth. Meanwhile, I feel like the Dallas Morning News has a lot to learn from the Politifact video.

1) How have the Media organizations changed their content to appeal to the younger generation of viewers?

2) What are some examples of news organizations that utilize emerging digital technologies to their best advantage?

 

Very Potter Musical and Microsoft Bribes November 1, 2009

Filed under: Reading — kvogel21 @ 11:52 pm

There were two readings that I will subsequently discuss in this post concerning blogger’s copyright and ethics issues including 10 big myths about copyrighting explained as well as the weblog handbook chapter six. There were many key issues that  interested me in both of these articles.

For instance, in the 1o big myths about copyright it explained how these days no one ever loses their copyright unless they specifically give it or sell it to someone else. This is important because as we humble bloggers maintain our blogs we should not assume that just because their is no copyright trademark on the work that it does not have a copyright.

Another important myth brought up in this blog was the myth that after you write a creative story based on a prexisting story then the newer story that you have written is yours. The exception mentioned was a process called “fair use” which protects the users of content if they are using it for criticism or parody. When I heard of these exceptions I immediately thought of the Very Potter Musical that my brother and I have watched on youtube. I remember in the beginning that the makers of this show were especially careful to say that they were in no form affiliated with J.K Rowling and were simply fans of the books and movies. Anyways, the Potter Musical I think demonstrates how such a fair use loophole is allowed. Since the fans did not make any money off of the performance and it was a parody of the entire potter series it was okay, and as far as I know the performers were not prosecuted- it was allowed. Check it out to see what I mean.

In the other article in the Weblog Handbook the author argues that Journalists are held more responsible for the work they produce by research, fact checking then freelance bloggers. Some notes of improvement mentioned include: publicly correct information you know to be wrong on your blog, disclose any conflict of interest, and provide links when possible.

One thing I need to definately get better at is updating past blog entries. Oftentimes I have the wrong mentality that after I am done writing them, I can move on to other projects. The conflict of interest segment made me think of my last posting about Microsoft bribing bloggers for reviewing specific products. Out of 90 or more bloggers few were ethically focused enough to mention this breach of trust that a reader may have knowing that the review may be biased. Lastly, providing links to your sources was also a major tip that Rebecca Blood encouraged to increase the ethical soundness of your blog.

1) What are some copyright scandals that you have heard of recently?

2) How will you write your blog differently knowing what copyright laws exist and what types of ethical standards are proposed by others?

 

Death to “Journalist” Trade October 25, 2009

Filed under: Reading — kvogel21 @ 9:20 pm

After reading the article “Here Comes Everyone” by Clay Shirky it discussed the idea that with the advances of technology their are professionals that are no longer the “gatekeepers” in their fields. Instead there is an opening for amateurs to produce material that earlier would have been impossible without technology to help these newbies.

What I think is great about technology making these changes possible is that it favors the consumer by enabling them to create their own content, publish their own stories and decide for themselves what is news. Instead of basing what news is on whether it will sell papers, individuals can produce content simply to inform the public on what they deem interesting.

Unfortunately, there is a cost to the progress that technology brings – which happens to be the scarce resource of professionalism and the jobs that this provides for those considered to be traditional journalists. The article specifically mentioned scribes which had their role in society taken away by the printing press which could widely reproduce content in the 1490s. Today, traditional journalists wage a modern war with everyone else on the internet with their content choices and their ability to maintain their seemingly superior professionalism.

But how long will this even last? Right now I occasionally watch CNN and some other shows on TV, but I eventually will move all my viewing from the TV to my computer or phone device. I barely read any magazines in hard print unless they are readily available, and if I have no other option to view the content. Hard print material is  simply a second choice for me. Meanwhile, I get ever trapped in the constant newsfeeds from facebook, twitter, and blogging sites. Thankfully, I have my google reader to organize my other real news content.

In summary, it seems that based on this article and my own experience with media that the death to the journalist trade is inevitable, just as the scribe trade was in the past. It is just a matter of time.

In the Facebook article it also reaffirms the death to the journalist trade as there are more and more users of facebook every day. Facebook serves a publication service for many people by providing personal news as well as many other features. By the technology application making the publication of content easier it makes it harder for a traditional journalist to survive in competition with an entire world of content makers.

 

1) What other occupations other than journalists are being made less scarce by advances in technology?

2) What are the benefits of having more of the contemporary journalists such as bloggers and twitterers rather than the the more traditional journalists?