Friday, May 02, 2008

msb-0295 What's happening to your newspaper?

msb-0295 What's happening to your newspaper?


Disclaimer! Disclaimer! Disclaimer!

MSBPodcast is "not" any kind of a medical podcast.

It is by and for MSers.

Its purpose is to keep us entertained, to explain our symptoms, to remark on our discoveries, and to raise the general consciousness about our disease.

The path to illness is shadowy, murky and rough strewn.

The path to wellness is lit by the lamp of knowledge.


Feedback comes first, so...

I'm getting some feedback to my ideas of setting up something for podcast metrics.

I am also getting some more books to review and some music to play. Oh joy...

The selections on this episode come from a delightful young performer I met at PodCampNYC 2.0. Enjoy.

---- "Sweet July" by: "Natalie Gelman"

Feed Forward comes next, so...

This is "your" segment.

Say "your" piece on this segment.

Share with other MSers whatever "you" want to share.

Drop me an email: "charles at"

---- "Rest of the Way" by: "Natalie Gelman"

Feed Me comes third, so...

Do you have a therapy, product, good or service that is of interest to MSers?

Consider advertising on this podcast.

Reminders on this segment only cost $0.03 per reminder per download of an episode. (A $30CPM targeted at MSers.)

It can/should lead to a full ad, in text, audio or video, which costs $3.00 per download.

That sounds expensive until you do the math and realize that if nobody downloads it it costs you nothing, unlike print, where you often can't even get an ad in to the specialized journals, or radio or TV where you'd just be wasting your money with the 0.0833% MSers rate of return. (That's about six times "below" the level of "statistical noise".)

But MSBPodcast is 100% in your market, and you only pay per download of your material.

No play, no pay.

Reach the MSers who would buy your therapy, product, good or service, with-out having to waste your advertising money on anyone who is "not" interested...

Send me an email at: "charles (at)"

---- "Half Dead" by: "Natalie Gelman"


Like film photography before it, printed newspapers are dying. "This" [ ] article in the New York Times points out what and why.

But this is not something to lament.

---- "Cross Your Heart" by: "Natalie Gelman"


Like everything else, the cost of producing a newspaper is always going up. So they're going online.

The metrics for the entire podcasting industry don't equal that of broadcasting.

They never will.

Let me repeat that: "They Never Will".

But the rise of blogs, Digg and Slashdot style comment boards, participatory journalism, podcasts, videocasts, livecasts, Google, Youtube, and wikis have utterly wrecked the old economic model for the production and consumption of information. (Creation is something else though. Those costs have actually risen but the efficiency available because of digitization and computer mediated work flow make it seem like they've gone down.)

Once the spread of information grew greater than what we could get from any broadcast media, the writing was on the wall.

Once the quality of information was more accurate and had better maintainability than what we could get from any broadcast media, the writing was on the wall.

Once the value added by broadcast media was less than the cost of obtaining it over the internet, the writing was on the wall.

From the point of comparative economics, once it is cheaper to use something other than paper or it is cheaper to use something other than a transmitter, (quite apart from the asynchronous client-server nature of the internet which allows us to time-shift and break the tyranny of the clock,) its just a question of time before broadcast prices itself right out of existence, as surely as near-death of the film camera, as surely as the near-death of of the classified ad, as surely as the near-death of the travel agency, as surely as the near death of the typewriter, white-out, the word-processor, the turntable. (Send me your own examples and we can have some fun with this.)

I am not predicting their death.

These media will "not" die.

But, like the automobile made a rarity of buggy whip makers. in the same ways and for the same reasons, producing physical examples of information is too slow, too expensive (but I'm repeating myself, time "is" money after all,) to survive in anything but a niche. (Think about that.)

The internet will do the same for analog transmission of information and digital broadcasting will suffer a slower but inevitable reduction.

Even if broadcasters don't die, they will be off of the transmitters they are currently using by the end of the decade (a sure bet since they're supposed to go digital by February 2009,) and I expect them to wean them selves off of those and not replace them when they start failing.

The internet however is a vastly different world.

There is no scarce resource to control.

That means its impossible to demand the margins that the broadcasters are used to or even need to stay in business.


I'm in a particular niche, one that is utterly unserved.

The amount of broadcasting about MS is just about nil.

Given the statistics kept on disease on this planet, since MS strikes approximately 1 in 1,200, the amount of broadcasting about MS should be about one minute per day.

But its not, is it?

But that's broadcasting for you.

Nobody ever said it was representative.

("The news" is really "the events." There's never any time for exposition of the factors that led up to "the events". Some people make an effort but even the best of them fail at being truly objective. [It doesn't matter what the politics of the thrower are, a projective thrown at a window hard enough will break it. That's an objective fact. You can even describe the throw, the release, the parabolic trajectory, the impact and the break modulus of the window using objective metrics, but the rest is all conjecture.])

Broadcasting is all about pretty, happy people, going about their pretty happy lives.

None is ever sick for longer than an episode of "House M.D."

That's not reality, and not even reality TV wants do have to deal with reality.

The 15% of the world that the W.H.O. ("World Health Organization") estimates is living with some disability right now don't ever figure in the broadcast media.

I don't begrudge them not wanting to deal with it.

Hell, I don't want to have to deal with it but I'm stuck with it.

So the internet gives us all a channel, for want of a better word, where I have put more information about how this one MSer is coping with his MS than had ever existed before in history, and that hundreds of people have downloaded from all over the planet (64,000+ downloads from over 120 countries.)

Because of the long-tail of podcasting these figures are real-time when I recorded this and will have grown by the time you read or hear this.

---- "Leave" by: "Natalie Gelman"


The economics of information production in the age of the internet have made obsolete the observation by A. J. Liebling of the New Yorker that "Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one".

Anybody can own one. (I used a "Linotronic" [ ] "300" [ ] imagesetter back in the mid to late 1980s back when I was producing the MS Newstletter for the Ottawa Chapter of the MS Society. [Before commercial typesetting fell to the same comparative cost/price curve.])

But owning one is fundamentally self-defeating. It is too limited in scope and in the reach (both time and space) of the information in can produce.

The internet gives us a means whereby we can engage in "conversations" with each other.

Most of the time, our conversations are not worth the air we breathed to utter them, but they are also at the heart of the very concept of "participatory democracy."

The internet is merely the newest technology through which we are restoring "participatory democracy."

That's good and that's bad, isn't it?

---- "Always Was" by: "Natalie Gelman"



Miss Chris said...

I get all my news off the internet from a variety of sources mostly because you can get the facts, not what the mainstream media wants me to hear.

Charles-A. Rovira said...

Gee Miss Chris,

you mean you don't watch Fox News where "We report. You decide!" (Like, "I've decided, this is bull shit, Rupert". :-)

Careful, people will think you're an independent thinker.

Like you, I get all of my news off the web.

Heck. That's the only place where you can even find out about a lot of stuff.

The market's too small for broadcasters to bother to carry medical news (apart from those ridiculously inadequate Channel X News Briefs.

Disabled people represent 15% of the population and all we get is "Ask Dr. Greenblat (or some such nonsensical name made up to reassure the viewers that We Care[®©],) regurgitating what ever medical press release he was able to get with some video.

If it wasn't for the web site affiliated with most local news stations, there would be any medical news at all.

If only that wasn't mostly wrong. [sigh]

NatalieGelman said...

thanks for using my music!

pb said...

Dead tree editions are on their way out. No question about it; they admit themselves. Even the paper I work at only increases the online budget, while tightening up everywhere else.

That said, there are those, even my coworkers, who adamantly insist that people want something in their hands while reading.

Okay, this is true for some, but those people will decline in numbers as time goes on. My books are being looked at by a lot of people who insist that they would read them if I would only publish to paper. I will not; it's too expensive for me to do so. Paper is very, very expensive.

I believe that those people will continue to read in paper medium for relaxation. News, work, and immediate information needs are certainly being met by the Internet. And the diehards will have their books, but purchase fewer and fewer. Libraries will flourish for a while, and wind up as museums of the print medium.

The future is online, as is the present.

Charles-A. Rovira said...


Ms. Gelman, it is my pleasure for me to be able to play your music for my little audience.


pb you'd think so, but I bet that they don't miss taking the recycling or the trash to the curb with all that dead tree in there.

(And I'm willing to bet that displaced squirrels and owls and the rest of the forest creatures who are unmolested by the old human need for paper are glad of that too. :-)


Publishing to paper is something they can do. It is not incumbent on you to do it.

If they want to they can take the PDF of your (or anyone's) thoughts (it should come with a license stating that you don't object to media shifting a single copy [without duplication]) and go to FedEx/Kinko's or other print service and request that it be printed and bound.

They can go from cheap-ass photocopy style output to electro engraving on vellum output and they can go from three-hole-punching to full custom leather binding.

They are now free to determine how much the dead-tree version is worth to them.


With wireless and laptops (which I have here at the Condo Chaotique.) you/I don't have to be tied to a desk, (though I like my desk and home office very, very much,) so you/I can enjoy toast and coffee and scrambled eggs on a Sunday morning while catching up on the New York Times.

Newspapers will continue to do great journalism (okay, in many cases, they will continue to do execrable, to middling, to fair journalism,) and some people will continue to support them by clicking through the occasional banner ad when they spot something that really strikes their fancy.

However, I suspect that the model of advertising will evolve from CPM (CostPerMil[thousand]) through PPC (PayPerClick) to the F/PPU (Featured/PlacedProductUse) where a video scene or audio commentary will give 'hot links' to every product used in the visual frame or audio segment.

We need a paradigm and a simple clicker device where we can create ads like this (and we can do so already but they don't have to be intrusive) and we can come up with a UI(UserInterface) and an API (ApplicationProgramInterface) which lets us store a series of gestures and then recall then in series about whatever caught our attention (and those interests can be set by the individual him/her-self.)

Once we are able to create this mediated reality (MR as opposed to virtual reality [VR,]) using a pair of Bluetooth enabled 'eye glasses' and a 'clicker/shutter' capable of responding to a user command, we'll reach true economic and economical efficiency.

Charles-A. Rovira said...

Further to my comment:

This article [ ] means the work is half-way there.

Czes Kulvis said...

I am alternative, so I completely agree with Miss Chris.

Traveling alternative paths I got what medical establishment - pharmaceutical industry combo never give to any Multiple Sclerosis patient - I am on permanent MS remission from 1997. No drugs, no doctors

I prefer to live post-MS live

Charles-A. Rovira said...

When you have episodic, relapsing/remitting MS, yes, you can live a full life (and you should.)

I had two spans of over 15 year.

My handwriting went to Hell at 16.

Then no symptoms for fifteen years.

Then my first hospitalization and diagnosis.

Then complete recovery for fifteen years.

Then my second attack which left me mobility impaired.

Apart from minor flare-ups, I'm on track for another 15 years.

Now though, the drugs and treatments have got so much better that I am not worried about what could happen, just how to pay for it.

The perception of disability out there is not good.

That really impacts our ability to earn a living.

Its peoples' fear about the unknown, (and with 1 on 1,200, we'll remain unknown until and unless we do something alternative but paralleling the mainstream,) that's keeping me out of the mainstream, not my brains or my capacity to think.

Blogs are fine but they aren't perceived as mainstream.

If Rush Limbaugh was a blogger, he'd be perceived as just another one of those right-wing nut-jobs bloggers. But he's not. He's got a big megaphone with which he can bloviate all over the air waves.

Podcasting is breaking out of the blogging limitations by permitting people who are terrified of a pen (writing is hard and it requires an obsessive personality to do,) and who get headaches trying to read, to have information they need, and they know that they need it, presented in whatever media format they choose.