Context: the Internet Age
Garfield, The Chaos Scenario (mycampus link)
- p. 10 why are traditional media in a “stage of dire retrenchment”
The traditional media are in a dire stage of entrenchment “1) audience shrinkage with consequent advertiser defection
2) obsolete methods — and unsustainable costs — of distribution and 3) competition
from every computer user in the whole wide world.”
- Why are the “days of Madison avenue dictating messages to you all but at an end”?
Networks and print media are losing mass audiences and corporations are starting to understand that they are paying millions of dollars to not reach the audience that advertising used to reach. They will eventually quit funding these programs through advertisement.
- pp. 12- 14 how is the Lego corporation an example of the digital revolution
The Lego corporation introduced a new line of products called Mindstorm that were geared towards electronic and robotic bricks since toys were quickly gearing towards electronic toys in the market. They changed their business model by cutting out obsolete toy minds to deal with the digitization at hand.
- p. 15 What does he mean by “listenomics”?
Listenomics is the era in which corporations establish relationships with their clients by increasingly listen to their ideas. The era of social media and blogs allow for companies to communicate directly through customers to listen to their ideas and feedback and to make decisions based on that knowledge.
- p. 16+ Why doesn’t the word “audience” quite make sense anymore?
The audience is there, it is just not necessarily listening to the company. It is listening to itself and author audience members talk about the company. To illustrate this, the text uses the example of “New Coke.” Coca-Cola had gone through numerous blind taste tests to discover which new recipe would be the best direction for a sweeter Coca-Cola formula. Once the product launched however, it was wildly unsuccessful because consumers didn’t want the original recipe to be changed. The company was not listening to its audience, and now it is at the point where audiences are dictating what decisions the company makes.
Shirky, “Thinking the unthinkable” (mycampus link)
- What is the “unthinkable” about newspapers
The unthinkable problem was that users of online content would not be interested in micropayment for subscriptions. They would also reject the advertisements of online content and ignore those advertisements even further than those in the newspapers and on television and that ad revenue for online content would drastically decline. The newspaper would also be mass-distributed through piracy and even large lawsuits would not be enough of a preventative measure to stop the distribution of online content.
- What was the problem with all the plans hatched in the 1990s
The plans that were hatched in the 1990s did not foresee the unthinkable situation. The only solutions to the problems that were given were putting up a “garden wall” to online content. Subscribers would have to provide micropayments for content in order to receive it, but that problem did not account for the massive amounts of piracy and file-sharing that would take place regardless of litigation. It also relied on the system of ad-based revenue and it did not account for the situation in which online advertisements were virtually ignored and internet advertisements did not bring in nearly the amount of revenue to cover the charge of the monthly bandwidth to operate.
- In what sense does Shirky believe we are living in a revolution
We are living in a revolution because in a normal time period, those who comment on the world as they see it are seen as the pragmatists while those envision a vastly different future are known as the radicals. In this time period, those “pragmatists” who are noticing the world as it is rapidly changing in the way that only radicals could predict are the realistic ones where the radicals are viewed as heroes for their views are not seeing the world in the digital and unthinkable age as it truly is.
- Is Shirky against journalism?
No, he believes that journalism is essential to society, however newspapers are not. They would have to rethink their model at some point or another.
- speculate: given the traditional relationship between PR and the news media, how might this situation affect PR?
It would change how practitioners relate to the media entirety. Rather than writing the formal press releases, they might need to make online content that has not even been invented yet. I think this relates to the social media revolution that is upcoming. Practitioners might have to rely solely on Youtube releases, Facebook and Twitter updates, and the social media websites that have yet to be even brought to the forefront of the internet.