Why The Internet Is Different

6th May

No sooner does one job get swallowed up by the Internet than another one is fast behind it.

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal announced that is was bookkeepers who were on the digital chopping block.

Is no one safe?

Apparently not.

First they came for the factory workers, but I did not speak up, because I was not a factory work.

Then they came for the bookkeepers, but I did not speak up because I was not a bookkeeper…

You get the idea…

Clearly this is a massive case of Creative/Destruction, just like when any other new technology emerged.

The destruction part we all get.

But where is the ‘creative’ part?

Where are the new industries created by the decimation of traditional jobs?

There don’t seem to be all that many of them on the horizon.

And pretty soon computers will be able to write their own code, so don’t think that … Read More »

The 1% Is Us

4th May

With the touch of a button I eliminate 500,000 jobs- watch!

Ever use an ATM?

I am old enough to remember when, if you needed cash (and who did not), you went to the bank and stood on line with a personal check made out to cash.

If you waited too long (and I had this experience many times) the lines were out the door on Friday as 3PM, closing time for the bank appeared.  If you were really unfortunate you could be left cashless for the weekend, or in search of a friendly grocer who would cash your personal check.

Those were the days!

Then along came the ATM machines – and suddenly, like magic, you could get cash any time you wanted.

Today we all use ATMs.

They’re great.

The problem is that every time you use an ATM, you (yes, you) personally fire a bank … Read More »

How Journalists Can Make Money

30th April

Last week, I wrote a blog for the Huffington Post entitled “The Job of Journalism is Finished”

It got a lot of traction – and a lot of arguments.

But at the end of the day, anyone who works in the Journalism Business could not really disagree.  The job of ‘journalist’ is in trouble. Deep trouble.

But why?

Largely because the companies that used to employ journalists – newspapers and magazines – are going out of business, victims of the Internet Revolution.

How can journalism and journalists survive?

Some argue that the only future for quality journalism is in PBS or public funded begathons.

Possibly, but not terribly attractive.

There is, however, I think, another route. It’s a bit more radical (OK, it is VASTLY more radical), but I think it could work.

By way of background, I am a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and … Read More »

Ben Affleck – When is TMZ TMI?

22nd April

Fighting for a Presidential fortune…  (courtesy, Wikicommons)

Actor Ben Affleck, recently the subject of the PBS Series Searching For Your Roots, a direct copy, by the way of the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are, found out that his ancestors were once slave holders.

This proved particularly embarrassing for Mr. Affleck, particularly, I suppose, because the host of Searching for your Roots, Henry Louis Gates traces his ancestors to the other end of the ‘property ladder’, so to speak.

Hacks of the SONY eMails, (and endless source of enlightenment into the entertainment industry) revealed that Mr. Affleck had brought ‘pressure’ on PBS to elide this rather unpleasant aspect of Mr. Affleck’s family past.

Said Mr. Affleck:

It’s important to remember that this isn’t a news program. Finding Your Roots is a show where you voluntarily provide a great deal of information about your family, making you … Read More »

What Now, Career-Wise?

21st April

Fortune Magazine this week published its list of “Worst Jobs for 2015“.

Top of the list: Newspaper Reporter.

And not far behind, Broadcaster and Photojournalist.

The old-school journalism business is not looking too promising.

Let me emphasize the ‘old school’ part of that.

We are witnessing a far greater transformation in society and the economy and the world of work than just a few newspapers going out of business.  This is a change wrought not by mismanagement, nor the ‘greed’ of the ‘1%’.  Rather, it is a change wrought by the new technologies of the Digital Revolution and the Internet.  Whole industries are being wiped out, and we are only at the very beginning.

I am reading The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity In A Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andre McAfee. Despite its rather long title, it makes for a … Read More »

A World Without Newspapers

20th April

All the news that’s fit to print….

I am old.

I am so old that I still like to start each morning with a printed, paper newspaper at breakfast.

I could read the paper online, on my iPad or my phone, but there is something enormously satisfying about the physicality of the paper.

I have the NY Times delivered to my home every morning.

This morning’s NY Times was noticeably thin.

In fact, most of the NY Times delivered to my house have been noticeably thin.  Thinner and thinner.

It isn’t for lack of content. It is for lack of advertising.

Watching the NY Times waste away before my eyes, at my breakfast table, is like having a close relative who is slowly dying of some wasting-away disease.  It’s an incremental thing, but my God.. you have lost a lot of weight.

And, as with the relative, this can’t … Read More »

Now Everyone Is A Journalist

15th April

In 1989, I went to work for Jan Stenbeck, the ‘Ted Turner’ of Scandinavia.

Stenbeck was building the first commercial TV networks in Sweden, Norway and Denmark – TV3.

As with any TV network, we went out to buy a lot of programming. One of the hottest TV shows that year was America’s Funniest Home Videos (remarkably, still on the air).  You could buy the format rights, which we did.  The only problem we had with making the show work was that almost no one in Scandinavia owned a home video camera. So we had to ship home video cameras out to people so they could shoot the ‘funniest home videos’.

Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t.

But the greater lesson here was the rarity of home video cameras in the late 1980s.  Even in the US, people might have had a home video … Read More »

You Are There – All The Time Now

10th April


Engraving by Willy Stöwer: Der Untergang der Titanic 1912 by Wikicommons Media

When the Titanic went down in the Atlantic Ocean in 1912, it was one of the very first ships in the world equipped with a new-fangled piece of technology called ‘radio’.

As a result, as the ship slipped into the cold sea, the radio men were able to continue to broadcast the dire event, as it happened.  Some 2000 miles away, in a storefront window in Manhattan (so the story goes), a young David Sarnoff, an employee of The Marconi Company was able to receive the radio messages from The Titanic.

When word of the disaster got out (courtesy of Mr. Sarnoff and radio), massive crowds gathered in the streets in Manhattan. But they didn’t gather in front of The New York Times building.  Instead, they gathered in front of Wannamaker’s … Read More »

The “Journalists” vs. The Video

9th April

Walter Scott murder caught on iPhone

Last week, following the MoJoCon in Dublin, there followed a heated discussion about the value of the ‘journalist’, culminating (perhaps) in an article in The Guardian by Roy Greenslade.   

My argument had been, and remains, that the arrival of cheap and powerful new technologies like the iPhone now make everyone a ‘journalist’, (but in fact the very term is something of an anachronism).  The journalists in the room (and online) were outraged.  These are only tools, they argue. “Nothing can ever replace the professional journalist.”

Ironically, a few days later, the all too unfortunate and all to real smoking gun arrived.

Walter Scott, as the world now knows all too well, was gunned down by office Michael T. Slager. The incident was captured on an iPhone by Feidin Santana – very much NOT a professional journalist.

OK. So … Read More »

What ISIS Gets That Hillary Does Not

6th April

Millions of views… 

In 2008, when Hillary was running for President (the first time), my wife and I were invited to a ‘Clinton Fundraising Dinner’ in the Hamptons.

For a mere $10,000, we got a David Bouley dinner (which was not bad), but!, we also got about 30 seconds to ‘talk to Hillary’, one-on-one.

(To be fair, my wife Lisa was seated next to Bill for part of the ‘desert course’. The Clintons furiously rotate seats during the meal).

Our interest, however, was to talk to Hillary.

When you only have 30 seconds or so, you tend to get to the point quickly. So she did.

“Your online videos are terrible,” she said.

This got the candidate’s attention.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

Now, my wife speaks with a proper BBC British accent, so in the US, what she says ‘carries’.

“They suck.”

Combine that with Downton Abby and you … Read More »

Michael's Blog

Every day Michael Rosenblum blogs about the latest developments in the world of video and the media as well as future trends in technology and equipment.

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