Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Delicious Today: mobile, Kindle, radio, $$

#1: Mobile Internet Use Shrinks Digital Divide
“The report found that nearly half of all African-Americans and English-speaking Hispanics (the study did not include a Spanish-language option) were using mobile phones or other hand-held devices to surf the Web and send e-mail messages. By comparison, just 28 percent of white Americans reported ever going online using a mobile device. Not only are African-Americans the most active users of mobile Internet, they are also the fastest growing group to adopt the technology.”

This is based on Pew data. Since the majority of the public broadcasting audience is white, this trend presents an opportunity for public media to reach minority groups by putting on mobile more content that’s interesting and meaningful for the groups.

#2: My Love/Hate Relationship With My Kindle
“It's a miracle you can walk about with a full library contained in a single, slender device. … But I can see that as an invention, the Kindle's shelf-life is limited. I can't imagine my children wanting one--and that's not because they don't read or dislike books. They have grown up in the online world, which means they are completely comfortable getting most of their information in an online format.”

With its main goal to replace books, Kindle does allow MP3 to play as an experimental feature. I’m not suggesting public broadcasters to spend a lot of effort on pushing content to Kindle. What I take away from the article is that technology platform is audience specific. There’s no one technology platform that can satisfy all kinds of needs and desires of the audience. When deciding on what technology to use to deliver content, instead of going all out to all platforms, public broadcasters should take an audience-centered approach and focus on delivery platforms that the content’s target audience is most likely to use. Less is more here.

#3: Big Radio Reports Big Declines
"A slew of radio broadcasters reported their second-quarter results this week, with little cause for celebration. Led by Clear Channel Communications, the radio groups all posted double-digit declines."

This means that radio listeners are moving elsewhere and public broadcasters need to not only follow them, but also figure out where they're going, why there're going there, and then adjust our content and delivery strategies to meet them and be their listening destination.

#4: How We Got Here and How We Get Out of Here
Kenneth Lerer, co-founder of the Huffington Post, delivered this annual Hearst New Media Lecture at the Journalism school of Columbia University in April. It's about the newspaper industry but a lot of his insights apply to public broadcasting as well. What I like most about his speech is his historical and system-wide perspective about the causes of newspaper's trouble today. The fixes he suggested are still abstract and simplistic. That's very understandable since the lack of obvious and easy fix is exactly what's crippling the newspaper industry.
  • "It was obvious that the old assumptions wouldn't hold for much longer. Part of the problem was that these assumptions were embedded into huge corporate structures that weren't built for sharp turns."
  • "It's time the industry got comfortable with the idea that media today is a networked/ecosystem. It's all about originating, aggregating, curating, linking, and spurring conversations. Why? Because users want it this way."
  • "Ubiquity is the new exclusivity. The way for newspapers to be somewhere is to be everywhere."
If you prefer listening to him to reading the transcript, here's the video.

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