Dan Gillmor says esentailly the same thing Adam Curry told the BBC a few days ago. Curry was talking about podcasting, the online radio equivalent of weblogs, when he said podcasting will kill the business model of radio. Gillmor's article suggests a similar shift will happen in the newspaper realm.

I agree that podcasting and weblogs will have powerful influences in toppling the traditional media business model. All too often, however, this is taken as an excuse for producing a poor quality product. Podcasts-a-plenty are full of folksy poorly produced blots of sound. Of the many podcasts that have at one time or another crossed my iPod the only ones that have stayed are IT Conversations, Career Opportunities and New York Public Radio's On the Media. All three share several things in common. Among them high production values and they are the right length. What is the right length? Long enough to cover the subject and short enough to keep it interesting.

I suspect I am not alone in that after the first "wow" factor wears off listening to someone who is not good at radio will loose its allure quickly. There is a reason Rush Limbaugh has a radio show. It is not his politics. There are conservatives behind every corner these days. The reason his show is on the air is he knows how to put together a good radio program. The same will be true of weblogs and podcasts. The good among them, those that find a stride and figure out how to put a professional polish on the product will likely replace many of the mainstays of the media machine.

Places to avoid

Perhaps I should start a list of places to avoid. These are businesses that don't understand customers. For several months I'd regularly shopped at an ARCO station at the corner of Paradise Road and Tropicana Avenue. Tonight there was a new sign on the pump saying credit cards had to go inside to pay. If I'll pay the ATM-tax imposed by the station owners I can pay at the pump, if not I have to go inside.

It seems this is probably to get more customers to use the ATM instead of the credit card function of the pump and to shift the costs from the profitable company to the individual consumer. With a little good luck the plan will fail, however. In my case at least, they have gone from a customer spending a few hundred dollars a month at their store to a non-customer. I'll gladly stop a block away and not have the hassle of going inside to pay.

The decline and fall of the Google empire

Dave Winer says "the thing that made Google different is that you treated us decently while the earlier search engines forgot who we were, and were treating us like eyeballs, not people."

The comment is part of a discussion on the way Apple is treating some of it's supporters in suing them for releasing trade secrets. I had a conversation earlier with a librarian blogger about the decline and fall of Google. I didn't start using Google because they treated anyone decently. I started googling things for the same reason I imagine most of their other users did - consistently better search results.

Just say no to counter-offers

Kevin Shockey says companies should say no to counter-offers. His premise goes double for employees leaving a company. I was with a company once that encouraged me to go get offers and they would match them. Not surprisingly I got offers and resigned, declining the counter-offers.

Concerned about online identity theft?

The Better Business Bureau recently released a report that indicates identity theft is more frequently committed offline than online. The report found that in spite of rising fears about identity theft and online fraud that old-fashioned physical loss or theft of wallet, checkbooks or credit cards accounts for nearly a third of all identity theft. Thefts stemming from online sources including computer spyware, online transactions, computer viruses & hackers, and phishing scams combined accounted for less than fifteen percent of all identity crimes.

Another important finding of the study is that people who use online methods to keep track of their accounts are likely to find out about identity crimes much sooner than those who rely on paper statements. The average loss for those monitoring online was $551 compared to $4,543 for those who rely on paper statements.


Earlier this evening was my first meeting on the Sandy Valley Citizen's Advisory Council. It was a well attended meeting (read there was something contentious on the agenda). The young people who run Sandy Valley Motocross were at the meeting to present information about their pending application for new terms in their business permit.

For some background look at this story. The letter says a lot. So while I don't know it will be heeded, here is my advice to businesses who get off on the wrong foot.

The most critical thing is don't issue hollow apologies. I'm not saying that they aren't heartfelt, but they are hollow. It is very difficult to eat crow gracefully. It is impossible if you want to maintain you are right and have been wronged by those who you are apologizing to. It is impossible to apologize and say in the next breath somebody else is wrong if you want them to believe you. The proper thing to do is to say you are sorry. And to continue apologizing. If one were to say I'm sorry and we won't make those mistakes again, and keep saying it, they might be believed. When the message is I'm sorry, but you're just as wrong, you're not building credibility.

This "negative" could become a very positive outcome if handled properly. It would take Kit Stokes sitting down with members of the community. If Stokes would take it upon himself to meet regularly with the community and to do it in a way that respects other's opinions a lot could be accomplished. It is not as simple as some in the forum suggest.


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