Monthly Archives: August 2009

Social Media, Apps & Government: It’s Time To Really Embrace The Power

Tim O’reilly wrote a nice article in Forbes about the merging of government with open data and the applications world that we have all embraced. I have copied the opening below in addition to the link.

I am a tremendous believer in the power of technology to drive democracy and hope to hear and read thoughts from anyone on this piece and the idea in general.

For me, the core value here is not in the data or tech or apps or even political objectives, it is in the concept of collaborative innovation to truly combine public service with customer service.  In a time of fiscal, economic & financial crisis, the capacity to contribute intellectual power should never diminish.

If anything, it is in those times that it should accelerate and in models that combine governance with data transparency, create public & private partnerships and allows citizens to create the tools of their own prosperity instead of simply relying on the “someone” to provide them I find hope and excitement.

I look forward to your thoughts as this is a conversation that should never end.

Gov 2.0: The Promise Of Innovation
Tim O’Reilly

08.10.09, 06:00 PM EDT
Can government become a platform of, for and by the people?


the past 15 years, the World Wide Web has created remarkable new
business models reshaping our economy. As the Web has undermined old
media and software companies, it has demonstrated the enormous power of
a new model, often referred to as Web 2.0.

a new generation has come of age with the Web and is committed to using
its lessons of creativity and collaboration to address challenges
facing our country and the world. The Facebook Causes application has
more than 60 million registered users who are leveraging the power of
social networks to raise money for charity. helps interest
groups formed on the Web get together in person–and a remarkable
number of groups do so for civic purposes. A quick search turns up
nearly 20,000 meetups devoted to cleaning up local parks, streets and
neighborhoods. Twitter and YouTube have played major roles in helping
organize political protests in Iran’s recent election. Everyblock and Stumblesafely take government crime statistics and turn them into public safety applications for the Web or iPhone. The list goes on.

with the proliferation of issues and not enough resources to address
them all, many government leaders recognize the opportunities inherent
in harnessing a highly motivated and diverse population not just to
help them get elected, but to help them do a better job. By analogy,
many are calling this movement “Government 2.0.”

Click here to read the rest of the article

Broadcaster Delusions And The Fear Of Revenue

I just finished reading a few articles, that when examined together, in context of one another, literally made my blood boil. They are:

  • Dialing Down: Saga, Radio One, Entravision Saga, Radio One and Entravision all reporting double-digit revenue declines compared to the same period last year
  • Saga Draws Line On Cost Cuts – Cash flow margins at Saga have fallen to the 26-27% range, so CEO Ed Christian
    was asked if Saga can pull more cost-cutting levels to get those back
    up as some other radio groups have bragged about of late. “Yeah, we
    could, but probably not on my watch…”
  • Google Is No Match For The Digital Spectrum – Michael Kokernak, a 20-year television industry veteran, why Google’s search technology is becoming obsolete and that within the next five years digital
    broadcast television could emerge as the superior form of search.

The context that infuriates me here is short-sightedness and innovation denial.  All 3 messages come out of the broadcast industry, arguably the most efficient way to reach thousands, even millions of people at once.

Yet what we see here is an industry plummeting off a revenue cliff and instead of leveraging their massive audience with cost-efficient web and mobile social  media strategies to expand their relationship with listeners & advertisers to stop the fall, they cumt costs to hit the bottom faster.

With that in mind, I appreciate what Mr. Kokernak and his company, BackChannel Media, are doing as they are attempting to re-define the broadcast experience, but to simply list reasons why Google is obsolete without a clear path now for how broadcasters stop that fall now, to generate new revenue today, those remarks sound like sour grapes.

The fact is that there are cost-effective, actually just plain cheap, ways for broadcasters to build the top line instead of stripping out their soul by simply tearing down operations.  What it requires, however, is a re-examination of what your relationship is and should be with your audience.

For radio, it is essential that stations, groups, personalities accept that the medium is not the core value; it is just one vehicle.  The core values are the community connection, the brand trust and the content & information that makes it possible.

From there, the business models increase tremendously.