The Incumbentsphere

The blogosphere is getting a new form of spam--incumbent spam. Here's an example, from CNET's John Roberts, reacting to Steve Rubel's suggestion that CNET go all blog: ...

The blogosphere is getting a new form of spam--incumbent spam. Here's an example, from CNET's John Roberts, reacting to Steve Rubel's suggestion that CNET go all blog:

... I don't think readers care about the labels at all, especially if they are not blogging themselves. I believe that my editorial colleagues, whose work is the foundation of our business, would be happy to be thought of a writers worth reading, whether the product is an article, an essay, a blog, a book (some have written those, too), or even an audio report.

Now, why would I call this spam? Well, first, because my BayesianBullshitDetector is set off when I hear publishers talk about what the readers want. And then because of the qualifying "especially" clause, separating them from the geeky early adopters who don't constitute markets in favor of the broader more monetizable coach potato page view audience that we, the incumbent media, know paternally what is good for them. And finally, the list of editorial products ending with a curious brand name (and link) instead of the vernacular podcast.

Ironic, that audio report points at the What is the News.com podcast? page, which tells us to Get the top technology news in a snappy, professional broadcast [my bold]. This is spam, folks. Or marketing. Or the audioreportosphere.

If you think I'm being too hard on John, who is one of the smartest people in the Incumbency, read Chris Anderson's blog, uh, text report on Mark Cuban, George Gilder, and the Death of TV at the hands of broadband. Chris finds it interesting, as I do, that Cuban's excellent instincts appear to be failing him given "his inexplicable scorn for infinite choice." But then Anderson takes a shot at why Cuban is so off the rails:

 

Unfortunately, for all Cuban's wisdom about most things, he did pay a lot of money for the two broadcast channels that he uses for HDNet and HDNet Movies. I fear this has made him defensive--and thus myopic--about the traditional broadcast TV model. Which probably shouldn't be too surprising, given that he made his fortune starting Broadcast.com. But it doesn't make him right.

 

But wait, there's more--or actually less. When I went back to my Rojo cache for the link to Anderson's post, I couldn't find that paragraph quoted above. Now he's replaced it with some more ecumenical commentary that, while interesting, diverges from the conclusions that I so vigorously agree with. The piece now concludes:

 

I think Cuban and Gilder actually agree. Infinite choice doesn't have to mean the tyranny of choice. More really can be better. And one way or another, the traditional broadcast model is going to be replaced.

 

Amen.