MacTV channels moving on Comcast
The Grand Rapids Press (MI)
HOLLAND — Just when fans of MacTV were getting used to seeing their public access programming on Channels 24 through 26 on their Comcast cable system, they’re moving again. Comcast officials say the city of Holland’s public, educational and government programming will be moved to Channel 916 through 918 effective Jan. 15 as part of its digital service. —>
County board meetings won’t be aired
by Paul Marose
Daily Citizen (WI)
JUNEAU – The Dodge County Board Show is off the air. At least for the time being. Viewers in Juneau who watched board broadcasts carried on local, public-access, cable TV may have to enjoy the board in person in 2008, since funding to televise regular, monthly board meetings has failed. —>
Board disbands cable committee
by James Fuccione
The Beacon (MA)
BOXBOROUGH – With two consecutive unanimous votes, the Board of Selectmen disbanded the Cable Advisory Committee while giving its responsibilities, under a newly revised charter, to the Boxborough Information Technology Committee. In August, selectmen charged the Boxborough Information Technology Committee, known as BITcom, with extensively discussing a proposal to merge their group with the Cable Advisory Committee and, at Monday night’s meeting, BITcom Chairman Jay Bhatia reported his committee’s recommendations. —>
Pembroke: Progress on Cable Pact
by John Laidler
Boston Globe (MA)
Selectmen will be receiving an update in January from the Cable Advisory Committee on the panel’s negotiations with Comcast on a new franchise agreement for the company to offer cable television service in town. Comcast is currently providing service under the town’s previous franchise agreement with Adelphia Communications, whose assets were assumed by Comcast. That agreement expired some months ago, but Comcast is operating under it pending the completion of a new one. Also next month, representatives of Verizon are expected to update selectmen on that company’s project to install a fiber optic network in town. —>
Barack Obama will change the system part 2
Yesterday I wrote about the need for systematic change in this country and why Barack Obama had the best plan and record to accomplish that of any of the candidates running. In that diary I talked about his support for public financing of elections and the bills he had introduced to make that a reality with progressive champion Russ Feingold. Since I wrote that I have found out he introduced a bill to publicly finance elections in the Illinois State Senate too. Hard to still make the claim that he is only doing this to win votes.
There is a old saying in the media reform movement “if media is not your number one issue, it has to be your second issue.” In this post I am going to focus on my second issue, media reform. —>
So long, Inside The Times; hello, journalism’s future
by Mike Fancher
Seattle Times (WA)
The tradition in my family has been to say “So long,” rather than goodbye. The difference is that “so long” means goodbye only until the next time. Today’s “Inside The Times” is my last, after almost 16 years and more than 600 columns. As I explained in columns the past two weeks, I’ll start a Seattle Times blog about the press, the public and technology after the first of the year and explore it until I retire sometime in the first half of 2008.
This final column is one of optimistic hope for the future of public-service journalism. It is a leap of faith to a future when new economic models have been found to support the public journal as a public trust. I’m confident in making that leap because I believe the American people will act in their own enlightened interest to preserve a free and independent press. They will because “The primary purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing.” That quote is from what I consider the best modern book on media, “The Elements of Journalism.” —>
Pew/Internet Study Finds Most Americans Get Their Answers From The Internet
by Vanessa Fox
Search Engine Land
A PEW/Internet and American Life study out today finds that the place Americans turn to most for answers is the internet. The study, which surveyed 2,796 Americans, found that 76% have internet access and that 58% turn to the internet when they have questions about things like health, school, careers, and government issues. The project focused on how people use the internet, libraries, and government resources when they need to solve problems and found that those without high-speed internet access (no access or dial-up only) were less satisfied with their ability to get the answers they were seeking.
Overall, people tend to consult two to three sources for information and are generally satisfied with the results. 77% of internet users (55% of Americans) have high-speed access; whereas 18% are still on dial-up. The speed of access seems to make a big difference in whether a searcher turns to the internet or some other source for answers. Those with broadband access spend more time online and are happier with their online experiences. 77% of those with broadband access at home used the internet for answers, compared to 57% of those with dial-up access. Below, more findings on internet usage, particularly in researching health and government-related issues. —>
It’s The Network, Stupid!
by G. Patton Hughes
My challenge has been summed up as making money from a hyperlocal community web site or, said differently “It is the sales, stupid.” (see previous entry) That is a gross oversimplification. What my 21st Century Newchallenge is all about is building a sustainable business model based on connecting a community. That means it is always about the network. Sales and revenues impact sustainability but are secondary to the core mission, which is to develop the community. —>
If challenged to say what is the community, I could just smirk and say, read the site; all 1.7 million posts. If you were to ask, how do you know you have a community, that could be answered objectively.
Obviously, one of the key metrics defining the success of a web site is the amount of time spent on a site. According to the compete.com analytics for Paulding.com, the average visit on Pcom last 17 minutes and 33 seconds as they view an average 14.6 pages. This compares to a typical local news site – I’ll choose Macon.com (Macon Ga) which has an average visit of 4 minutes 51 seconds and 4.9 pages, also according to compete.com. The primary reason for the difference are the social networking aspects of paulding.com.
Indeed, paulding.com’s figures in the social networking world pale in comparison to myspace.com which compete.com puts at the head of the pack. Compete.com says each visit to that site consumes 24 minutes and 26 seconds of the visitors time as they peruse 36.6 pages. Paulding does compare favorably to Facebook in terms of time on site (14:09) but those college kids tear through 43 pages on each visit according to compete.com.
When thinking about these figures, it is important to consider the demographics of the audiences involved. Myspace has a reputation of skewing to younger people … literally high-school age and even younger. Certainly these kids have more time to burn than their college age brothers and sisters and of course, Paulding.com members tend to be marginally older – I.e. adults living in a hyperlocal community.
Regardless, the ability to gain such high levels of involvement are a distinct advantage common to successful social networking sites. That paulding.com competes favorably in terms of time spent shows it is possible to overlay a social network on a hyperlocal geographic environment. (Kind of a ‘duh’ moment it seems to me.)
Key to this success in the hyperlocal environment is the audience. The most desirable computing component in these local deep networks is the wetware – the people who come together to form these networks. For myspace it is the peers of the tweens and teens; for facebook, college peers constitute the largest draw. Frankly, one of the main reasons both sites are a success is that most there are probably on the make.
While there is some of that on paulding.com, the draw is infinitely more community minded. Many come to this hyperlocal community because they need the knowledge of those who live and know the community. The point is each kind of social network targets a different demographic group – and most are places where ‘people like me’ congregate. That the large national social networks seem to target the youth is unmistakable. What is equally obvious is that in the hyperlocal sphere, it is geography rather than the common angst of being pubescent that is at the core of the social mortar. —>
NTV Predictions: Online Video Stars
by Liz Gannes
Among the questions we’ve asked our panel of experts was this one: Which online video star do you think will make it big in 2008? Selections from their responses are below. We’d love to hear your take on the question or on our panelists’ predictions in the comments. For more information on the NewTeeVee 2008 outsourced predictions, see this post.
Henry Jenkins, director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities (media and popular culture academic) —>