January 9, 2009

Way Back When: Was Not That Long Ago

In the ‘olden’ days, dad would begin the day with a fresh cup of coffee, a pack of butts and the newspaper. There was a sense of accomplishment to hold the paper in his hands and digest each and every page. Interruptions were not permitted.

I have a friend who still sits at his kitchen table every morning and reads the entire newspaper. The ritual is complete once he has completed the crossword puzzlein pen.

There was time when news of an anticipated new album release would cause a lineup at the retail location. Your choice was go to the store and purchase the music or perhaps a buddy would make you a tape.

These Times They Are Always A-Changin’
My day usually starts with Google Reader. In about half an hour I can sift through 10-15 news sources. Akin to radio and the music industry, newspapers are scrambling for ways to monetize the online model.

Here’s a study conducted by Nielson Online entitled "Online Newspapers Enjoy Double-Digit Year-Over-Year Growth, Reaching One Out Of Four Internet Users".

It was released in November 2005.

This is not the new reality – this it is reality.
I spent years fighting the good fight for musicians on the issue of downloading. None of us had the answer. I still hear how the music labels have a flawed business model.

Here are some facts: music is everywhere, it has never been more popular, and to most people it has no monetary value. This is no longer an issue of “the kids" downloading on Napster. Downloading and sharing music and video files is commonplace now across all demos.

The industry is working it out and the forward thinkers have realized that the lucrative days of simply selling hardware have changed forever.

Mix Your Media
In days of yore, media buyers had five main choices for their clients: radio, newspaper, television, direct mail and outdoor/transit. If a client had significant enough budget, it was advised they mix their media to insure more penetration for their message. Good advice.

Today the choices also include: digital, cross-media, social media, microsites, online, cellphones and more.

C’mon I Don’t Have All Minute!
As the history books show, it was not uncommon at one time that a person had to hand write memorandums that were in-turn copied in a monstrous noisy machine in the “copy room” to then be distributed to staff mailboxes by the lunch room. The only evidence someone had called while you were out was the number of handwritten messages on pink pieces of paper nestled in your bunk by reception.

Now we wonder why our emails aren’t returned at the speed of light.

We have created a society of impatience. If we can’t find it, we move on. That’s a scary notion to anyone holding on to the way things used to be with white knuckles and a glazed defiant stare.

Change Is The Constant
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened in 1802. There was talk at one point that it was going to close. The reason was simple – everything that was going to be invented had already been invented. By February 2008, the office had processed almost 8 million patents.

Historians have written about “simpler times” – but in the 'olden' days – they thought they were on the cutting edge too.


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