How can we say US econ policy has been good for American?

by ed kishinevsky

So, I read The Atlantic article by Adam Davidson about the changing landscape of American manufacturing.  Thomas Friedman also commented on the piece.  

I thought it was going to be longer, but it was fine.  Length aside, I thought it was pretty straightforward, and made sense - about how the US is holding on to skilled labor - ie heavy and/or precise machinery, engineering, etc., but outsourcing unskilled labor - ie apparel, toys, and the like.  I didn't see anything in the article that was surprising; it was essentially upholding the rule we've been living with as long as I can remember: education takes you farther.

There was one area of the article I thought was interesting: Standard's engineers examining parts to identify where they could be produced most (cost) effectively.  For me - that connected with what I do - but hadn't thought of in that way.  I work in advertising, and up until recently had thought of what I do as creative exercise.

I just never thought of advertising as a business - probably lucky for me.  Until now.  That piece of the article really just clarified for me 1) that I do in fact work in a factory, 2) I do produce a specialized product, and 3) that managers upstream determine which direction work flows.

I'm fortunate I have the education to work in this 'factory' and produce the product I do. I'm feeling a little more grown up now...

Media engagement 2011, looking like media engagement 1985.

by ed kishinevsky

April's issue of the The Atlantic got me thinking about the state of media today, 2011, with a couple of pretty good and substantial pieces, by James Fallows and former FCC Commissioner Newton N. Minow.

The Jist: I'm feeling that right now media is very much converging as it's evolving.

The Nut: In the communications business, we talk about engagement every day.  The question is - what is engagement? who's definition are we using? 

I write this because in the Fallows article Gawker's Nick Denton "concluded that courting commenters (a engaged community) is a dead end.  A site has to keep attracting new users—the omnipresent screens were recording the “new uniques” each story brought to the Gawker world—and an in-group of commenters might scare new visitors off. 'People say it’s all about ‘engagement’ and ‘interaction,’ but that’s wrong,' he said. 'New visitors are a better indicator and predictor of future growth.'

 To me - this thinking directly lines up with the traditional media - get the eyeballs. 

New Media, as is being defined, does not own a fixed definition for engagement, but rather a variable one.  Denton seems to have found one that works for him - traffic. It's simple.  His means are to provide users - or the audience - what it wants.  Give them the content they're looking for.  This is old fashioned market forces at work.  It's an interesting take on community, and what's old is new again.

See, social media and interactive/digital (whatever you want to call it) live together, yes. Interactive work can be shared, but that sharing can't be forced.

I think this is pretty interesting - and speaks directly to the content.  Content is king. Maybe we're learning about this digital/interactive sphere.    

2 quick things left :

Ted Koppel on CNN

1) the prediction for real or hard news is that it's going to have to be handled at the grassroots level almost, local/volunteer, or philanthropic.  Some of it is happening - but who's going to interview the President.  There's still a need for serious journalism.

2) Minow is the commissioner who called 'TV a vast wasteland', and is essentially on the same mission, in that however technology is applied to communications, he wants media to be used for public good, like education, health care and public speech.  BTW, check the name of the boat Gilligan's Island.


Honor Track stays on the track, expected, reasonable for magazine fiction.

by ed kishinevsky in ,

Finally finished reading The Atlantic's fiction work "Honors Track" by Molly Patterson in the June issue.  Fun to start. And actually I am finding myself more and more immensly enjoying works of fiction.  I'm loving the twists fiction takes, the road ahead.  I'm loving reading, i'm also loving writing and expressing.  I'm a communications man, so I love the video as well, and I also enjoy using video to tell the story and express.

Back to the work, yes the start was fun because you're learning.  The arc to me, while not completely expected, was not overly exciting either.  Maybe I'm enjoying more dysfunction  and "loveless promiscuity, the abuse of narcotics and alcohol, the debilitating effects of parental neglect and the sometimes violent paradoxes inherent in the Christian notions of salvation and self-sacrifice" in my recent reads like Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son, " or the recent Wichita by Thad Ziolkowski.  Anyhoo, it was good sauna after the workout reading.  Props to the NYHRC .