Archive for June 21st, 2009


I would like to introduce to you my eternal companion.  Formerly know on blogger as “Scribbling Monk” he spent over 20 years fighting the good fight against bias in the media from the front lines.  He is a much better writer than I will ever be and a much greater humanitarian , he likes people you see while I can leave them or leave them.  
The eternal optimist married to an eternal pessimist, a typically Irish irony.
Today 5:43
I’ve spent most of the night watching events unfold in Iran. I don’t have cable or satellite, just internet and Twitter. I hope what I’m watching is a turning point in a revolution not just in Iran today but around the world forever.

This is what happens when you give a cell phone that shoots video and Twitter, Face-Book, YouTube or other social media to people who are fed up with the status quo. Communities grow and people around the world get involved.

This week’s events in Iran mark a tectonic shift in how media nurtures liberty and thus the way our world works. The new face of journalism is the tip of the spear in a new revolution and will likely seal the fate of tyrants — whether they be a short despot in Iran, unresponsive governments or a deaf media establishment. 

A 40 second cell phone video on YouTube shows the new face of the revolution in Iran and is the face of the new media. 

It opens with a young girl, Neda, being eased to the pavement by several men an instant after being hit in the chest by a bullet fired from a government sniper’s gun. The camera moves past the men to see her head. She looks at the camera, bleeds out and dies. 

Her name, Neda, means voice. Neda has become the voice of the revolution, a rallying cry in Iran and around the world. Just a few hours after her death Neda is one of the most popular tags and search terms on Twitter. Internet users around the world are changing their Twitter time zones to Tehran and forwarding messages and photos from protesters to keep them hidden from Iran’s police.

Old media has no part in Neda’s instant and gory fame nor her instant central role in the future of Iran and possibly the broader Middle-East. 

Old media has behaved like the Catholic Church of Gutenberg’s time, before the Protestant Reformation and the Renaissance. Media had and passed up its opportunity to engage and adapt with emerging technologies. In 1983 Knight-Ridder and AT&T launched ViewTron, one of the earliest online news services. 

Viewtron died because Knight-Ridder didn’t see a profit model for selling news online. Almost incidentally Viewtron also let subscribers communicate with each other too. When they pulled the plug on Viewtron in 1986 it was clear that subscribers were more interested in talking to each other about the news than reading a journalist’s perspective on it. Knight-Ridder didn’t understand they had found the genesis and most important component of the media change that would eventually kill the company. People desire to be agents unto themselves. 

Somehow the one with the bullhorn doesn’t hear others very well if all they do is talk.

Noted internet and social media expert Clay Shirky gave a presentation to the U.S. State Department in June 2009. If you have a message to get out to anyone it will be worth your time to spend 17 minutes watching his presentation on YouTube.

Paraphrasing Clay Shirky’s closing:
In a world where media is global, social, ubiquitous and cheap, where the former audience are now increasingly full participants, media is less and less about crafting a single message to be consumed by individuals. It is more and more often a way of creating and supporting environments for convening groups. And the choice we face, anybody who has a message they want to have heard anywhere in the world, isn’t whether that’s the media environment we want to operate in. That’s the media environment we’ve got. The question we all face now is, how can we make the best use of this medium even though it means changing the way we’ve always done it.

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Open letter to Babs;


You madam are no lady.  You may be a senator.  You may be female. You may be any number of things but you are certainly no lady.  No lady would demean herself by the self aggrandizing, self serving, self promoting nonsense you spout on an almost second to second basis.  It is women like you who continue to buttress the stereotypes of “powerful” women, other wise know as the “office witch”.  As one professional woman to another, thanks a heap (for those of you unfamiliar with my style-that’s sarc).

Are you so insecure, so wholly without merit, so filterless that you need to embarrass a man who is only trying to be polite.  Did he refer to the male members of the committee only as “Senator”, or did he at sometime during his testimony use the word “sir”?  Was that demeaning to them or did they see it as a common form of polite conversation?

I realize that in California people no longer use polite conversation to communicate.  They text, twitter, email and tele-prompt.  I also realize that in your would no one but those you deem worthy are treated with anything but contempt.  I also realize that members of our armed forces who fight and die daily are considered by you and your left wing coven sub human and dangerous, but still.  Was that worth the black eye you now sport, due to your snippy, whiney, crybaby performance?  Who is going to take you seriously now?  Not the public, who viewed your “dressing down” other wise known as a “hissy fit” as just another Liberal Democrat embarrassment.

I don’t know what committee would benefit from you talents and expertise, the Crybaby Committee for the Advancement of Inexperienced Loafers or the Hate every Good Thing that America has ever Stood For and the Dismantling of the Constitution  committees come to mind. You of all “senators” should never be on any committee dealing with the military, defense or security.  Maybe Michele will let you play in her new sandbox.  I’d keep a close eye out for rogue shovels and flying pails though.  

Bon chance

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