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Archive for July, 2008

Can you get high-def in a post

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Online advertising goes over the cliff edge?

by henrycopeland
Monday, July 21st, 2008

Google’s notice last week that its growth continues to slow got a lot of attention. A couple of other data-points to highlight:

a) ValueClick, a network focused on lead generation and display advertising, announced on Thursday that it no longer expects a strong second half (H2 is usually significantly stronger than H1.) It revised its projections for total ’08 revenues from $730-$745 million to $655-$675 million. Last year’s number was $665 million, so VCLK is saying it won’t grow. More details on their deceleration in online advertising.

b) Q1 ’08 was the first quarter in many in which online advertising shrunk relative to the previous quarter.

c) In other bad news for money-losing Internet companies praying they’ll be acquired before they run out of money, AOL, previously an acquirer, is desparately seeking its own corporate safe haven as its ad sales plateau.

Tech smackdown with Micah Sifry

by henrycopeland
Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Watch Joe’s face for the moment when he realizes he’s run out of memory after 20 seconds of filming. Micah was using “qik” and amazing service that lets him broadcast live.

These are the good old days

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

NPR ran a long feature this morning about how bad people think the economy is — gas prices cutting into wallets, falling house prices, health-care costs, tight credit, creeping inflation.

The real bad news is… we ain’t seen nothing yet. Unemployment is still beneath what used to be called “full employment.”

Labor and politicians could only dream of 5% unemployment in the 80s and 90s. Unless we see a massive boom in export manufacturing (vabuuely possible with the dollar at $1.60 to the euro) the unemployment rate is headed back towards 8%. At which point today’s chorus of woe is going to sound, retrospect, like “Yellow Submarine.”

Whose reality is it anyway?

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I was walking down mainstreet in Blowing Rock, NC Saturday and noticed a well-dressed middle-aged guy who had paused behind a parked mini-van. His leg was jerking a little and he looked like he was concentrating really hard. I asked whether he was OK and he said, loud and clear and coherently, “yes, I’m fine.”

I sat down on a bench not too far away and watched him. He started to lean on the van’s protruding spare tire and shove it. I went over and asked again, “are you OK?”

He said again, very clearly and in a normal voice “I’m fine.”

20 seconds later, he was flat on his back, looking up at the sky.

“I’m going call 911, OK?”

“No, I’m OK,” he said.

At this point, the guy is sweating and looking pale, so I said cognitive dissonance be damned and ignored his opinions and called 911. A woman stopped and asked the guy if he’s diabetic and he said yes; she gave him a peppermint. Two minutes later he’s sitting up, and the paramedics arrive. I head off to dinner.

Later I learned that diabetics suffering from extreme low blood sugar can become unrooted and report that they’re fine even as they’re melting down. I’m still unnerved by the memory of trying to square this guy’s disintegrating physical condition with his bald-faced statements to the contrary.

Socialist McCain poll on Linked-In

by henrycopeland
Monday, July 14th, 2008

I just took a McCain poll appearing on Linked-In. From a media perspective, the Linked-in poll idea is fascinating because once you respond, you get to see how other Linked-In users respond with results broken out by sex, age, industry. Wow, that’s powerful as a media experience for Linked-In and HUGE as a service for advertisers.

McCain poll on Linked-in

But right now, I’m particularly interested in the poll’s slant: “What has the most long-term potential to lower gas prices for Americans?”

The answers: “Oil exploration on US territories,” “Alternative energy research,” “Better Middle East Relations,” “Smaller vehicles,” and “I do not know.”

First, there’s no room for “other.” Second, most of the solutions imply, either directly or indirectly, government interaction. Third, the obvious answer, “the market,” is missing. The poll begs the question: is this a question a candidate needs to be thinking about?

If anything, the government should be raising prices on gas (through taxes) to help us all retool our life-styles to prepare for the day 10 weeks or 10 years from now when gas costs $10 a gallon. To those who say “if we save it the Chinese will burn it,” I’d say, “let the Chinese build their economy on waste and inefficiency, we’ll compete far better with them in ten years.”

In the long run, the best solution to high gas prices — the only real long-term solution — is higher gas prices in the short-term. People will stop driving SUVs, manufactures will rush to make batteries more efficient, entrepreneurs will figure out solar cells. There will be millions of solutions that no five-year-planning bureaucrat can imagine. And then the market will lower prices.

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