On aggression, low angle shots and frangipanis

Rich Giles and I will be speaking at the Strategic Corporate Communications event in Melbourne on Sept 14. My session is aptly entitled ‘Coping with new media aggression’. So I guess that means "Coping With… Cameron".

Mark Jones has some good additional notes from the PANPA conference we were at earlier this week, including this one of his own:

“What we’re seeing now is the rise of conversation journalism.”

I think he means it’s different from the "voice of God" journalism most of us are used to. But I could be wrong.

Apparently he and Hugh didn’t appreciate my "Tarantino" camera angles. Cmon guys, I didn’t hear Travolta or Sam Jackson complain. You just don’t know art.

Speaking of art… Gould Galleries in South Yarra (across the road from the Como Building) is having an exhibition of Linde Ivimey’s sculptures next week. I’m definitely going. I stumbled across a picture of her work in a catalogue about a year ago and it blew me away so much that I tore it out and stuck it on the wall in my study. I’m trying to get her to come on the show as a guest. Check out images from the exhibition and tell me what you think. I find her work is scary and disturbing in a similar way to Francis Bacon‘s paintings and David Lynch’s films. When I was last in Paris (August 2004) I caught my very first exhibition of Bacon’s work at Musee Maillol. It was breath-taking. I’ve been a fan of his work since I discovered it via Brett Whiteley. Did you see that Whiteley painting of the Frangipani and Hummingbird sold for $2.04 million? Amazing. Brett knew how to paint a flower.

Join Rich & Cam for non-geek dinner in Melbourne

Rich Giles is coming to Melbourne in September and he and I will actually meet for the first time! Weird. We’ve been doing podcasts together for 18 months but we haven’t met F2F yet.

So anyway, we’re going to have a small get together and it’d be great to meet some of y’all. Details here. Well lack of details there I should say. I didn’t even know about it until Cris from plasq told me about it. I don’t like this whole "geek dinner" thing. Too many nerds turn up. NO NERDS ALLOWED to this little bash. I’m looking for tequila, table top dancing… and lots of P2P filesharing. ANYONE caught talking about interface design or database optimization will be stripped naked and fed to …. Ben Barren.

GDAY WORLD DAILY VIDEO EDITION 30 August 2006

When I was up at the PANPA (PAcific Area Newspaper Publisher’s Association) Conference at the Gold Coast on Monday I had a coffee with Mark Jones, IT Editor of The Australian Financial Review and Hugh Martin, Editor of News.com.au. We discussed the future of newspapers. There was some workmen making a bunch of noise next to us, which explains some of the audio interference.

Google Video Tipping Point

My mother just emailed me a link to this video about using "bump keys" to open locked doors. As interesting as the video itself is, the point is this: MY MOTHER sent me a link to something on Google Video! Surely that’s a sign of a tipping point? (I think the Book of Revelation also had something to say about what happens when your mother sends you a link to Google Video… I think it’s one of the signs).

This makes me think of an argument I’ve been having lately with a bunch of MSM people. It’s this idea of "watercooler chat" media. There’s this idea, which may be true in part, in the minds of the mainstream media that we (their audience) have some Maslowian need to all watch/read/listen to the same thing so we can talk about it the next day around the watercooler, like we are so pathetically desperate for some sense of social identity that we need to rely on Big Brother to feel whole.

I’ve been explaining that this isn’t what happens when I catch up with my friends for coffee. Our conversations go more like this:

"Hey have you seen that clip from The Daily Show where Sam Jackson was talking about why he made Snakes On A Plane?"

"No, I haven’t. Shoot me the link!"

"Yeah I will."

or

"Hey have you seen the Urban Ninja videos on YouTube? This crazy kid who can seriously run up a wall?"

"No, getthefeckouttahere. Shoot me the link!"

"Yeah totally."

or

"Hey have you heard that new podsafe track that James Brown put up on PMN?"

"No way dude! James muthafucking Brown??? SHOOT ME THE LINK!"

"Ow! I feel good!"

Now that even my 59 year old mum, born and bred and still living in Bundaberg (rural Queensland, about as far behind the modern world as you can get without going to Uganda… I think even Bono is petitioning the IMF for debt relief and cheap AIDS vaccines for Bundaberg), is flicking me the coolest Google Video links, I think we can safely say the era of "one-size-fits-all" media is coming to a close.

Bono On Bono

I’ve never really been a huge U2 fan. I can take or leave most of their catalogue although I respect Bono’s ability to write a lyric. And I’ve always been suspicious about his whole "save the world" shtick, not because of him per se, just because I am suspicious of any celebrity attaching themselves to a cause.

But I saw him interviewed about his work on TV (was it 60 Minutes?) a few months ago and some of the things he said struck a chord with me.

So in the airport yesterday morning, on my way to QLD, I picked up a copy of Bono On Bono Michka Assayas’s 2005 book containing a series of revealing interviews with the guy over the course of the early 2000’s. I’m already about two-thirds of the way through it and it’s one of the most inspirational reads I’ve had in a long time. Almost every page is chock full of quotes that smack you upside the head. Whether he’s talking about U2’s approach to their music or his political activism, it’s just a series of brilliant ideas. Even though he is a very passionate Catholic, and almost every page relates his work in both fields to his spiritual beliefs, which I definitely don’t identify with, the guy has so much first-hand wisdom about success in art and politics that this book is a complete gem.

I feel like it’s almost a personal call to me to grow up in a bunch of ways. He tells this story that he said is responsible in many ways for his political direction at the moment which I’ll relate here, albeit in a paraphrased fashion. The story was related to Bono by Harry Belafonte. HB told of a time when Bobby Kennedy has become Attorney General of they United States and the entire civil rights movement, under the leadership of Martin Luther King, was depressed because Kennedy was a racist and was going to block all of the civil rights efforts. King was presiding over a meeting with a group of his followers and he said something like "do you mean to tell me that there isn’t one nice thing you can say about Bobby Kennedy?". "That’s what we’re trying to tell you, there is nothing good to say about him", his people told him. And so King broke up the meeting and said they were not going to discuss the matter again until someone could find something good to say about Kennedy. Eventually they learned that Kennedy was close to his bishop. So the entire civil rights movement ganged up on Kennedy’s bishop and got him to convince Kennedy that morally he had to support them. And he became their biggest supporter.

So I had always wondered how a guy like Bono manages to get close to guys like Bush and Blair, if he truly represents what he says he does, and they are the worst manifestations of modern Western imperialism. And this is his angle. He finds the one thing they can agree on and ignores EVERYTHING else. He says in the book, when he’s working with them on debt relief, he ignores the Iraq invasion. He ignores all of the other evils they preside over. Because he knows he can only fight one fight at a time. He finds the common ground and ignores everything else. I find that REALLY hard to do in my dealings with people.

I think I can learn a lot from this guy. I’m almost finished the book and I think I’ll re-read it again as soon as I’m done. This time I’ll take notes.

PANPA conference notes

Today I attended the PANPA (Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Association) conference where I spoke on a panel with Mark Jones and Hugh Martin about blogging and podcasting.

The most surprising thing about the day was that most of the sessions I sat in had the same message from a variety of speakers: the media business is changing fast, hold on to your hats. For once I wasn’t the only guy pushing that barrow. It kind of threw me – what’s my value if I’m not the crazy futurist guy?
Still, I think I managed to ruffle some feathers during our panel, so my role is still safe for a while yet.

Here’s my raw notes from the day’s sessions.

Robert Whitehead, President, PANPA
State of the industry address:

"the future for newspapers is only
bleak if we fail to respond"
"media is diversiying at an
enormous rate and adveritisng spend
is fragmenting"
"failing to respond to disruptive
change… we no longer fear change"
newspaper media… reflects all the
things we do… competing for the
quick consumer fix for news updates
that used to be the mainstay of
radio… online sites focusing on
consumer participation…

Alexander Downer, Foreign Minister:

one of the good things about being
a politician and mixing with the
media is that you know you are
mixing with a profession that is
held in as low a regard as yours is
by the general population.

…blah blah blah "national
values"”…. blah blah blah
"national identity"…

it is sometimes claimed that no two
democracies have gone to war with
each other, i don’t know if its
true but it is almost true
re islamic values…
in the 1990s we heard a lot about
"asian values". we don’t hear much
about that any more. asia is an
increasing democratic place. with a
few very notable exceptions.

(Cameron aside: values values values… i always
worry when I hear pollies and
corporate execs talk about values.
What are ‘australian values’
exactly?)

making lots of complaints about the
quality and accuracy of the
reporting coming out of the middle
east… claiming that reports about
lebanese civilian deaths are
distorted by the media and that it
is suffering a credibility gap in
the minds of the populace.
Seems to think it is only the
government that can distort the
story to suit its needs.
rights and responsibilities…
every newspaper has the right to
publish the cartoons (danish
islamic cartoons) but they need to
think through the consequences.

main point –
the values that underpin the free
press also underpin our wider
foreign policy.
For all the negative reports that
have come out of australia over my
time, I think the Hanson is the
worst.

David Kirk, CEO, Fairfax:

changing its name… fairfax media
instead of john fairfax holdings…
its an important statement of where
the company if heading. how we
conceive of our company and our
mission in the 21st century. what
these mean in a world of
convergence driven by the internet.
online #1 news position in
australia and #2 in classifieds.
best known online service
stuff.co.nz. Websites 3.5million
uniques every month. Trademe has
1.6 million users.
32.8 million blogs as of last week.
Wikipedia stats…
world will take 100billion
photographs
amazon has 2.3 million books…
two laws:
media is always changing
audiences are always fragmenting
always been that way, but happening
faster
miles davis "if you arent nervous,
you arent paying attention"
history of our industry is always
about threat and adaptation
more people reading our content in
print and online than ever before
in our history
television more under threat
FTA TV in oz lost 11% of its
audience
paper audience is stable in total
readership
I spend the vast majority of my
time on these changes.
managing change…
having the right people with the
right skills in the right place at
the right time and resources to
deliver…
the strategy for fairfax
3 priorities
1. defend and grow the newspapers
2. build strong online businesses
3. become a genuinely integrated
digital media company
broadband a key factor for growth,
intend FF to be a key provider of
content over broadband.

robert cauthorn CEO CityTools:
cauthorn@citytools.com
the "we talk, you listen" model is
dying

Rebecca Huntley, Gen Y author:
brand disloyal
technology is a necessity in their
lives, not a luxury
value change and diversity
the mobile phone is the icon of
this generation, understand the
role it plays in their lives, its
far more than that, its a personal
accessory, entertainment, its all
invested in the phone, like a part
of their body, if they left it at
home its like someone cut their
hand off, *audience sniggered*,
not merely about being able to
download stuff off the net,
technology has changed this
generations attitude towards time
and space. The first generation to
see itself as truly global. Sharing
a global youth culture. Don’t see
it as American, just see it as
their culture. Don’t engage in
national politics. Don’t believe
the future of the world happens in
Canberra. More interested in global
events, international concerns,
truly active though at the local
level.
Gen Y are a reaction to Gen X.
Conventional approach to life, have
learned from Gen X not to leave
marriage and children too late.
Want to be self-employed so they
have more work/life balance.

Jim Chisholm, iMedia:
imediaadvisory.com
by 2015
between 25% – 70% of print will
have moved to online
all this content is free
interest in news media will have
dropped for a third
over 180 free dailies worldwide
20% of all circulation in Europe
are now from free titles
which of you would pay to watch the
news on TV every night? nobody put
up their hand. yet people pay for
the newspaper. why?
in many european countries, free
dailes are the #1 circulation
the "one version" newspaper idea is
dead – mercedes gives its cutomers
choice, why don’t newspapers?
Aus/NZ lead the world for internet
penetration in classified
advertising.

Steve James from Commercial Radio
Australia told them that radio
growth was going to be strong.
Whaaat??? ROFL!

The Unknown Classic Album Project – “Bad For Good”, Jim Steinman

Up at some ungodly hour this morning to catch my flight to the Gold Coast for the PANPA conference. Listening to "Bad For Good" by Jim Steinman on the iPod and started thinking about what a truly terrific and classic album this was, despite the fact that Jim’s voice isn’t anywhere near good enough for his own material.

And started thinking – most people, even people who love "Bat Out Of Hell", probably haven’t heard this album. Which is a shame. I love it. One of my darkest, deepest fantasies involves me performing a live set of this material.

So I started thinking about how to discover what other truly great, unknown albums exist out there. And I came up with something.

Here’s how it is going to work.

1. Write the name, artist, year of the album. It should be something you think most people won’t have heard of and truly a classic album.

2. Write one short paragraph on why you love it.

3. Link to it in AllOfMp3.com (if it ain’t there, you can’t use it – what’s the point of telling me about it if I can go get it??)

4. Link to it in AllMusic.com (I’m sure you’re opinion is golden, but still, I want someone else’s as well)

5. Tag your post for Technorati "unknown_classic_album" so we can find you.

So, here’s my entry to kick it off:

  1.  "Bad For Good", Jim Steinman, 1981
  2. I love the sweeping themes of love and redemption, the overblown orchestration, the angelic harmonies, the massive piano chords, and singing it at the top of my voice while I’m driving around.
  3. AllofMP3 link
  4. AllMusic.com link
  5. Technorati tag Tags:

GDAY WORLD!!! #150 with Philip Rhoades on Cryonics

Check out our new sponsors! iTrainer.com.au and lastminute-auction.com

On my first Daily Video Edition I mentioned that Australian Philip Rhoades has recently received permission from the NSW Government to build his own cryonics facility, the first of its kind in Australia. Tonight on the show, Phil and I talk in depth about cryonics. If you’re an Aussie and you want to get more information about how to get suspended, check out the Cryonics Association of Australia.
Who wants to live forever????? Who wants to live forever???????? (Me.)

Stuff about this podcast you should know:

Opening Theme Song: “Save Me” by The Napoleon Blown Aparts, America’s baddest rock n’ roll band!

GDAY WORLD DAILY VIDEO EDITION 27 August 2006

Today’s show is all about CANNABILISM.

Sorry about the terrible audio and video quality. Lots of technical glitches. I’m still experimenting. I’ll work it out. Anyone know a good Windows tool for batch converting an .avi into .flv and H264?

There’s won’t be a DV edition on 28 August as I’ll be interstate at the PANPA conference. But I’ll shoot some stuff up there and use it on the 29th!