Howard Owens is a digital media pioneer. He started publishing local news online in 1995 when very few local news outlets had web sites. The header image on the site depicts the film camera he used early in his career and the press pass from his year on the staff of the Carlsbad Journal. For more on Howard's professional background, read his LinkedIn profile.
HowardOwens.com is the personal web site of Howard Owens and covers his range of interests -- political localism and libertarianism, music and personal interests, as well as his professional interests.
Howard is currently publisher of The Batavian and lives in Batavia, N.Y.
- Bob Netherton on Why I’m rooting for Vance Albitz
- seagazer101 on ‘Lede’ vs. ‘Lead’
- Pamela Lagahid on IFRA launches second vertical search engine for media
- kapiyo on My new Nikon F4
- bradleyplunk on Chris Tolles brings some stats to the anonymous vs. registration debate
TagsAdvertising Audience Growth blogging blogs Books Business comments Community disruption ethics film Gadgets GateHouse Media history Home Towns Innovation Journalism local news Media Movies MP3 of the Day Music news news business newspapers Paid Content participation Patch Personal Appearances photography point-and-shoot publish2 Reinventing Journalism reporting Site Design Society Sports Strategy Tech topix Video Web-First Publishing web2.0 web navigation Writing
Daily Archives: July 24, 2006
There are only a few singers who would be worth seeing solo — by solo, I mean just the singer and his guitar.
Nick Lowe would be one of my first choices.
I figure I’m about 1 of 500 or so Nick Lowe fans in the world.
Thanks to the long tail of YouTube, tonight, I had my own mini-Nick Lowe concert (warning, low quality bootleg videos):
- When I Write the Book
- So It Goes
- Geisha Girl
- The Rose of England
- So It Goes (a different performance)
- Bo Bo Skediddle
- From Now On
- Cruel to be Kind
- Jumbo Ark (on bass guitar, no less)
- I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll)
Before social networking, there were virtual communities. When virtual communities were hot and new, I found myself unemployed, so I launched RVClub.com.
For a couple of years, I made an okay living off of RVC, but the hoped-for financing never came through, the bubble burst, and revenues slid quickly.
But I kept RVC alive if for no other reason than the core group of long-time loyal members who loved it so much.
Now, I’m unemployed again — so it seemed like a good time to revamp the site and fix long-lingering problems.
Of course, in fixing it, I could very well have broken other things (that’s how these things go), but for now I think it’s a better site. I still need to get the SSL going again. And I have lots of ideas for new features. But here it is: The new RVClub.com.
So, I just did this post on music videos on YouTube.
Before that, I did a post on music and the Long Tail.
And there was this post on YouTube’s new user license.
And now you can trace the tracks of my tears. YouTube is on my mind a lot recently. I wish I had invented YouTube.
YouTube is the ultimate Long Tail invention. It has no inventory and it exists purely to serve markets of one a billion of times over.
Except for one niggling little problem: It has no revenue model.
Well, it could serve banner ads, but when you’re engaged in a good video, you’re not likely to click on a banner. I suppose in-stream ads might work, but those could also become annoying and eventually damaging to audience retention. The technology doesn’t seem to exist yet for contextual text ads related to video. I guess that leaves selling P2P content (as the new license agreement seems to hint at).
But if the lack of revenue doesn’t kill YouTube, I think Big Media just might. There’s already been one copyright lawsuit. Peer media is great, but there is a legitimate question around “where would YouTube be without copyrighted material?“
Will we look back on this as the golden age of YouTube?
In YouTube’s favor is that social media is growing in both abundance and quality, while big media is waking up to the value of peer-driven viral marketing. That may help YouTube avoid the fate of Napster, if it can just figure out how to make money.
Matt Welch finds six minutes and fifty-five seconds on YouTube that he says changed his life.
For me, the video music moment that changed my life happened in 1987.
I was house sitting at my ex-girlfriends while she was on tour in Japan. She didn’t have cable TV. For the most part, TV was limited to four local stations (San Diego), but once in a while, when the sunspots were right, or something, you could pick up stations from Los Angeles. I was flipping the dial and picked up the signal of Channel 5.
Channel 5 was playing a music video for some reason.
For months prior, I had been saying, “I wish I could find a modern Hank Williams — somebody with all the twang, but some rock/punk influence … not rockabilly, and not cowpunk, but pure country.”
That night, Channel 5 introduced me to Dwight Yoakam.
You know, in watching that video I realized — I hadn’t seen it since 1987.
Matt inspired me to check out a couple of other forgotten music TV gems.
One is Ricky Martin on the Grammys. There is also a back story here. The night of this performance, Billie and I were only half watching the awards show. We were also going through a spate of interest in Latin music. When Ricky came on, I was standing behind the couch. Billie was in the kitchen. From the moment the performance started, I was speechless. I kept hoping Billie would come into the room, but didn’t want to utter a word in the middle of such showmanship. Billie came in right at the tail end. Man, was she pissed that I didn’t call her in. I heard about it for another year or more. Well, just now, she finally got to see the video. She said she got chills. As far as I’m concerned, that single performance is about the only worthwhile think Martin ever did.
Then there is Fantasia Barrino singing Summertime on Idol. That remains, probably, the single greatest performance in Idol history.
Going back aways — when I was in high school, Elvis Costello had the whole school buzzing a couple of times. One was when a history of rock and roll came on television and the segment on new wave included this video. Everybody wanted to know if I’d seen Elvis walking on his ankles. The other was EC on SNL, which surprisingly is not on YouTube. But I did find this cool Top of the Pops performance of Watching the Detectives, which I’d never seen before.
Oh, I’ve got to add this first televised performance of Elvis — a completely
solo version of Allison.
Online real estate advertising, is growing faster than print. The trend is bleak and irreversible.
I still believe newspaper.coms can win in their local markets, however. It will take more than porting classifieds to the Web or even striking deals with local MLS boards. It will take full-featured portal-like sites with deep content.
Newspaper sites also need to start paying closer attention to FSBOs. Just like the net enables peer-created content, it also makes it easier to do things like sell your own house.