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.
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Daily Archives: March 16, 2007
It started in China, where sharing information is tightly controlled, but apparently you can shop without restriction. And there’s lots of people. Continue reading
I read David Lazarus’s column yesterday and immediately wanted to fisk it, but I had some real work to do and never got to it. Fortunately, Michael Bazeley is on the job and has the appropriate takedown of Lazarus’s complete misconception of the online news business.
Repeat after me: People do not pay for news in print. They pay for delivery.
Readers have never paid for newspaper content and they’re not going to start now that they know our delivery costs are almost nil. Continue reading
There’s four or five points of wisdom in this short post by Steve Duke, but in the interest of driving home a single point, I’ll pull just one quote:
The world is changing fast, as my cabbie demonstrated. While we worry about losing the tech-savvy young adult audience, we’re losing the tech-savvy middle-aged audience. Research by media consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates cited in Broadcasting & Cable shows that nearly half of people 35 to 54 turn to the Internet first for weather information and sports scores. This is no longer a young person’s medium.
I’m 45. I started thinking about this four years ago: I pretty much live my life online. I watch a lot less TV. I hardly ever read printed products — even fewer books these days. I’m about as digital as you can get. But I’ve always been kind of an early adopter. Going back a few years ago when I saw my life transforming in this way, I thought, “if I can figure out how great this digital life is, my cohorts who are otherwise busy with their non-digital careers and families (after all, I do this for a living) will eventually catch on, too. We’re really the ones who can afford all the toys — not the college kids and recent graduates. So what happens when the mass migration of this key newspaper demographic starts toward the web? What happens if we don’t have the right online offerings for them? Do we really want to risk losing them both as print subscribers and online users?
As Duke says, “wake up and smell the coffee.” And I would add, “it’s later than you think.”
Here’s an interesting e-mail I just got from FreeConference.com, a service I regularly use:
Dear FreeConference User:
AT&T/Cingular, Sprint, and Qwest Are Blocking Your Conference Calling
As of Friday, March 9, it’s come to our attention that Cingular Wireless has begun blocking all conference calls made from Cingular handsets to selected conference numbers. If you call our service, you receive a recording that says, “This call is not allowed from this number. Please dial 611 for customer service”.
Earlier this week, Sprint and Qwest joined in this action, blocking cellular and land line calls to these same numbers. This appears to be a coordinated effort to force you to use the paid services they provide, eliminating competition and blocking your right to use the conferencing services that work best for you.
Don’t Let AT&T/Cingular, Sprint, or Qwest Take Away Your Right to Use the Conference Service of Your Choice!
We Need Your Help! Please Take the Actions Below:
Whether you are one of their customers, or an organizer who is being impacted by these uncompetitive actions, please file a complaint with the FCC or send an email to your State Attorney General to complain about this monopolistic practice to limit the choices of consumers.
You can also let these companies know how you feel about their attempt to block competitive services:
Sprint Customers can click here or dial *2 from their Sprint Phone
Cingular Customers can click here or call 1-888-333-6651
Qwest Customers can click here or call 1-800-860-2255
Your FreeConference Team remains steadfastly committed to bringing you simple, convenient and reliable conferencing services at the lowest cost possible. We appreciate your support in this endeavor.
Your FreeConference Team
I’m a Sprint customer and the way I read this, Sprint isn’t blocking now (nor Qwest). I called Sprint’s tech support and they’re not aware of this service being blocked.
My guess is, however, the providers would like to block these calls because conference calls eat up a lot of minutes — it’s not necessarily aimed at getting users to buy the paid service from the provider. But still, minutes are minutes and the providers shouldn’t be able to restrict how they’re used.
I’m no IP or libel lawyer, but I play one on my blog.
Greg Sterling has a post that pulls key quotes from a WSJ on the Viacom vs. Google/YouTube lawsuit.
This suit is important to all of us because it cuts to key parts of the DMCA. The DMCA gives us web publishers a good deal of protection related to UGC, especially related to copyright infringement and libel.
If Google loses, we’re all in trouble.
Now, about Viacom being run by idiots … Continue reading