Writing our way out of the place where we are is complicated. Words come out quite easily, each of which is measured by its emotional weight in the flow of problems we face. This paragraph may disappear when I find my land. Mandates, Cuomo, Olympic mental gymnastics, where we were two weeks ago and how it relates now. Let’s triangulate: let’s forget Trump. Forget the progressive Republicans and Democrats who together delay passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Forget the evasions and half-truths, the talking points to fill up the air time until the rubber meets the road.
Do not forget the brave athletes who dare to fail for the greater safety of their teammates. Celebrate public servants and difficult personal decisions that lead to honesty, empathy, decisive decisions that will make distinctions between malicious fraud and actual results at the polls. If politicians refuse to answer questions, write laws to eliminate them from the process itself. Keep the media on fire that they seek to scrutinize in your coverage choices, debate, and business breaks.
We’ve had a discussion about the lag time between recording a show and its release here at Techcrunch in a post-produced form with music added, Sneak Peeks produced to promote the show, and a post related in some way to the context of the show. about two weeks ago. When generating the text, I have noticed that the time delay serves a useful purpose of diluting the real-time urgency of the conversation with what ends up being a healthy dose of context derived from what actually happened. The news is always presented as the first draft of the story, but the constant need for ratings creates this underlying pressure to convert information stories to controversial clicks.
Marked through this gas lift-off filter, black and white becomes more shades of gray, less subject to the attitudes of individual Gang members, and more attuned to the meaning of the group as a whole. Take for example the perennial struggle between social media giants and antitrust pressure to regulate the worst aspects of the social storm. One side criticizes attempts to curb these companies’ success in building audiences and unprecedented power in the marketplace: a version of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The other party says that, in fact, it is bankrupt and that it must be solved by breaking these new monopolies born of user satisfaction with the stream of comments, sarcasm and family news. Or perhaps the battle lines are drawn around individual rights versus the collective good, as in the fight to control COVID through vaccination mandates. In the middle between these hard-coded partisan stances, there is something potentially softer than being right and more powerful in its sense of commitment.
In the case of mandates, the issue comes up in every show. The immediate news may be New York City’s new rules governing vaccinated access to restaurants, gyms, and indoor entertainment events, but the biggest abstraction is the division between the federal government’s lack of power to carry out. a nationwide mandate and the policy of governors on the Web. States reject any mandate, and most outlaw local governments from protecting their citizens from the impact of the unvaccinated. Two weeks ago, nothing seemed possible to alleviate any aspect of the crisis. Today, the New York measure may encourage more people to act now to protect themselves; data shows a doubling of new vaccines in the worst affected states. In turn, the media include this promising data in their stories, pushing the most partisan memes to the edges of coverage. The net result is a looser narrative that speaks to the old-fashioned idea that the government can actually do some things, which in turn helps promote less mistrust that fuels many vacillators about vaccines.
Returning to the new normal drives most of the discussion of the mandate. The acceleration of the pandemic’s digital transformation appears to reflect a growing understanding that we will not return to the post-pandemic stage anytime soon. Instead, we realize that what we think of as survival is a harbinger of how we will live both at work and at home. We talked about our creative heroes on the show, many of whom became household names broadcast across the stage of public performances and media networks. Streaming has shocked both Hollywood and the news networks, whose business models and value propositions are coming under attack from tech social media. Facebook talks about videos now consuming more than 50 percent of the time on its network. Amazon’s ad revenue is growing rapidly against Google and Facebook’s control of the ad marketplaces. Digital advertising is consuming the linear streaming market for Upfronts.
We often talk about the creative economy, a smug waving of the red flag of the media against the bull of the mainstream media. The Information, a subscription-driven tech magazine, looks like what newsletter startups Substack and Twitter Revue will look like when they grow or grow. Clubhouse social audio clones offer similar promise of escaping the long tail into viable competition for Fox, CNN, and MSNBC from realignment media companies. At each end of the spectrum, the promise of success is met with the exaggerated reality of too many hours in search of useful differentiation or unrealistic odds of escaping the noisy underbelly of unprofessional media.
If the numbers do not add up for the creators, neither for the social networks. Once the role wars set in, you’ll see a fragmented assortment of star writers on Substack and Facebook and very little outlet for influencers and talent to emerge. Corporate adoption of these tools could be a growth opportunity for enterprise versions. Is that enough to keep the technology in the game? Maybe in two weeks we will know.
from the Gillmor Gang Newsletter
Gillmor’s band: Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live on Friday, July 23, 2021.
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor
@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang