Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today in stupid: The Grammys

Unfortunately, finding media and advertising companies who do things that aren't in keeping with the times (pun!) is like shooting fish in a barrel. Still, you have to hand it to the Grammys for attaining a level of cluelessness rarely reached even by the dumbest old media company. Sunday night's show was the best-rated in about a decade; the performances are essentially music videos, but as AllThingsD's Peter Kafka points out, you can't get any of the performances online, unless you happen to go on YouTube during the nanosecond before an illegally-loaded clip gets pulled down.

Come to think of it, this isn't the first year where I've tried to find Grammy clips during the morning after. The best I could do today was a 7-second clip on the HuffPo of Christina Aguilera falling down after the show's Aretha Franklin tribute, and a brief look at Gwyneth Paltrow and Cee Lo Green in one of the stranger duets in a show full of them.

The Grammys refusal to post clips of the show is impossible to understand on several levels:

1. There's a huge appetite to see parts of the program the next day, either because you couldn't believe what you saw the first time or because you want to know what you missed.
2. Video clips like those on the Grammys are extremely monetizable. Do you know how easy it should be to sell some pre-roll before a Grammy musical performance? Hell, call Chrysler and get them to buy the pre-roll before Eminem's performance!
3. Once the show is over, the content is more or less worthless, unless, of course, you notice that this thing called the Internet could keep the content paying dividends for quite some time. We're used to the cannibalization arguments that often are the reason content producers are cautious about distributing their shows on the Web. But in this case it just doesn't apply.

According to Kafka, the Grammys are citing some mealy-mouthed stuff about the complications over rights as the reason why these clips aren't in broad, revenue-producing circulation. Whatever. Though I'm not saying much that Kafka didn't say already, I would like to at least take the extra step of giving the show an award: Grammys -- you're the winner of today in stupid!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Should Adverganza come back from the dead?

So, I'm trying to figure out whether to revive this little thing called Adverganza, which, once upon a time, had a bit of traction in the crowded marketplace for advertising blogs. It went comatose because of my craven need to actually make money blogging, and also, because of time -- or lack thereof. The bottom line -- that's almost a pun -- is that once I was getting paid to blog at BNET, it became pretty hard to justify blogging here. Still, I missed it.
Yes, in the macro-sense, I should have kept blogging here, continuing to build the epic that is My Personal Brand. But reality begged to differ. As a Mom of two kids who tries mainly to work only when they're in school, everything is about the micro -- the crucial act of getting everyone through the day. My work day comes to a hard stop once the kids are out of school, so there's no time to waste on frivolous, non-profit blogging! It's all about getting work done for the people who pay me, to whom I'm eternally grateful because they've allowed me some modicum of balance. I don't know of any woman who has been able to build the career I have while still driving the afternoon soccer practice and doing a little too much volunteer work at the elementary school
But now things have changed, yet again. Friday was my last post for BNET, and yet, as I said in that post, stopping blogging is unthinkable; it's a reflex, like breathing. I've been blogging since 2004, when we started AdFreak over at Adweek, and so typing some thoughts into a little box and hitting "Publish" is like second nature. It's just what I do.
Perhaps the best thing, on a personal level, about blogging on a daily basis (my weekly Social Media Insider column for Mediapost  will continue), is that it's a daily discipline of collecting and analyzing the news. Without that, if you're as accustomed to blogging as I am, you begin to feel untethered, like a balloon that has slipped out of someone's hand and has started drifting aimlessly skyward. Blogging grounds me in what I do, which I have come to need -- particularly since I work from home. As anyone who does knows, it's a daily struggle to stay on task when there is not only paying work to do, but laundry to start, a cat to let out, doctors' appointments to make, and so forth. Knowing that somehow I had to push out at least one post every day gives it all a sense of structure.
That said, if I'm to revive Adverganza, it really shouldn't be about me, but about the people who used to read this. If it were to come back, would anyone care? Or have the last two and a half years, in which this blog was pretty much on hiatus, made it not worth the effort? And what if another paying blog gig catches my eye? Will I abandon this again or be able to rethink how I spend my time, and find a way to squeeze Adverganza in? And, is there a way for me to make money at this? (Damn, back to the money again!)
I ask all these questions in public because they've been swirling through my mind for weeks now, with no real answers emerging. If you've got one, let me know.