A while back David Simon, creator of the only two TV shows set in Baltimore ever, said that “the whole [newspaper] industry will continue to collapse until everyone swallows hard and goes behind a paywall.”
Why and how he’s hilariously wrong despite spending 13 years working at the Baltimore Sun nearly two decades ago has already been gone over better than I could so I’m not going to beat that dead horse.
(Ok, maybe just a little: A newspaper’s subscription revenue doesn’t even pay for ink, paper and delivery costs. The actual newsroom operation was ad supported before the Internet was a twinkle in Prodigy’s eye. Newspapers don’t have to invent a new revenue model, we just need to get better at using the one the rest of the Internet stole from us in the first place.)
Instead I’m going to propose that there’s an actual reason newspapers are getting their lunch eaten by Internet startups: Consistency of quality. You can’t be a jack of all trades online like you have to be in print and that’s where very few newspapers have made progress.
A lot of people so far today have asked me who I voted for. I have a two-part answer to that:
Part 1: None of your business. Screw you.
Part 2: I will, however, tell you who I didn’t vote for.
You see, before I even start researching candidates or reading campaign literature I eliminate quite a few right off the top. I have a list of rules that, due to personal beliefs and pet peeves, I use to filter the ballot down.
Do they make voting difficult? Yes, definitely. They rule out the majority of candidates and require some Googling. But is it worth it? Absolutely. Right off the top it makes sure that my core beliefs about how our government should run are taken into account and it forces me to know a little more about the candidates other than what they say in TV commercials.
So, without further delay, Danny’s Rules of Voting:
Bloggers don’t exist.
Established media types have tried to draw a distinction between “journalists” and “bloggers” since blog became a word. Whether it’s out of elitism, ignorance or protectionism isn’t clear and mostly irrelevant, but it boils down to the idea that journalists are established professionals and bloggers are hack amateurs playing reporter. Those definitions are changing of course, especially now that the Huffington Post and Politico won Pulitzers and the big newspapers did not, but the definitions aren’t the problem. The problem is more fundamental.
So for the sake of simplicity, here are three reasons “blogger” is a term that needs to go away:
Dear Two Guys Playing Call of Duty at 11:30 pm at Full Volume With the Window Open on a Weeknight:
Listen, I get it.
Video games are fun. People enjoy fun things. You’ve got a friend over, or your roommate, or whatever, and you want to kick back and virtually shoot each other repeatedly. I’ve had many of my own late-night video game sessions and, frankly, I don’t do it enough. It’s a great release after a long day at work.
You know what else is great after a long day at work? Sleep. Which is really difficult when, even with my doors and windows closed, my bedroom sounds like London during the Blitz.