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OnMedea: July 2010 Archives

July 2010 Archives

electus_website_homepage.jpgApparently there is a new movie coming out called "Electus" and it looks like it stars Ben Silverman

This afternoon, I thought I would do a little checking up on Ben's $100 million dollar company and discovered that, unlike the way the website looked a month ago, there is actually some content now. 

Content starring Ben Silverman.

The content is a $100 million dollar sizzle reel with flying headlines glorifying the accomplishments of...  Ben Silverman

I stared at the video, with its horrible techno-pop / Eurotrash soundtrack (though fitting), in amazement.  Is this what revolution looks like?

Electus_chart.jpgI then went to the other page (yes, there is one other page on the site, you can't expect too much in one year) and discovered a chart

A chart that even a freakin' moron can understand. 

How can something that looks so simple (so elegant) and so "old media" change the world in such a profound way? 

I'm still trying to process how great it all is.  I'm seriously at a loss for words.

There is only one person on the planet that knows what the future of media looks like.  His name is Ben Silverman but he can't talk right now - he has an early morning call on the set of another sizzle reel he is starring in titled "Managing Expectations".

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

comic_con_rip.jpgSorry geeks.  Sorry freaks.  Gone are the dreams and dancing (well, not really 'dancing' - I forgot who I was writing about).  Comic-Con is dead.

And I know right now there are hundreds of Dr. Who and Stargate Universe marathons going on in anticipation of this or that panel discussion, but, face it, it's over.  The cool dorks know it's true.  The rest will find out soon enough.

And it's not really your fault that Comic-Con is dead.  Unlike the whacked out kids in "Final Destination", you DIDN'T see it coming.  Hollywood, with its truckloads of swag and sizzle reels, just steamrolled you and took control of YOUR EVENT (this includes my own parent company - Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company and Manka Bros. Publishing's MC Comics). 

It's really sad but your beautiful 'Woodstock of Geekdom' has been crushed by the evil empire of big media. 

I know you thought you dictated the terms and still think Hollywood needs your approval before going forward with a new comic book movie or TV show but, the truth is, you need Hollywood more than they need you. 

comic_con_rip_2.jpgIt's sort of like how you thought you and the cheerleader in high school would start dating because she was nice while you helped her get ready for a test.  After the test was over, and she passed, it was right back to the quarterback and she didn't even remember your name.  The cheerleader is Hollywood.

The problem is, the cheerleader knows that all she has to do is smile and you will be right back on board - helping her with the next test. 

Don't take the bait anymore geeks!  Rise up and stop helping the cheerleader with HER homework! 

If Hollywood thinks it can get a good write up on your blog because they send Jessica Alba down to do body shots with you - they have another thing coming!

So here's what needs to be done.  Kill Comic-Con and go back to the church basement (or wherever) to whence it started and, like the best of the comic book origin stories, begin again.  Rebirth. 

Start your little A/V club from scratch and this time DON'T INVITE THE CHEERLEADERS!  They don't want to be there anyway.  It's totally messing up their summer vacations.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
sheryl_sandberg_sun_valley.jpgBeing a member of the fringe press, I have no idea how many people attended the Herb Allen Sun Valley Retreat last week and I certainly don't know a complete gender breakdown - but from everything I've seen in the press (including from the blogs written by my mogul boss, Khan Manka, Jr., from inside the event), there were very very very few women represented.

By my count, there were three (and two were from Xerox - Ursula Burns and Anne Mulcahy [retired]) and only one, Sheryl Sandberg got any sort of attention at all. 

And, no, mogul wives don't count.

[If Allen & Co. can please email me an invited guest list, I'll be happy to post an update with other names.]

Yes, Facebook is the hot company of the moment with a giant spotlight on senior management, but (and we all know this is a Hollywood / New York / Silicon Valley problem and not a Herb Allen problem) this was a pretty pathetic effort no matter the situation. 

This is not to slight the accomplishments of Sheryl Sandberg.  I have a great admiration for her (even though I think she's on a sinking ship).

"The Women In Technology" panel (moderated by Tom Brokaw) must have been fascinating.  Perhaps it was set up as a way to inform the white male moguls that there are 'Women in Technology'.  Who knew?

Here's hoping that next year I can report on "The WOMEN of Sun Valley".

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
facebook_mark_zuckerberg.jpgSalacious headline?  Yes.  True?  Also yes. 

This is not a slam against the EXTREME popularity and unprecedented GROWTH story that is Facebook.  This is a reality check of an unsustainable business model. 

Much like a homeowner who can no longer afford an overinflated house purchased during the height of the bubble and decides to walk away, Facebook (with claims that it will hit ONE BILLION users in the not too distant future) has given it all away for free for far to long to change. 

But change it must or Facebook Is Worthless.

Imagine the cable networks at their inception (especially premium channels like HBO) giving the channel to anyone for free at the beginning and then trying to convince customers to pay down the line.  It's a daunting task.  One that Hulu is going through now - but they made the hard decision, and even though traffic and video streams will certainly fall, it will soon be profitable because it wasn't too late to right the ship.

mark_zuckerberg_2.jpgImagine Disney/Pixar putting out Toy Story 3 for free in theaters and trying to make up their costs by throwing up billboards along the walls.  What kind of idiot would do that?  It would never be considered. 

People love (and some actually depend on) Facebook, but it is too late to right the ship - and not just because no one cares or pays any attention to the banner ads that are thrown up against everyone's status updates.  It's because people are starting to get really bored with it. 

There are some late adapters that are still in the ecstasy phase of seeing their old high school friends as they look today (Facebook has ruined surprise factor of high school reunions forever, but I digress), but for the most part - at least in my case - most of my Facebook friends have stopped participating.  They will pop on once a day or so just to see if anyone has posted any new drunken pictures or family photos of the new baby, but that's about it.

My Facebook experience now is basically the same five people posting the same boring crap.
  • The Bored Office Worker who posts about "needing coffee" - and "can't wait for Happy Hour!"
  • The Super Mom who claims every morning - "Went to 8 museums and made banana bread all before 10am!  My kids are awesome and sooooo funny!"
  • The Quoter who searches quotation websites looking for some daily affirmation that will get about 15 "Likes" and a few "I'm going to use that!" replies.
  • The Reviewer who writes stuff like "Smoke Monster?  Shit Monster if you ask me!"
  • The Pissed Off Traveler with daily pearls like "10 hours on the tarmac!" and "Yet another delay, thank you American Airlines!"
And that's about it.  Every day, the same five people and I have over 300 Facebook friends (even though I only see about three friends actually in person in any given month).

mark_zuckerberg_4.jpgThe valuation on Facebook is so high that no one could possibly acquire it now (not even my employer, the insanely deep-pocketed Manka Bros. Studios) especially considering there is really no monetary growth story. 

As it becomes more of a digital dumping ground, costs continue to rise.  It has peaked as a global fascination.  Check the value of Bebo, Myspace, Friendster, etc. and you'll see the future of Facebook.  Even though Mark Zuckerberg claims he's different than all the others.

So here's what Facebook needs to do - start charging every current or new user $0.99/month.  Just ninety-nine cents per user per month to use all the features they currently use.  New services may make it possible to bump that up to a premium fee down the line. 

Millions will leave and start some "Facebook Should Be Free" movement, but other millions (like my five daily posters who feel they need to be heard) will definitely pay.  Because $0.99 is nothing.  It's the purchase price of a pig on Farmville.  There will still be advertising and cross-promotional opportunities and corporate sponsorships, etc. - multi revenue streams. 

But the free culture has to change or Facebook is Worthless

Deep down, at least to me, this seems to be the reason the IPO hasn't happened.  Zuckerberg says he's not interested and will delay the IPO as long as possible.  Yeah, because it's a $15 billion company (so they say) with costs that exceed revenue - and no signs of that ever changing. 

I wouldn't be interested in an IPO either. 

Someone enlighten me and correct my ignorance.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

About Jill Kennedy

Jill Kennedy - Blogger - OnMedea Jill Kennedy is an Ivy League MBA / refugee from Lehman Brothers.

Manka Bros. (and the Manka Business Channel) hired her (for a very low sum) to cover the world of media (not the world of Medea) in her own words without corporate interference.

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About Medea

Medea Medea was a real bitch from classical mythology - as most famously dramatized by Euripides.

She was a sorceress and wife of Jason, whom she assisted in obtaining the Golden Fleece. When Jason deserted her, she chopped up their children. One could say, Medea acted as rationally as a major media company.


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