Tag Archives: conversations

The Closed Trend: Email Newsletters

closed-signOne of my friends, Sam Lessin, created a service called letter.ly, which allows anyone to sign up for a email newsletter account and charge users whatever they want to join.  An example of this is Michael Galpert’s newsletter of which he charges $4.00/mo.

Recently, Jason Calcannis and Sam Lessin declared their blogs dead and are moving to email communications because it’s more intimate.  I receive Jason’s email newsletter and find nothing in there that couldn’t/shouldn’t be on his blog.

I find it funny how everything old is new again.  Note, these 2 people are not a statistically significant sample but being that these two men are at the center of the tech scene, it may be a directional indicator of where things are headed.

Nate’s post entitled Going Premium talks about how he’ll write in-detail about things not fit for mass public consumption (his blog).  Sam also talks about how an email newsletter allows him to talk about things more interesting things.

I don’t know if I subscribe to the whole notion of “stop blogging, start a premium newsletter.”

I think each of them have their place as a communications vehicle but I would guess, right now, without much experience writing email newsletters that being open rather than closed would deliver a lot more value which is the antithesis of what Sam talks about in his blog post.

An interesting thing did happen though.  Since I’m paying for this content now, I do hold a higher standard for it.  In an email exchange I had with one of the guys mentioned above, I told him that he better deliver “significant value” since my wallet is open.  Being that I’m now paying for this content, I may be more likely to cancel my subscription than to take his previous [free] content out of my RSS Reader or my alpha version of Tomzy.

I’ve been wrong many more times than being right, so take this all with a grain of salt.

Would love to hear your feedback.

This post was written by Darren Herman (@dherman76) who is the Chief Digital Media Officer ofkbs+p/The Media Kitchen and the founder of Varick Media Management.  This post represents personal opinions and views, not necessarily reflected of his employer.

My Communications Preference & Schematic

I decided to do an audit of how I use different communications “devices” and their responsiveness/effectiveness for me.  This is a focus group of one and is purely subjective.

Below is the outline.  Net/net, short and rapid communications are what work for me as evidence by Text Message and Twitter DM’s.  What I also like about them is there is a “wall” around them – i.e. not everyone knows my cell and I can’t receive DM’s from everyone.

Email still ranks #1 for my preference because of the passive nature of it; I don’t respond to everything immediately so the buildup gets significant but with the addition of Sanebox, it should make my life easier.  I do claim “inbox zero” on a weekly basis however.

After reading below, are your preferences similar?  Leave a comment.

**Update** – after reading this over again, I noticed I didn’t include LinkedIn “In Mail” or Facebook messages.  I dislike both :)

Communications Schematic

Content Ownership Discussions

It seems as if everywhere you turn these days, there are lawsuits and memes about content ownership and distribution.   There is one landmark trial occuring (Pirate Bay) as we speek and in a non-legal system, Hulu has pulled out of Boxee.

This is a very hot topic and wanted to link to a few of the discussions.

In terms of Boxee/Hulu, everything is available for a price, so if Boxee wanted to pony up a few bucks for Hulu aggregated content, I’m sure they wouldn’t turn it down.

Taken from Techmeme:

the Hulu situation (Boxee Blog) —  we love Hulu. they have built a great product and brand (including one the best Superbowl ads this year). since our early days in private alpha, Hulu was the most requested site by our users. so we built support for browsing Hulu on boxee, reached out to Hulu …Discussion: Rakesh Agrawal’s Blog, TechSpot, paidContent.org, O’Reilly Radar, Freedom to Tinker blogs, Lifehacker, The Apple Core, Digits, Techdirt, Technologizer, 9 to 5 Mac, atmaspheric, MacDailyNews, CNET News, Gadgetell, Paul Colligan’s …, TUAW, Engadget, Gizmodo, Obsessable, Epicenter, HipMojo.com, Edible Apple, Online Video Watch, GeekTonic, Download Squad, MediaMemo, Contentinople, ReadWriteWeb, TechCrunch and digg.com
The Pirate Bay Trial – First Day in Court Discussion: Threat Level, Gizmodo, Rick Falkvinge, p2pnet, BBC and digg.com
Pirate Bay Plea: Stop Hacking the Music Industry! —  There can be no doubt.  This week has seen a level of support for The Pirate Bay that has taken almost everyone by surprise.  Sure, everyone knows it is the biggest BitTorrrent site and sure, the people who run it are some of the biggest characters …Discussion: The Register, p2pnet and P2P Blog

50% of Charges Against Pirate Bay Dropped —  What has been shown in court today is that the prosecutor cannot prove that the .torrent files he is using as evidence actually used The Pirate Bay’s tracker.  Many of the screenshots being used clearly state there is no connection to the tracker.

A quite active topic of “Hulu Boxee” on Twitter:  http://search.twitter.com/search?q=hulu+boxee
For those interested in content ownership and business development, these links should provide amazing insight into many different opinions of these areas.

Digital Tidbits from the West Village

Yesterday, we had an adhoc get together in the West Village and discussed all things digital media.  Just because the SXSW Interactive festival is happening in Austin right now, doesn’t mean that we can’t get smart people together here in New York.

The weather (rain) certainly was a deterrent but for the diverse group of people who showed up, it was great.  Topics discussed included social networks and the filtering of relationships, investing in early stage companies (pre-revenue), Twitter’s technical infrastructure, voice peering exchanges, and such.

I love these get togethers as it brings people together to chat about likeminded topics.  Stay tuned for more in the upcoming weeks.   Thanks to all who joined!

Binary Conversations, Remember Those?

For the most part, everything we discuss these days is all about digital and groups. Facebook, Bebo, Plenty of Fish, conferences, CES, etc are all about groups of people interacting in a communicative way.

We sometimes forget that binary conversation, or a conversation consisting of two people still exists and is thriving in certain situations. In a world of digital, it’s very easy to forget about binary.

When I get in the car in the morning to drive to the train station, I put on 660 WFAN to listen to Carton and Boomer discuss sports. This is a binary conversation where I am listening to them and only them. On the train, I am either reading a magazine or a book, and that’s binary as well.

In a world where it’s very easy to talk with multiple people at any given time, we often use digital to talk binary. Think about the Facebook platform where we can shout to hundreds of friends OR, we can message one person individually to engage in conversation. The digital medium can be one-to-many or one-to-one, and everything in between.

Sometimes we forget about these conversations. Binary still exists.