In 1974, former World Bank Economist Anne Krueger wrote a famous article defining "rent-seeking." The term, of course, stems from the practice of gaining ownership of land and forcing tenants to pay rent. As an economic principle, the idea is that rather than creating new wealth through growth, some … [Read more...] about eBooks, Copyright and “Rent-Seeking”
Here are a few notes from a recent cross-country flight. I'm not sure what I was reading at the time ("The Lean Startup?"), but it's sound advice. Any really good accountant will tell you that the numbers should inform your decisions, not make them. Analytics work best when chasing incremental … [Read more...] about The Religion of Analytics
Since the election, my former co-worker Sean Gallagher has been doing a great series on the presidential election's digital campaigns for Ars Technica. After reviewing the campaigns' financials, his overall conclusion is that by hiring great people and focusing on open-source and off-the-shelf … [Read more...] about IT Dept Deathmatch: Obama’s Project Narwhal vs. Romney’s Orca
Commodity a good or service whose wide availability typically leads to smaller profit margins and diminishes the importance of factors (as brand name) other than price --Merriam-Webster The New York Times' Tanzina Vega reports on a type of automated ad buying called programmatic or real-time bidding … [Read more...] about Why Digital Media Can’t Rely on an Advertising-Only Business Model
The media is finally figuring out figures. The coverage of Nate Silver's tremendous success at statistical analysis has shown both that sophisticated data analysis can be newsworthy -- and have tremendous real-world impact. According to the New Republic, on Nov 5th, Silver's 538 blog garnered over … [Read more...] about Media Enters the Age of (Statistical) Reason
They look like this: Just for the record: The quote is from Yoda in "Star Wars," not Dumbledore ("Harry Potter"), and the image is of Ian McKellen as Gandalf. Also, here's another wildcard, the image isn't from "Lord of the Rings" It is a promotion still from the film "The … [Read more...] about When Fact-Checkers Have Nightmares
In the past two years, many large media properties have begun focusing on delivering "sharable" content -- articles aimed at increasing links in social media. This is somewhat in contrast to a common strategy of the previous years: creating "searchable" content, aimed at increasing an article's … [Read more...] about Delivering ‘Likeable’ Content NPR-Style
Mark J. Perry, author of the popular Carpe Diem economics blog, says that advertising revenue is in the kind of freefall that he calls " another one of those huge Schumpeterian gales of creative destruction." Here is his evidence: via Mark J. Perry's Carpe Diem blog … [Read more...] about Will Newspapers Be Gone in Five Years?