Archive for the ‘The Videos’ Category

Editorial Cartoonists – A Great Example of a Wasted Resource

December 10, 2008

duffy-full-page-cartoon1

I lifted this cartoon from my friend Alan Gardner’s blog, The Daily Cartoonist, who relayed it from Politicker.com.  It’s a shot back against a newspaper that brusquely fired their editorial cartoonist after 25 years of service.  Here’s the background story.

I laughed out loud at the depiction of his old employer’s building (and thus the newspaper itself) close to falling to ruin.  And the sentiment that this artist, Brian Duffy –respected by his peers and beloved by his readers – has chosen to view his termination as a bright new beginning is inspiring. 

However, the sad reality is that as he walks off into the sunrise, as so many local editorial cartoonists have been forced to before him, there are few places for him to go.  The collapsing market for local editorial cartoons has not been replaced.  While Duffy is extremely talented and I have no doubts about his ability to create paying gigs for himself, unless something forces change, he will likely never again be a local editorial cartoonist.  At least not fulltime.   

The absurdity of this situation is that while there is not a good market for local editorial cartoons, demand for them by readers has never faltered.  So what’s standing in the way?  As I’ve been arguing for years, the villain is the Internet’s culture of free.

We now have the technology to shift that culture from free to “free plus compensated.”  If you haven’t seen my video which explains all of this, I’ll post it here again.  You’ll have to excuse my delivery…my thyroid cancer treatment these last several weeks has left me feeling like it’s two hours past my bedtime 24 hours a day.  Unfortunately, you can tell that even my mouth feels tired as my tongue is sluggish.  I apologize for that.  Still, I think you’ll get most of what I’m saying if you take the 9 minutes to watch it all.  That’s a major time commitment these days, so I’ll thank you in advance.

As I explain in this video, cartoonists were once treated as economic heroes.  Now they are being discarded like trash.  That’s not only sad, it’s tremendously stupid.  Cartoonists could be generating wealth for a lot of different people, if their skills were being utilized properly. 

The good news is, when I started this blog just ten days ago to attract resources to my plan, I was in need of $250,000.  I already have $50,000 of that now.  Twenty percent is a good start.  If you have a blog, please help me spread the word about Swig by directing people to this blog, as the swig.me site still isn’t finished…oh well, we can only do what we can do.  By the New Year, these months of surgery and treatments will be history, my cancer will be gone, the holiday slowdown will be over and Swig and me both can get our butts moving. J

Here’s the other side of the coin.  If we save print newspapers, editorial cartoonists can come get back to work in print, as well.  Hey, at least this video is shorter. 😉  

 

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Stopping the Political Mudslide by Changing Journalism

December 10, 2008

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Political discourse in the United States now wallows at the dark and dank level of endless finger point- ing, gotcha games, and “he said/she said.”  After this past election, it’s hard to imagine sinking any lower.  But if some- thing isn’t done to stop the political mudslide, we’ll undoubtedly become covered in what’s now beneath us.

 

So what change can we make to end the hateful torrent that is destroying friendships, obstructing our government’s ability to accomplish anything of real value, and is even making some Americans root against their own country so they can scream “I told you so!”?

 

The answer is to go back to journalistic standards of objectivity. 

 

Journalistic objectivity once acted as the nation’s double boiler.  Anybody making their Christmas fudge knows that a double boiler will keep melting chocolate from getting too hot, ruining its taste and consistency.  Journalism today not only puts us directly on the burner, it turns up the heat!

 

Decades ago, newspapermen decided that the American public was too ignorant to understand the complexities of politics, so they took it upon themselves to write editorials and endorse candidates.  In other words, newspapers told the population how to vote.

 

You’d think that their opinion of us would be somewhat more exalted by now, given that our collective level of literacy and education has greatly improved.  Instead, their belief in our intelligence has dropped.  Nowadays, even in so-called “hard news” stories they take it upon themselves to write not just the facts, but how we should feel about those facts.  “Enlightening the masses” is no longer restricted to the editorial section, either in print or in television news, including both the networks and cable.

 

No matter which side of the political aisle you are on, this should greatly offend you.  And alarm you.  How can we trust what we’re reading and viewing when so much of what they offer is endless spin?  How can we possibly make informed choices, when headlines focus mainly on the inane?

 

“Journalists” should tell us the facts.  Let bloggers and the rest of the public discuss those facts.  Let me and you decide for ourselves how we feel about politicians and events and decide what our own reaction should be.  Even if you and I wind up on opposing sides, at least we’re standing on something solid as we duke it out, rather than thrashing about in muddy quicksand or throwing burnt chocolate at each other.

 

I have a plan to help force journalism back to the standards it once held.  It’s part of the overall vision of my startup called Swig.  I hope you’ll take the time to watch this video and let me know what you think.  Thanks.

 

 

Save Digital Artists Video – Taking on the Google

December 2, 2008
by Keefe Chamberlain and Dawn Douglass

by Keefe Chamberlain and Dawn Douglass

If not for the American pharmaceutical industry, I wouldn’t be alive today and my husband would have died a year sooner than he did.  So I am deeply appreciative of their many benefits and grateful to all the people who make up the industry.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like everything that “Big Pharmaceutical” does.

And so it is with the tech industry.  I hold the tech world in high esteem; I appreciate the many products and services that have come out of it, and on a personal level, I really enjoy geeks.  I love their enthusiasm, a trait inherent to the very word “geek.”  And I admire their many capabilities.  But that doesn’t mean that I have to like everything “Big Tech” does.

No, I’m not a big fan of Google.  Their lust for hegemony rivals that of the Romans.  And they don’t seem to care at all who is hurt along their conquering path.  In fact, there are less destructive, more successful ways for them to earn money than by destroying media via their black-hole-suck-up-of-all-ad-dollars to themselves.  But they enjoy being “disruptive.”  It’s a badge of honor in the tech world to create something that can be destructive.  It means you’ve made something important, something that can earn money by taking it from somebody else who was too fat and complacent to seek a new and better way themselves.  As an entrepreneur myself, not to mention a longtime ambition-nurturing mom, I say when this happens: Good for you!  Go for it. 

But when you get to be the size and power of Google, that “aww, look how cute” quality of a growling puppy has long past.  The founders of Google themselves knew how dangerous they could become.  Very early on, they created the motto “Don’t be evil.”

Destroying the livelihood capacity of large chunks of artist segments like illustration, photography and cartooning… no, I wouldn’t call that evil.  That’s unintended collateral damage from doing business.  But a deliberate multimillion dollar lobbying effort?; a purposeful money grab against “starving artists” who don’t have the financial means to successfully fend off this cowardly indirect and publicly silent attack?; stealthily using the current greedy give-us-money-and-we’ll-strip-anybody-of-their-rights Congress as the weapon of choice? 

Yeah, that’s evil.

The Orphan Works Bill that Big Tech is lobbying hard for is nothing short of a mobster-like protection racket: “If you don’t pay me to protect you from thieves, I’ll take all your work myself, wrap ads around it, and get my money from you that way.”

Mark my words, Google: when you look back in ten years and wonder where it all went wrong, you can point to the Orphan Works Bill of 2008.  Because you’ve awoken a sleeping giant.  The artist world is going to resurrect itself hand-in-hand with those tech-geeks who have artistic hearts.  And there are plenty of them, believe me.  We’re going to start fighting back.  Hard.  And we’ll hit you where you live: advertising.  Ultimately, we’re going to be victorious, because we humans can produce the content all ads need to be successful.  Your massive machine, as impressive as it is, can only steal it.

Want to learn more?  Watch my video on saving digital artists of all kinds:

Save the Economy Video – Introducing Social Object Advertising

December 1, 2008

 

Does trickle down economics work?  Certainly not these last several years when a great percentage of the money that’s been invested at the top isn’t money at all, but pretend money in the form of complicated, illusionary credit schemes.  Consequently, it’s been easy credit that has flowed downward.   This has resulted in an absolute disaster because it’s transferred investment risk and debt responsibility from frontline investors and from bottom line debtors to this nebulous “somebody else.”  That somebody else has turned out to be the American tax payer and investors in foreign lands who used to believe in our financial instruments.

Now the entire world’s economy is washing away and collapsing like a sandcastle on the beach.  What’s more, from top to bottom, we’ve got these incessantly growing gimmee-gimmee government bailout demands that threaten to choke out the companies and individuals who are still bearing fruit.  No wonder everybody is angry!  And frightened.

Seems to me, the first thing we need to do is to go backwards to the basic tenet of capitalism, that “It takes money to make money.”  Money!  Hard cash.  Not these bubble-blowing fictitious-money credit schemes, ala Donald Trump, et al.  This will immediately inject accountability back into the system.  That’s where the U.S. government can take the lead, by establishing common sense regulations.

The second thing we need to do is to move forward by injecting fairness and human-to-human economic connection.  By doing so, we can create a platform for growth – a reconstruction of trust, transaction and stability from the bottom up!  That’s a private sector role and that’s where my plan comes in.  Swig is going to change the rule above to: “It takes investment to make money,” so that investment doesn’t mean just money, but can also include investment of time, talent, skills and passion.

How are we going to do this?  Watch my video and find out!

 

Once Swig is up and running, you can help make sure that those individuals and companies who are most deserving will survive this recession and also help to ensure that this catastrophe doesn’t turn into a decade-long depression.  We’ll be helping ourselves as we help each other!  And have fun while we’re doing it, too!

I can’t wait to get started!  Please join me!!  Tell your friends and family members about Swig and PLEASE sign up for our launch notifications.  The number of you who sign up is the one tangible thing I can point to, to help me secure the funds I need to get us underway.  So please go to www.swig.me now and sign up under “details here” in the bottom right corner of the page.  The first 10,000 of you who do so will get a special offer.  Go check it out NOW!  J Thank you very much!