Archive for the ‘Technology’
Even though he became famous in an era of black & white and radio, Tony Schwartz taught core lessons of communication to everyone in the media. Whether they knew it was coming from him or not.
His most famous piece was this campaign spot for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, which, lore has it, ran only once (and never even mentioned the opponent’s name) but was responsible for defeating Barry Goldwater in a landslide.
My mentor, Dale Pon, not only insisted I buy and read Tony’s book “The Responsive Chord,” but that I should meet the man himself, which was an incredible experience. From then on, I made the book required reading among my promotion staff.
Check it out. The things you think you know because you’re smart are probably things that Tony was smart about before we were born.
I’ve been neglecting our friend engineer/inventor/entrepeneur David Karp, the builder, designer, and inspiration of Channel Frederator. Over the last year he’s gone from a low profile developer-for-hire to very high geek profile for his innovative invention of the mainstream tumblelog, micro-blogging platform, Tumblr. The hot New York Post gossip rag Page 6 paid attention a few weeks ago with this article on NYC’s New Wunderkinds. Read their take on David here.
Tumblr shares space with Frederator/East and we’re always thrilled to have his fairy dust rubbing off on us all.
I’m incredibly proud to be associated with tumblr as a member of their newly formed board of directors. And today, two years after the launch of Channel Frederator, is the release of Tumblr 3.0, with over 400 new features big and small.
Why am I telling you, a cartoon fan, about this micro-blogging, tumblelogging, platform? Well, completely aside from the fact that if you’re thinking about starting a new blog, tumblr should be, by far, you choice for the easiest and fastest way to begin, tumblr was invented by the very same David Karp that “imagined” and co-created Channel Frederator and the Frederator Blogs. So tumblr aside, we all ought to be grateful. And to add insult to injury (wrong phrase exactly) tumblr is the inspiration and sponsor of Internet People.
David began his association with Frederator as a 14 year old intern as he was starting home schooling here in New York. Putting aside plans for MIT, he started Davidville as a web development business two years later and imagined and engineered the über-successful Urban Baby. He started thinking about tumblr a couple of years later when he moved his company into the Frederator/New York space. Last year he brought in chief scientist Marco Arment (another great friend and amazing help to Channel Frederator and the Frederator Blogs) and together they’re killing the tech world softly with their song.
Congratulations guys. You’re amazing.
Most of the time I’m not a first mover. Early, sure (blogging, Channel Frederator, VOD Cars), rarely first. But with my music jones I’ve tried to be on top of most everything and often just wanted to kill myself. Over the years, I’ve been a musician, a record producer, a music television producer and most of all a stone music fan. Pop, rock, jazz, R&B, hip-hop, you name it, I’m there. So, the digital revolution has given me a wonder of hopes and frustrations.
I’ve used ‘em all –the original Napster, Winamp, MusicMatch, the HangGo, the Airport Express, heck I’ve even ran SonicNet Radio for a while– and eventually just chocked on the exasperation. The inventors have caught up with my needs –selection, convenience, and (relative) quality for a reasonable price– and though I’m a little behind the true hipsters, I’m finally at (almost) fan nirvana.
I mentioned Eric and I were going to the first Pixelodeon at AFI a few weeks ago. I met founder/organizer/force of nature Irina Slutsky whose day job is the very cool video blog you may have seen: Geek Entertainment TV. She anointed me one of the fanciest people at Pixelodeon on the beautiful AFI patio.
If you think of it, buy her ultra-swift I Was Internet Famous Once t-shirt, you’ll be glad you did.
Writing about Tom Freston earlier has got me reflecting on the great boss we both had who brought us up in the early days of the cable TV business.
An old bio (or Wikipedia entry) of Bob Pittman can fill you in on his media life before he became the key force behind the explosive growth at AOL and as vice chairman of AOL Time Warner. But for me and Tom, MTVN CEO Judy McGrath, and a whole bunch of others, Bob was the inspiration that made us work like hell to build, launch, and grow (like weeds) MTV, Nickelodeon, and Nick-at-Nite, which of course led to the explosions of 27 wildly successful cable networks around the world. As John Stewart mentioned to someone earlier today, Bob (and then Tom) built a company that spawned almost every interesting and worthwhile cable executive today (and the worthwhile ones that didn’t work there desperately hoped to).
From my perspective, Bob not only is/was smart, shrewd, and a saavy judge of talent, but, he has the best immediate media instincts of anyone I’ve ever met. To this day, if I need a ‘right’ judgement on any media issue, small or huge, I call Bob, ask him a question, and the first thing out of his mouth is right. Every. Single. Time.
As to animation, while I had done a lot before, it was Bob’s notion to do what became the revolutionary 10-second animated network IDs we produced for cable throughout the 80s. He had some wild ideas that were too weird even for MTV, and his vision of what they could be really created an alternative career for me and my partner Alan Goodman.
Not everyone had the great luck of timing to be in a room with Bob Pittman in 1980 like me, Tom, Alan, and all the others. Can’t imagine where I’d be without that luck.