MediaShift/ONA Mixer in Boston

Come meet Dorian Benkoil and Mark Glaser, founder and editorial director of PBS MediaShift, on Wednesday, September 21, in Boston, to help kick off the Online News Association's annual conference. The first round is on Media Shift, just find the guy in the hat! Click here for more information.
Wednesday, September 21 · 7pm - 9pm
Storyville (formerly The Saint)
90 Exeter St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 236-1134

This mixer, co-hosted by MediaShift and the ONA, is sponsored by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Please RSVP for the event with this form.
(Note: You don't have to be registered for the #ONA11 conference to attend the mixer.)

Amazon as the Biggest Media Company? (UPDATED)

This post has been UPDATED to add content and edit with further thoughts, facts and observations. (Marked with **)

= = = =
This is quite an assertion from
Amazon has swiftly become the most disruptive company in the media and technology industries. Its potential in this space is simply off the charts: bigger than Apple’s, bigger than Google’s or Microsoft’s. It’s becoming a purer version of all three.
OK, well, maybe. Yes, Amazon is huge and hugely influential. But c'mon. The Wired story looks at all the things Amazon "could" do, asserting they will do them. Amazon can become a true media producer, can become a platform on which others build -- can do a lot of things.

So can Google or Apple (or maybe even Microsoft). But it's not a foregone conclusion they'll succeed. Or that they, by launching various ventures, will find them profitable. Or even that they can produce reams of great content -- something they have tried, pulled back from, and are trying to do again. They execute their Web commerce business like a charm. Their Kindle was a first-to-market leader that has, **if not created a category, made it truly viable, as Apple did for MP3 players with its iPod.

But let's not forget that Kindle lost significant market share after the iPad came out and offered not only a seamless way to buy and read books with great functionality, but also -- perhaps most importantly -- worked with publishers on pricing in a way Kindle never had. And let's not forget how the iPhone lost market share after Google's Android took hold.**

The story makes the case that Amazon will eliminate the middleman. That's something they've done for years -- exploiting inefficiencies, using technologies, gathering data, squeezing more. They're adept and disruptive in the way all great Web companies are. I like but don't love the Kindle (which you'll see on this blog) because it was (and is) a closed platform that makes it hard to do a lot of the things one can on the open Web, and that requires you to license a book the use of which is controlled by Kindle (which at least now lets you read on just about every popular screen -- from laptop to Blackberry; though not, officially, the Nook, eh?).

But it's not like Google doesn't know anything about eliminating inefficiencies, or being an engine of commerce. Or that Apple doesn't know about having direct relationships with consumers. And, don't forget that the Android upon which the Kindle is based -- even if it is forked from Google's -- was created by Google.

News Consumption Tilts Toward Niche Sites -

Readers have peeled off into verticals of information — TMZ for gossip, Politico for politics and Deadspin for sports, and so on.
That's what the NYTimes says. Like this is news?

Rafat Ali on Entrepreneurs '/ Mike Arrington

"You really don’t have the hustle unless you’re the owner. If you aren’t the owner, you’ll never have the passion that the owner has.

For you, did that passion diminish once you sold {PaidContent to the Guardian U.K.}?

It did. It’s like a switch in your brain. The moment you sell, that switch goes off – [then] the light dims slowly. That’s what has happened with every entrepreneur I know.

peHUB: Rafat Ali on Mike Arrington: “You Just Have to Move On”