Mass consumption

Mass consumption: In a story for TV Week, Joe Mandese reports on some punditry from Veronis Suhler projecting that by 2007 the average American will spend 3,874 hours per year with the major consumer media, according to “Investment Considerations for the Communications Industry,” a report released last week by investment banker Veronis Suhler Stevenson. That would mark an increase of 792 hours per year, or 21 percent, from the 3,082 hours per year that the average person spent using consumer media in 1977, the year that VSS first began tracking such behavior.”

Okay, let’s do the math:

Assuming one devotes at least 8 hours per day sleeping (or at least preparing for and attempting to), that leaves 16 hours per day of being awake. Okay, so we have around 5,840 (16 x 365 = 5,840) waking hours a year for doing whatever we do when we’re not sleeping. So, if VSS is correct, we’ll be “consuming major media” for 3,874 of those hours (or, 10.6 hours each day), leaving us 1,966 hours (5.4 per day) to do everything else we do. So, according to this analysis, we’ll be spending nearly twice as much time consuming mass media as we spend doing all other things we may do combined. As consumed by mass media as I am, this “projection” just doesn’t add up.

Not likely.


Yet again on the Radar

Yet again on the Radar: In the history of this weblog, one vaporzine more than any other has received publicity for going in and out of business, being “in talks with investors” and for being turned down by investors. Once more, it is being reported by Advertising Age that Radar Magazine may (or may not) be getting $15 million (in two major installments preceeded by one small payment) in backing from “former Moroccan national Maria Oufkir,” the daughter of Gen. Muhammed Oufkir, who was described by a Boston Review writer as the brutul and much-feared minister of the interior for King Hassan II, who ruled Morocco for nearly 40 years.

Twilight? Don’t turn off the lights, quite yet:

Twilight? Don’t turn off the lights, quite yet? James Fallows’ piece in yesterday’s NY Times regarding the impact of the Internet (including blogs) on “information middlemen” is merely a rehash of of a decade-old discussion of media disintermediation. (I know I’ve been pointing people to this Esther Dyson essay on the topc for at least nine years.) However, Fallow’s essay is a good overview of those things happening around us that should cause us all to stop and consider the economics of information. I have blogged on this issue before and, no doubt, will later when I can grab the time.

Middle School Vaporzine Studies

Middle School Vaporzine Studies: As a rising eigth grader in this weblog’s household would benefit from this program, I’m considering moving to Hortonville, Wisc., next year after reading about a 20-year-old program that all would-be magazine entreprenuers should be required to take.


Hortonville Middle School students spent seven weeks on DEADLINE, a project in which the 150 students created and edited their own magazine by collecting from their peers articles, advertisements and art.

Students create a theme, title and description for the magazine. They also write query letters to solicit for fake money to help finance the magazine. Then they collect magazine content from their peers.

One of the major skills necessary to the project is the ability to proofread and edit, McMorrow said. If an article had errors, it was not a reflection on the writer but that of the editor, she said.

Students also had to avoid bankruptcy, which in the game of DEADLINE means that a student would go bankrupt, or lose points, if they did not meet their deadline.

Now, that’s education!