Ze Frank vs. RocketBoom – What Counts?

It’s great that Andrew got on my TiVo, great that he’s on phones, getting the traditional media comfortable with alternative distribution methods. Andrew deserves our thanks for going down this road (it’s not one that sounds like fun to me).

To his credit, I can’t tell the difference between RocketBoom and the news from local affiliates. So, it must be working. But, I don’t want smaller, shorter television, I want 3 minutes of interestingness.

What’s it matter if RB has 10x the audience if Ze’s fans buy him bling duckies and dress up their vacuum cleaners?

“Should we even care about eyeballs? I don’t. I care about my audience, but my show ends on March 17th, 2007 whether I have one eyeball or a million. Given the current state of web metrics, talking about eyeballs seems to create more risk than value anyway…..In the absence of sane metrics, we’re already repeating the mistakes that turned television into what it is today.” – Ze Frank

And later:

“[Ze] Frank says that Baron’s numbers are inflated and make it difficult for he and other video bloggers to sell advertisements with much lower numbers to offer. …. Ze Frank and many other video podcasters ought to be able to make a living doing what they are doing.” – Marshall Kirkpatrick

Uhhhhh, Mr. Kirkpatrick, there are many other ways to make a living than advertising. Sure, none of them are fashionable, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

There are two problems with metrics:

  1. Measuring the right thing is hard – and different for everyone
  2. What gets measured gets attention – whether or not it’s the right thing

Security is Really Customer Service in Disguise

A confused, elderly woman with a full, knotted, plastic shopping bag was in front of the scanner. The security checkpoint line out of Minneapolis stalled as I put all my stuff in multiple bins.

When a uniformed TSA person asked her if she had a boarding pass, she mumbled the need for help getting a ticket for Transworld Airlines.

“I can’t help you ma’am, I’m the supervisor and I could lose my job if I left my post.”

After a couple exchanges identical to this, the supervisor thankfully handed the woman off to another TSA person.

Reminded me how customer service is smarter, cheaper, more effective, and generally happier than level-orange security.

Reminds me, why are airports so dreary and generally unhappy. Thankfully, Ze Frank gave me the airport smile I was looking for.