Barry Parr, Analyst & Publisher, Media Savvy:
1st October 2003
this interview we garner further evidence that blogging
has gone mainstream.
and media gurus, and punters, around the world are
using blogs to communicate more effectively with their
Parr discusses some of the world's most impressive
technologies, and biggest issues with us.
interview will also be mentioned on the Media
Man Australia blog.
background is eclectic. I have an MBA from Harvard;
experience in magazine, newspaper, and online publishing;
I was a product manager for DHL; I set up two big
news Web sites; and I was an ecommerce analyst for
IDC. I try to bring that broad business experience
to bear in thinking about network media problems.
are the 5 most impressive technologies you know of
today, and why?
for its untapped potential.
because it immerses us in the Net and whacks the hell
out of the economics of cellular.
management, because we're only beginning to see what
these tools can do in the hands of "ordinary"
because it's fast, cheap, and out of control.
Segway scooter, because it's just brilliant. But it
doesn't belong on sidewalks.
has the internet been both a good and bad thing for
publishing and broadcasting? - eg immediacy of information,
freedom of speech, however propaganda reigns in some
places.....elaborate if possible, with examples.
far, the impact has been neutral, because it hasn't
really changed their strategies or finances.
will be completely remade into smaller products because
of online assaults to news at the global level and
classifieds at the local level. Medium term, magazines
will have to rethink their audiences and missions,
with some not making the transition. The long term
impact on broadcast should be neutral because broadcasting
serves a different social function altogether.
do you consider to be your career highlights do date?
Jose Mercury News to the Web was the most fun
and revolutionary. CNET was revolutionary, but not
as much fun. I loved being an analyst because I didn't
wake up every morning worrying about the same business.
should a good website consist of?
depends on the audience. But the main thing a website
needs is a reason to exist.
should a good blog consist of?
best general model is personal, focused, smart, and
able to tell me something I didn't know already. But
the very best blogs can't be categorized that easily.
technology news sources do you trust, other than yourself?
York Times, Wall
Street Journal, and IDG.
Walt Mossberg is the best product reviewer of all
time. Clay Shirky is just brilliant.
were the most instrumental developments than lead
to Goggle's enormous success?
one: focusing on being the best search site on the
Net and not trying to be anything else.
in the sense that it has lost its original vision.
No, in the sense that it's pretty well run for a company
of its size and market share.
- how long will turnover be
looked at more than profit, or loss, whatever the
contains a profitable business. I don't know how long
it will take to strip away the rest of the nonsense.
has internet censorship gone too far?
no special case should be made for Internet censorship.
If something is legal in one medium, it should be
legal in another. The only arguable case for censorship
is child pornography, but that argument is based on
physical exploitation, which is difficult to apply
honestly in cases of possession.
do you see being the end result of the "big 5"
recording labels war on consumers using file sharing
to long term, the labels will be disrupted by independent
distribution. It's just going to take longer than
we thought and will involve some ugly detours into
digital rights management.
file sharing operations like
Networks) continue to flourish, or will file sharing
go further "underground"?
don't see how filesharing can continue to exist as
a worldwide network, but the underground, personal
networks (and networks of networks) could be more
effective anyway and will certainly be harder to kill.
"white lists" the ultimate solution to stop
spam, or is there a better, more practical solution?
lists don't work, but fortunately they're not the
only tool. I've become convinced that we need multiple
solutions to spam; criminal law, civil law, blacklists,
voluntary industry standards, Bayesian filters, filtering
and tagging by the ISP, local filtering by the user,
and other approaches. One single solution isn't going
to work, and it would give everyone the excuse to
say, "the ultimate solution is over there, not
here." Spam is everyone's problem.
you see Government agencies wanting to step in an
further regulate internet broadcasters?
try. It will be difficult, but not impossible in the
US, especially if the Republican keep picking our
judges. I'm less confident about the rest of the world.
the United States, have any internet publishers, broadcasters
or bloggers been sued for defamation or the like?
eg they printed or broadcast some true, damaging news
is too broad to answer and not my area of expertise.
motivated you to start your own blog?
wanted a reason to write every day and I had something
to say. But it wasn't until I had the right tool (Movable
Type) that I was able to make it work for me.
does your blog help you and your clients, associates
forces me to gel my ideas and to explain them. I hope
it give my readers new ideas. I don't know if my clients
benefit. It also tells anyone who's dealing with me
a lot more than I probably know about them.
So far, I'm comfortable with that imbalance.
are the main advantages or a .org domain?
domains make sense when you're really a nonprofit,
or if you can't get the dot-com. Otherwise, it's an
impediment. I used parr.org
because parr.com was already taken. I own both mediasavvy.com
and mediasavvy.org, but I promote my site as mediasavvy.com.
are your current projects?
working on creating a web site for my community. I
want to be able to apply what I've learned about micropublishing
to address serious community issues that are being
ignored by the print press.
do you make a positive difference?
a major goal for my community site. I'm less certain
about MediaSavvy's positive impact. Sometimes I think
it should be called MediaCassandra.
note: A reader friendly friendly interview with a
technology, media savvy guru!