Blast from the past: 30 TV theme songs

Here’s a list of 30 TV shows I watched growing up and their memorable opening credits and theme songs.

I’m amazed how many of these brought instant recall, residing somewhere deep inside the memory bank.

How many of these do you remember?

The quickcuts and synching were way ahead of its time.

1. Hawaii Five-0
2. Mission Impossible
3. The Professionals
4. Little House on the Prairie
5. The Waltons
6. Baretta
7. The Six Million Dollar Man
8. Fantasy Island
9. Dallas
10. Happy Days
11. S.W.A.T
12.The Streets of San Francisco
13. The High Chaparral
14. Bonanza
15. CHiPs
16. Hart to Hart
17. Cheers
18. Greatest American Hero
19. L.A. Law
20. The Equalizer
21. The Incredible Hulk

Celebrates its 50th anniversary today

22. Twilight Zone
23. WKRP in Cincinnati
24. All in the Family
25. Mork and Mindy
26. How the West Was Won
27. The Cosby Show
28. Home Improvement
29. The Brady Bunch
30. Gomer Pyle

Online journalism: Why MSM still doesn’t get it

Alfred Hermida suggests that editors and journalists in the mainstream media still see themselves as the gatekeepers and the people “formerly known as the audience” is still the audience to them:

“The space for the audience to participate in journalism is, by and large, clearly delineated. The public can send in their news tips, photos and videos, but the journalist retains a traditional gatekeeper role, deciding what is newsworthy and what isn’t. There is little room for the public to be involved in the actual making of the news — in deciding whom to interview, how to frame the story and how to produce it. Once the story is complete and published, the audience can freely comment on the final product.”

Some valid points:

1. No change in old media: “A growing body of research suggests that the advent of participatory journalism, or user-generated content (UGC), has done little to change the way the media works.”
2. Journalists still too controlling: “Journalists are seeking to maintain their position of authority and power, rather than create a more open, transparent and accountable journalistic process that seeks to work with readers.”
3. UGC seen as just as a tool for newsgathering not collaboration: “BBC staff see UGC as a part of newsgathering operations; basically, it’s a way of obtaining photos and videos, eyewitness accounts or story tips. Researchers did find some examples of BBC journalists that view it as a way to collaborate on stories, or as a shift towards networked journalism. But these views existed at the edges.”
4. Comments are seen as more work: “Comments were seen as a way to attract more visitors and increase loyalty, but these benefits were counterbalanced by problems with abusive comments, a lack of contributions, and the cost of moderation.”
5. Audience free to comment but not take part in creating: “There are very few signs that news organizations are reinventing their relationship with the audience and tapping into the participatory potential of the web to re-imagine journalism.”

Hermida’s commentary contrasts with former chairman of Dow Jones & Co Peter Kann’s piece in WSJ recently lamenting the “decline of democracy” and that “Quality Reporting Doesn’t Come Cheap”

Kann’s assertions are typical of old media titans still wanting to suckle on the cash cow of old media even while it heads to the abattoir.

Kann’s Martian analogy makes his case even more ridiculous. He says: “Indeed, a business analyst landing here from Mars logically might question why an unwieldy newsprint product, stale as soon as it rolls off the press and not updated till another sun rises, should not be free whereas the new Internet product, offering all the same news plus more and evolving as does the news around the clock, should not be worth a pretty price? An even wiser Martian might conclude that customers should be given a choice, or offered a combination, but that they should be expected to pay for both.”

Hah. I am sure any alien of superior intelligence arriving here would wonder why it took us so long to figure out that printing ink on flattened trees was far more destructive to our planet, regardless of the business considerations of setting up paywalls to supposedly save “the future of news.”

Mr Kann’s belief that the public is “the loser” from the rise of the Internet and blogs – which, in his narrow view, is all about “comment” – must be reading a different Internet. The net has brought more diversity to news as content than any other single news organisation or indeed collectives of news publishers.

And the public, Mr Kann, is now the winner on many counts – more access, interactivity, better viewpoints, clearer visuals, richer content, and the immense capacity to add, share, mould and re-distribute the news as they see fit.

The net is empowering us as a whole new generation of citizens of the world. News should be what we make of it, not what a few people want to dictate it to be behind their walled gardens and ivory towers. And this is why your empire will continue to crumble, with false prophets like Mr Kann preaching about “saving democracy”, when in truth, they only want to marginalize the many to enrich the few.

Note: Alfred Hermida blogs at

The rise of Twitter

A Burson-Marsteller July 2009 study of Fortune 100 companies surprisingly found that more companies had a presence on Twitter (54%) than on Facebook (29%).

Comparing the use of Twitter vs. Facebook vs. corporate blogs, the study states about one-fifth of Fortune 100 firms only used one of the three channels and those companies were overwhelmingly likely to choose Twitter (76%) over Facebook (14%) or blogging (10%).

Companies that used two of the three channels were most likely to have a blog plus a Twitter account (64%).

Many of the companies surveyed do not even have a blog (68 percent) but instead have embraced Twitter.

So what are these companies using Twitter for?
1. Company news updates
2. Customer service
3. Direct marketing responses
4. Promotions, deals and contests
5. Employee recruitment

Examples of companies on Twitter: @SearsDeals, @WalmartSpecials, @Lowes, @BestBuy, and @VerizonNewsroom. Many have multiple accounts eg: ATT has accounts for Small Biz, Mobile Music, News, and Job Recruitment among others.

Earlier, Compete reported that Twitter and Facebook had pretty flat months in July and August 2009.

Twitter chalked a sliver of rise in uniques of 1.27% with 23.58m visitors but a -2.99% drop in visits, down to 148.65m. Facebook had 122.22m unique visitors in August; a -0.37% drop compared to July, but it grew to 2.2b visits in the same period, rising 4.69%. MySpace, Bebo and hi5 dropped unique visitors by -6.73%, -7.68% and -15.36%, respectively.

An earlier report from comScore, states that Twitter passed a fairly big milestone in July of 50 million unique visitors worldwide, reaching 51.6 million unique visitors at the end of the month. In US visitors, Twitter grew to 21.2 million uniques from 20m in June, representing 41 percent of traffic. International visits now represents 59 percent of traffic.

Note that estimates only count traffic to whereas many users may not even go to the site and update via various popular Twitter clients ie. Tweetdeck, Twitterfeed, Twhirl, Twitterberry, Twitterrific, Twitterfon, Hootsuite and Seesmic.

Mashable: Flat month for social media
Burson-Marsteller and Fortune 100 social media study
Burston-Marsteller report on Slideshare
eMarketer: Marketers embrace Twitter over Facebook

Taking the twit out of Twitter

My recent presentation:

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