Ed Driscoll

The Long Tail And The Lack Of Manly Mass Media

Having written a pretty nifty piece (if I do say so myself) earlier this year on Chris Anderson’s concept of The Long Tail of the Internet, I had planned to link to his recent blog post illustrating its poweful impact on assorted legacy medias. I found it (as you probably did as well) via Glenn Reynolds, who has since added this addendum to his post:

UPDATE: Reader Frank Hujber emails:

Regarding your post on the media meltdown, every six months or so, we encounter an article disparing why the loss of the male audience. Every time, I parse the article and try to find the organization responsible for the survey, and I send them an email pointing out to them the possibility that perhaps they are not showing men enough respect. I might be wrong, but in my view, the media gives so much to the women’s point of view that they demonstrate disrespect, or at the very least, dismissiveness, for men and masculinity and fatherhood. I’m convinced that this is the reason men are no longer interested in watching anything but sports.

Anyway, whether I’m right or wrong, I never even get the shortest of replies. It occurs to me that they’re so well steeped in their own view that they won’t even listen to the notion that they might be wrong.

It seems like there MIGHT be some significant business opportunity there.

You’d think. This is a theme that’s been addressed here before. Send ’em a link to Doris Lessing! Or, if you’re really angry, to Steve Verdon. Yeah, people notice this stuff.

The biggest offender is television, if only because it’s such an image-driven medium. When I flew down to L.A. for Pajamas stuff in September on Southwest, their inflight magazine had an article suggesting some ways for television to woo men back into the fold. But the double standard that Glenn and others have written about has become such a hard-wired component of the MSM’s mindset.

The technology of television has become much smarter over the past decade at an exponential pace (DBS, HDTV, TiVO, et al), which if anything will quicken its pace as it goes forward. But the collective mindset of the folks in New York and Hollywood who create the media that goes into our set-top boxes is probably too reactionary to reverse course in any timeframe could remotely be called the foreseeable future. And as with the movie industry, they don’t seem to care much about the audience it’s cost them.