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A Purposeful Rant


Kenneth Jarecke, Contact Press Images

I've been having some issues lately with my home internet provider.

A quick recap... btw I'm forced to use a satellite service (the boondocks thing) so it is expensive (with the added benefit of being slow).

1) I upgraded to a faster modem.

2) The new modem didn't work.

3) After four hours on the phone with several nice people from India and Maryland, and one creepy guy from who knows where, it was determined that the problem could be fixed with a simply service call and a $125 fee.

4) Being that everything worked fine just four hours before the $125 service fee didn't sit well with me.

5) I am no longer using this provider.

Now, this internet provider was spun off from a bigger satellite home entertainment provider a few years back after it was bought by a huge media mogul. At some point during my four hour phone ordeal things started to make sense (hey, better late than never).

Providing the internet to rural areas via a satellite dish is a dead-end business. At some point people will connect through the power lines, cell networks or whatever. There's no growth there. The media mogul realized this right away. The current owner(s) know this also. They don't have any incentive to provide good customer service or to upgrade their product. There only goal is to squeeze as much money out of the business as they can before it goes belly-up.

The reason this is of interest (well, at least to me) is that the same type of media moguls (or in many cases the same exact people) that are running (ruining) the publishing industry have most likely made the same business decision.

All of the technicians, the sales people, and the mangers of my former internet provide wanted to help me, but they are under strict orders to sell that $125 service call, regardless of the effect it has on customer satisfaction, or even if it results in losing customers (btw, the contractor that actually makes the call only gets about $25 for the effort).

Just like all of the good editors and such (that are left) at the magazines. They really want to create great content. The business side just won't let them.

In fact the business side of the publishing industry is actively working to destroy the magazine content that attracts viewers (the product they sell to advertisers) in the first place.

They've written off the business model. Not because it doesn't earn money, but because it doesn't earn enough money for them to bother with.

Remember, we're talking about the content, not the means of delivery. They've made the mistake of confusing the two. Content is what brings viewers, regardless of how it reaches them.

The picture above? That was the best thing I could find to illustrate this piece in thirty seconds.

The Russian words say "exit" and that's a statue of Lenin in the background. It was made in 1992 after the fall of communism.

Introducing My Print Club


Kenneth Jarecke, NYC Bathers, 1990

Do you like photographs?

Do you ever feel like you might want to have some hanging on your wall?

If so, do I have the place for you.

I've been uploading images to a site I call Ken's Print Club, over the last month or so. All of the images (like the one above) are available for purchase as fine photographic prints.

The good news is that the print quality is amazing and (I think) the price is about right.

The bad news is that I'm not really sure if these are the type of images people actually want to hang on their wall. I guess we'll see.

The prints are available on 17x22 archival paper and are made with pigment inks, so the longevity is up around the 150 year range.

The site is setup like a blog, which means it is really easy for people to post comments (I'm a big believer in customer satisfaction).

I'm a little excited and also a little nervous. This should be interesting.

AT WORK by Annie Leibovitz Now Available

AT WORK by Annie Leibovitz is now available.

I haven't seen my copy yet, because I live out in the boonies. So, what are you going to do?

I'm also still waiting for the entire fourth season of Dr. Who, which was released yesterday. Yeah, that's how I roll.

In the meantime, David Hobby has a nice post over on Stobist that is worth checking out.