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Archive for August 2010

Dear New York Times

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I love your newspaper. I read it every day. In fact, sometimes I read it several times a day. I carry it with me everywhere I go so I can read it on the train, while eating lunch, walking down the street, in the bathroom, waiting in line… wherever. I love your writing, the stories and the format. I am getting it all for free too.

I get the NYT on my HTC Evo. It’s great because it updates all day and I never spend a dime. I noticed the only advertisement I EVER see is for home delivery. I’ll be honest, you will never get me to order a subscription. I still purchase books and magazines, but newspapers are too big and don’t add value to me. I hate getting newsprint on my fingers and I don’t feel like carrying around one more thing (right now I just carry my phone and wallet… I’m sure those two will merge eventually too). I would consider a monthly recap/collectors edition magazine with the best stories, best photographs and best of everything, but I don’t see myself ordering a full paper with home delivery.

So my suggestion: do a little pop up ad here or there. I won’t mind. Add a little ad for a deli at the bottom. Or maybe get a locksmith to throw in an ad here or there at the bottom of a story. Or a car dealership can advertise. Whatever. You could compete with ads sold by Google, Facebook, Myspace and the other sites that have popped up selling ads. In fact, as a photographer that makes money from people advertising, I will LOVE you for it!

The fact is: I love the work you do and I want you to keep doing it. in fact, I want you to hire some more strong writers and turn it in to the best news publication in the world… and I want it or free. So charge for ads on mobile devices and get a few on there! Really, it is much better than trying to convince me to pay to have the paper delivered to my home and will actually save you money (no paper + no shipping + no delivery costs = more money you can spend on hiring writers, giving yourself bonuses and catered lunches)

Thanks for reading,
Michael Donovan

Written by Michael Donovan

31/08/2010 at 2:08 pm

The New New York

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There are two battles going on involving building in New York.

1) The mosque near Ground Zero
2) Penn Station near Empire State building.

Here’s my thoughts on each project:
1) Build it.
2) Build it.

It’s 2010, practically 2011. Both disagreements are issues started by people who are against progress. In the case of the Mosque: people are trying to stop other people from practicing their religion in a city that is built on openness. Going against the mosque is the most Un-New York thing a person can do. And the people in DC, Florida, Kansas and Albany that are against the mosque really do not have a voice in this one since this is our backyard, not theirs. Ask the average New Yorker and we’ll say “Yep. Build it. It’s not a big deal.”

As for the Empire States building vs Penn State issue: the problem has come up because the people at the Empire State Building are concerned this would destroy the skyline. The Empire State building would be blocked from midtown views across the hudson in Jersey. And it would create an interruption in the skyline. SO WHAT?!

Personally, I loved the Chicago skyline when I lived there. And I loved that it was constantly changing. The building owners want to keep their tower a tourist trap. But if the owners of the Empire State Building really had balls, I mean REAL balls they would remember that the Empire State Building is only as tall as it is, and carries its weight as it does, because the original developers said “hey! We’re going to make the tallest fucking building in America!” The story of the race to the top between Empire State Building and the Chrysler building is historical (and that is what they sell to tourists, along with the views… not the elevator ride).

If you go to Chicago, you’ll see the original skyscrapers, tallest churches and many other once-been-giant buildings ecliplsed by surrounding buildings two and three times their height. Personally I hate the city of Chicago but I love their willingness to go higher and create more. I would hate to see Chicago even try to be compared with New York but the owners of the Empire State Building seem to want that.

So if the men owning the building had real balls they would build their own building and quit standing on the shoulders of the dead. They might even include a mosque on the top floor if they were truly ballsy. But, to try to heed progress in a city known worldwide for being #1, they’re acting like complete idiots and I will proudly say

Build it.

{PS: My thoughts one the matter are not altered by the fact that the owners of the ESB refused to light up the building blue and white to celebrate Mother Theresa’s birthday. I DO find it terrible that they would be willing to change the light for a turkey sandwich or to celebrate the birthday of a twinkie, but refise to change the lights for one night to honor a peace keeper)

Written by Michael Donovan

28/08/2010 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Architecture, Culture