Friday Noon Update 10/30/09

TALKING TO OURSELVES: To solve our problems, we need fresh ideas from perspectives different than our own. “We need to hear from people we don’t know, exploring things we don’t know about and examining potentially useful solutions we have yet to consider.”

After sitting through a conference at Harvard aimed at coming up with new media business models, Alan Mutter headlines, “Wild guesses won’t solve journalism crisis.” [Newosaur]

I was neither the first nor the only one in the room to note that the overwhelming number of conferees were white men well past the age of 45. This description most definitely applies to yours truly.

Apart from the obvious demographic skew in the room, the worldview among the participants appeared to be strikingly homogeneous, too.

When a speaker tried to make the point that young people today don’t read newspapers but might do so as they mature, someone asked how many in the crowd read newspapers when they were in college. Almost everyone in the room raised his hand and the group chuckled at the realization that we were hardly a random sample of even our own graying generation.

Given the absence of even a shred of research into modern consumer attitudes and the almost absolute lack of young people in the room, the best conferees could do was to discuss the behavior they observed in their children (or grandchildren).

FATSO: Imus talks about the weighty issue in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race — Republican Chris Christie’s weight. “We got to spur our economy. Dunkin’ Donuts, International House of Pancakes — those people have to work too.”

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