Which president was the first to appear on a comedy show?

Which president was the first to appear on a comedy show?

When President Barack Obama appeared on The Colbert Report last week -- as part of the countdown to the show's being shuttered on December 18 -- some groused that he shouldn't have. Certainly, Obama has set a record when it comes to connecting with popular culture through niche television shows. But who was the first president to appear on a comedy show? (Hint: it was a Republican.) The first to appear on cable entertainment? (Hint: it was a Democrat. Both were candidates for the office at the time.) For the answers to these questions -- as well as which president was the first to broadcast a press conference from the White House and who was the first to record campaign speeches for the masses -- check out my story at Medium: Politicians, campaigns and popular culture The mass media journey from wax recordings to The Colbert Report leads directly to our internal conflict…continue reading →
Dear Netflix: please make your UI easier to use

Dear Netflix: please make your UI easier to use

Netflix is now available in 41 countries and its subscriber base grew by approximately one-third from third quarter 2012 to third quarter 2013. It has demonstrated creative chops with House of Cards (first Emmy for an online-only TV show) and Orange is the New Black (highly acclaimed). But to add new customers -- and retain its current base -- Netflix has to do more than create original content. It must make it drop-dead easy to watch-on-demand, whether that's original programming, syndicated television shows or movies. Netflix clearly prefers its customers watch streaming movies rather than deal with inventory, handling and shipping. The only option on a title description page is add the title to the watch instantly list, although a search entry contains both options.     These three user interface suggestions would make "watch instantly" just a little bit easier. And reduced friction in a transaction -- or a lower…continue reading →