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Dear Keith Olbermann
By Dave Winer on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 2:00 PM.

A special comment. #

I say this to every bigtime oldstream media celeb that I care about when they get booted out on their butts.  #

They did you a favor. #

But they sure didn't do the rest of us a favor. #

What interest do your followers have in you being booted off the air? How exactly does that help them? #

To be honest, I stopped watching you on MSNBC after the Obama inauguration. I figured you were going to stay with Washington politics, as you did. I figured that was as good as it was going to get, and all the lobbying and cajoling wouldn't do a bit of good from that point on. I don't have any regrets. Obama isn't much better than Bush unfortunately. That was obvious a few days after the inauguration. #

Actually a caveat. I have watched Olbermann and Madow a few times since the new Congress was sworn in and after the shootings in Arizona. I guess whenever the Republicans have some power and are misbehaving (one and the same event I guess) -- that's when I wanted to know what MSNBC people had to say. #

I felt then as I feel now, that the future of communication is not about the bottleneck that MSNBC and their competitors control. I don't think you really need them. Unless of course you need to make $5 million a year, in which case you probably do need them. But if what you're interested in is power to influence public opinion, and becoming more relevant over time, not more niched over time -- if being influential is what you're about, they really did you a favor. #

A picture named videoCamera.jpgSo here's what I recommend. Borrow a page from Conan O'Brien's playbook, and use the social network to communicate with your fans.  #

Get a video camera and put it in your living room or den at home. Hit Record. Sit down in front of the camera and rant for 15 minutes. You can do that, I'm sure. Then without any production at all, upload it to YouTube and send the link around on Twitter. The first time you do it, it will be the most watched video of the day. Far more people will see it than used to see you on MSNBC, or O'Reilly or Beck or any of them. Depending on how fresh and interesting it is, and how real it is, and how compelling you really are (I know that's a lot of "depends") there won't be much of a dropoff on Day 2 and 3 and so on. Now you've got your own network. And no one can shut you down. And you'll have a lot more people watching you. #

You might even get a chance to open people up to some new ideas and god forbid change a few minds. #

And when something dangerous and outrageous or just obnoxious happens, we'll know where to find you. That's kind of important. :-) #

Good night. #

And good luck. #

A picture of a slice of cheese cake. #

Christmas Tree
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