for Sacramento and Beyond
|The Return of KWOD-ZAP|
|Introducing the Nu Pop Culture|
|Book Explores McClatchy Broadcasting History|
|2015 Music News|
|Why It's Illegal To Be Homeless In Sacramento|
|Jane Sibbett Interview: From KRAT to Hollywood|
|Interview with 98 Rock's Pat Martin|
|KZAP Returns to Sacramento Airwaves|
|Captain Carrot at Sac Music Fest|
|Live 105 / SF Radio History|
|Interview with San Jose Radio's Dana Jang|
|Interview with A&R Man Marc Nathan|
|Sacramento Radio History|
|How To See Through Media Distortion|
|History of Sweets in the White House|
|History of Sugar Addiction in Pop Culture|
|Interview with Music Biz Vet Jerry Jaffe|
|Interview with L.A. indie rocker Zebidy Tank|
|Timeline of American Television|
|Interview with Harley White, Jr. on Jazz|
|San Francisco Virtual Tour Videos|
|Examples of Musician Blogging Errors|
|The Legend of KZAP|
|Shifting to Health Food Starting with Smoothies|
|History of Recording Arts Schools|
|Sacramento Rock and Roll Museum|
|How Apps Took Over Pop Culture|
|History of DIY Music|
|Mass Mania in Slow Motion|
|KWOD Story: The Rise of Alternative Radio|
|Kally O'Mally Releases New Album|
|Lance Walden's SF Coastal DJ Dream Job|
|Interview with UK Singer/Songwriter James Cook|
|Johnny Pride of The Features Still Writing Songs|
|Anton Barbeau Prepares For New Album|
|History of the Sacramento Fire Department|
|History of Ambulance Fraud in America|
|Brainstorming, Brainwriting and Brainwalking|
Thanks for visiting this evolving website that covers media, arts and fun. I'm Alex Cosper. If you've ever heard me on the radio in Sacramento, San Francisco, Milwaukee or Palm Springs, thanks for listening.
I now write for several websites including this one, my radio/music encyclopedia site Playlist Research and my original music site Tangent Sunset.
SacTV was originally based in Sacramento, featuring several videos of my hometown. In 2014 I moved to San Diego and decided to keep this site alive as a Sac and beyond resource, featuring content on "social arts."
As a writer/researcher I've written for big and small companies about tech, business, entertainment and many other things. I enjoy the internet because it lets me express myself in more ways than radio ever did. I can cover any topic I want without worrying about offending sponsors.
That's why this site is expanding in so many different directions. I believe in empowering people with knowlege, which I think is more valuable than money, especially since dollars aren't even worth the paper they are printed on anymore.
One of the problems, however, that still exists with the internet, which is supposed to be the place where "content is king," is that the tech industry creates huge expensive hurdles, that I have learned to bypass by using simple HTML and common sense, with a focus on content rather than the bells and whistles of tech.
If you happen to write code for living, more power to you. It probably means you make decent money. However, I don't feel like paying anyone, including techies, $90 per hour for web design or to create web applications. That's why SacTV is such a simple looking website, although it is rich in content.
Another reason why this site looks so plain and simple is that's the best way to create a cross-platform website that works for both desktop and mobile users. I originally decided to go with this minimalist concept of focusing on text rather than design or coding because that's what Google called for long ago as "search engine optimization" was entering the internet lexicon.
Over the years, Google has changed its mind on many things that it was clearly misguided on in its early days, such as believing that the number of links from other sites indicated online popularity.
Google has since realized that everything it tries to dictate ends up messing up website priorities, which should really be on useful content for users, not stupid techniques for robots.
Due to too much link spam comprising useless links to nowhere, slowing down the search for real content, a light bulb when on in someone's head at Google that the true measure of a website's worth is in fact it's content, not quantity of links or keywords or any of the other misguided philosophies that lead to web spam.
Yes, Google learns slowly the hard way what works and what doesn't in terms of trying to appropriately rank web pages in its search results. Yet everything that Google keeps inching toward I learned from my college coursework in communications back in the eighties. I knew way back then before any search engine was ever thought of how popularity can be distorted through statistics.
Apparently, Google never thinks to consult with professionals who have actually been successful in avoiding popularity distortion. I learned from interfacing with the music industry how the pop charts are rigged to create false impressions of popularity.
I learned about how fake the music charts were even before Frederic Dannen's book Hitmen in 1989 exposed radio payola scams. While many radio stations that aired current music participated in such radio scams back then, I steered clear of nefarious activity since I cared more about serving my local community in Sacramento.
In fact, part of my vision for making KWOD a community leader was to expose scams, especially in the corporate world. It also helped shape my on-air humor.
Has Google figured out yet that the music industry seems to always have tricks up their sleeves how to fake out the public and radio stations when it comes to pretending which artists are popular? Well, as late as 2013, Google's YouTube had to penalize major labels by throwing out millions of fake YouTube views that were apparently faked through software that automated clicks.
Again, I knew back in the eighties that manipulating data has always been business as usual for the music industry.
In recent years Google has learned how to deal with useless websites by issuing algorithmic updates for its robots that crawl web pages. Backlinks are still supposedly important, but they have to be from relevant and authoritative sites, otherwise Google might just judge the links as spam and downgrade sites in search rankings.
Again, I've tried to keep links relevant all along, long before Google started out as a goofball search engine that used pathethic misinformed non-human methods for ranking websites. So much for all that expensive tech, much of which has gone to waste over the years. Yes, they are learning to grow up but the evolution is pretty slow compared with the knowledge that's been in my head since the mid-eighties.
Despite Google's over-paid techies coming up with such a goofy misconception about popularity in the early days of search rankings, I learned a lot about what makes things popular in our culture from my studies at Sacramento State (CSUS), where I earned a BA degree in Communications in 1984, the year the home computer revolution began to take off.
I took a Basic Computer Science class in 1982 but thought it was extremely boring, yet somehow earned a passing grade. Through Sac State I was placed in a radio station internship at KWOD 106.5 in Sacramento for my senior year.
After my internship expired in June, when I graduated from college, KWOD offered me a job on the air and in the music and programming departments, as well as public affairs. Over the next decade I steadily moved up the ladder, first to Music Director in 1988 then Program Director in 1991.
Under my programming this independently-owned station climbed from bottom of the ratings to top five. In 1995 it was one of the highest rated alternative radio stations in America. I began working on a computer system in 1988 to schedule the music, which I enjoyed, but in no way did I rely on this technology for making sure the sound of the station was human as opposed to robotic.
After leaving KWOD in 1996 I worked at a few more radio stations, but it was never the same industry again, as a new law allowed big corporations to buy out much of the radio dial across the country. Starting in 1997 I wrote for the music/radio industry trade magazine Virtually Alternative for the next four years.
During that time I interviewed many top radio and music executives. I also launched Sacramento's first 24 hour internet station, SacLive in 1999, which was devoted completely to the local music scene.
Like Steve Jobs, who I admire as much as John Lennon and Nikola Tesla, I am fascinated with innovation, pop culture and doing what it takes to improve society. While I appreciate much of Apple and Google's innovations, I am not impressed with the concept that I'm supposed to go through techies to get my message across.
So please forgive me if I don't make SacTV a fancy looking website. I care more about sharing art and information that might inspire people. One of the reasons I admire Steve Jobs is he based his business model on the Beatles, my favorite recording group. He also donated many free computers to schools to improve education.
Ironically, the more tech you add to a website, the more it potentially slows it down. Slow loading websites are penalized by search engines. Of course, if the sites are on expensive servers, then you can stack as much techie tricks on your site as possible and not worry much about getting punished in search rankings.
Another incredible irony about the tech biz, which I've written a lot about, is that like the automotive biz, it does whatever it can to make sure its creations become outdated within a certain time frame.
This built-in obsolescence stragegy forces people to upgrade their technology rather frequently, draining hard earned cash just so that techies can become richer. New tech innovations usually have nothing to do with improving the quality of web content, but tech companies have been successful at convincing businesses that its fickle fashions are authentic.
The latest trick the tech biz has pulled on website owners is trying to force them to convert their sites to be "mobile-friendly." That's why SacTV, which at one time featured several photos on the home page, now avoids semi-big files and uses silly looking big font. Using regular font just wouldn't pass Google's mobile-friendly test, as it kept saying "text too small, links too close together."
Even though smartphone users told me the site looked ok as it was, in order to pass the mobile test I had to make adjustments for small screens and ridiculous browsers that can't seem to agree on standards for displaying web pages.
The site now passes Google's mobile-friendly test. Instead of wasting a lot of time learning tons more boring code that was bound to burn out my eyes and is worthless beyond web design, I chose the path of least resistance, which is to keep the site simple by making it content-intensive instead of full of trendy digital gimmicks.
Again, sorry if the site's appearance bores you to death, but that's the easiest way to make it cross-platform on all devices.
As lame as it seems, the tech biz gets off on pulling the rug from under content developers who are persuaded to spend tons of money on their new innovations, much like how Wall Street controls the economy, making sure that the top 1% gets to keep and control most of the money. That's not really capitalism or a free market, since it's controlled by big bullies, but it is something we all have to live with or work around.
Techies should be aware that their days are numbered when it comes to making big bucks for just knowing how to write code. That's not just my own dream, it's where things are really headed. Many tech firms are beginning to outsource to cheaper labor overseas when it comes to writing code, which anybody can learn if they want to throw their lives on jamming their brains with symbols and jargon that will inevitably outdate itself.
I prefer to spend my time acquiring useful knowledge that isn't so temporary and non-transferrable to other types of work.
The view of Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who was a major tech player in revolutionizing Wall Street software, is that code writing in general will someday be written by low cost workers in India and China.
The key to survival in the tech world will ultimately come down to ideas. He compares 20th century tech with "marching bands" who follow lockstep with conductors while 21st century tech will be more like "jazz bands" in which improvisation will define business success.
I agree that's where things are moving. Information Technology professionals need to be aware that some IT jobs will prevail, but due to many businesses moving to "the cloud" for cost savings, it will be very important for all techies to learn about cloud computing or get lost in the shuffle.
My future is certainly not going to be about learning more code or paying more money to the tech biz to "keep up with the times." The internet was originally intended to be for educational purposes, which is how I enjoy it.
Another huge irony about Google is that it still relies on Wikipedia for driving web surfers to the information they are searching for, since Google itself doesn't serve much original content. Yet, as of May 2015 Wikipedia, the number 6 site on Alexa and number one in many search rankings, fails to pass Google's mobile test.
Just one more observation about Google: It's definitely the most popular and highest quality search engine, but it still serves tons of terrible links to sites that are: useless, spammy, defunct and in some cases, dangerously full of bugs. Why can't they figure out how to eliminate all that mediocrity? With all its algorithmic updates and billions of dollars, why haven't they eliminated these problems yet?
Obviously, their goal - which has been my goal all along - is to connect people with the quality content they are searching for. But they keep thinking they can do it with robots instead of humans that actually know better.
The most embarrassing thing about the over-paid/over-priced tech world, which heavily relies on Wall Street financing instead of real earnings, is that it can't seem to come up with its own solutions for making all websites naturally cross-platform on all browsers and devices.
Instead, it wants content providers to drop what they are doing and worry about all the nuances that it introduces with every new technology. I believe this stance reveals the tech industry's ignorance and greed. Not everyone falls for this big prank on society and part of my mission is to uncover solutions to this problem.
In other words, I want musicians, authors, artists and creators to change the world more than platform builders. Just like I'd rather see gold diggers be rewarded more than shovel manufacturers.
It's time to forget about all the tech trash that inevitably outdates itself and get back to a focus on real communication, in which many tech companies are miserable failures, despite figuring out how to raise billions of dollars from venture capitalists.
The internet is a powerful tool for communication, but it doesn't need to duplicate the bad habits that have lowered the credibility and trust level of Wall Street institutions. The best websites offer loads of free content. The worst ones lack useful content and just want to sell products. The goal of SacTV is to keep expanding with valuable content.