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August 2005 Marketing Archives

Friday, August 05, 2005

Is This My Calling?

I just read a post from Battelle [I rarely actually read posts these days and this one caught my eye] regarding Matt McCallister's recent departure from IDG and his request to relaunch a company John Battelle founded [The Standard] relaunched during his tenure. So he's asking somebody, somewhere to make it happen since IDG isn't getting it

"I wish somebody would launch a media brand that covered the Internet business for people in the Internet business. I've bet my career on this industry, and it would be really nice if there was a brand that stood independently in the middle of it, reported on it with intelligence and depth and integrity, and helped facilitate dialog amongst us all."

McCallister also adds...
"I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who finds the Internet business fascinating. Somebody, please, figure this out and make it happen."

Yeah, um, that's pretty much my calling. This is just as inspiring as the VH1 Driven episode on GreenDay. No joke, this is a call to action, I'm all for it and all about it.

Thanks Matt, you made my day!

Is This My Calling? By Jason Dowdell at 02:43 PM
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LeapFrog Live On The Fly Marketing Campaign

To briefly describe the Live On The Fly site and LeapFrog campaign...

I played with the site briefly and made a couple of notes regarding the technology the site's using to create a rich / engaging interface for site visitors. Including TTS [text to speech], flash remoting, viral marketing, creating dynamic recordings, and a bunch of other items. From first glance the site is something my readers would want to know more about because of the technology used and the method of viral marketing implemented. It's part 'Burger King Subservient Chicken' and part 'Hilary Duff voicemal" viral marketing but it's all interesting.

From Beth McDowell at the Antenna Group

...tween-focused (9-14-year-olds) entertainment and interactive web campaign, marketing LeapFrog Enterprise's new FLY pentop computer...

...Created by EVB, a leading digital interactive agency, the website is designed to engage, entertain and educate youth internet users about LeapFrog's new product using EVB's methodology of online advertainment...

...targets youth with interactive capabilities, utilizing video-based tween hosts to showcase the FLY product, and giving users the opportunity to demonstrate its applications.

Live on the Fly has viral capabilities. For example, users can compose music by drawing any desired instrument with the FLY pentop computer pen, clicking on the instrument to initiate sound and blending various instrument sounds to create personalized songs that can be emailed to friends.

LeapFrog Live On The Fly Marketing Campaign By Jason Dowdell at 11:45 AM
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Chat With Jason Zada & Jeffery Bennett of EVB

Yesterday on my commute home I spent some time talking with a couple of interesting guys. Jason Zada and Jeffery Bennett of EVB, a multimedia marketing firm in San Francisco. The topic of discussion was a project they recently launched for LeapFrog that's targeting tweens. Tweens is the demographic term assigned to kids that aren't little kids and aren't quite teenagers, hence the name "tweens". The age group is 9 - 14 year olds.

I found the tween demo quite interesting since I wasn't too familiar with their buying patterns and habits but I found the project even more interesting since it hid some heavy technology behind a slick user interface and was put together with a team of about 5 developers in under 6 months. Of course there were others working on the project as well but the development is one of the largest aspects of it and one I'm quite interested in.

Back To The Call
During the conversation I learned several interesting facets of the Live On The Fly project and about EVB and Jason & Jeffery in general. When I looked at the site I felt like it combined the subservient chicken with a Hilary Duff campaign I wrote about previously. So I felt there was a good chance Jason Zada had some ties to the subservient chicken and I was right. Turns out the media firm that did the Burger King campaign that turned into an internet cult had actually emailed Jason with a note that went something like this...
I found this chicken site and it's pretty funny, check it out.

So he did and because of his sphere of influence [aka social circles] the virus was spread. Although Zada and Bennett didn't work on the subservient chicken project they were part of the implementation of the viral portion, without even knowing it, so that's where the tie came from. There's a lot more I can say about these two and this campaign but I'm going to hold off and throw it out in pieces that are more focused. For now I just wanted to put up something about this dynamic duo and their interesting project and I'll delve into more detail a bit later.

Here's a brief bio of Jason Zada.
"Jason Zada
Creative Director

It all started with a Commodore 64. At ten Jason figured out how to hack into the system to program games, create art and compose images. He has been immersed in the digital universe ever since.

Fast forward twenty years and Jason is still at the forefront of the digital industry. As co-founder and creative director of EVB, his vision and passion is responsible for being at the forefront of some of the most innovative work on the Web. He is an enthusiastic believer in the power of the internet to generate awareness, instill loyalty and connect with consumers on an emotional level. Jason’s long history of working in the interactive industry enables EVB to continue to produce cutting edge online advertising, advertainment and branded content.

Prior to opening EVB’s doors in 2000, Jason was co-founder and creative director of spyplane, a San Francisco based creative boutique, working on clients such as Novell, Infoseek, Sun, Netscape and PCWorld Magazine. When spyplane was acquired by ZEFER in 1999, Jason was appointed Executive Creative Director and helped grow the agency to over 1,000 employees with offices worldwide.

Jason’s work has won many industry awards including One Show, Cannes Cyber Lion, and Communication Arts. He has contributed to Motion Graphics TV & Film, Motion Graphics Web and DVD Studio Pro Bible. He has twice received A.V. Multimedia Magazine’s Top 100 Producer award.

An avid filmmaker, Jason has directed several short films and is determined to finish the screenplay he started at age eight. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, two children and little black pug. "

Chat With Jason Zada & Jeffery Bennett of EVB By Jason Dowdell at 11:37 AM
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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Yahoo Audio Search - Google To Follow Suit

You know it's interesting how information has an intrinsic desire to be free. Kind of like the same way life is described in Jurasic Park. Life finds a way to survive, as does information. I'm currently working in a completely different industry than search engine marketing, yet the search engine industry information always finds it's way to me.

I just got back from SpeechTek in NYC early this morning and found out some really interesting information. I didn't want to post anything about it and then today I read a post on Om Malik's blog regarding Yahoo's audio search tool that Google and MSN don't currently have. Well, Google may not have it yet but I know they're going after certain ASR (automated speech response) or should I call it Automated Search Response technology. Not only has Google hired on a couple key linguistics folks but they're stalking at least one audio search company based in Atlanta, Georgia and trying to acquire speech recognition technology from another.

That company is Nexidia. Let's just say a little birdie told me about Google's interest in their proprietary audio search technolgy they're currently using to provide search results in CRM systems and other enterprise level applications. The key differentiator of Nexidia is that their search is phonetically based and doesn't rely on ASR [converting the audio to text] before the data is indexed. Rather it actually indexes audio content phonetically on the fly. This results in unparalleled search result quality and increased performance. Add to that the fact that none of Nexidia's competition utilizes this type of methodology, 20 or 30 patents and some good revenue figures and you've got a company that's ripe for acquiring.

From Om's post
Yahoo has Audio Search, Google and MSN don’t. Its more like comparison shopping engine for music. Good thing - they also have iTunes in their results. I threw some obscure artists at it, and well the results were pretty good. The tiny two minute review says - this one is usable.

Isn't it funny how information finds it's way out into the open? It's one reason open source will never die. It's another reason there's no such thing as a secret. Especially in this day and time.

Yahoo Audio Search - Google To Follow Suit By Jason Dowdell at 05:50 PM
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The Dowdell Family On Vacation

The Dowdell Family on Vacation in 2005

Shannon just posted the good, the bad and the ugly about our family vacation that took place the last week in July this year. One of the best parts were the pictures we took of our family while we were at the mold-infested lake house. I love this pic, you can see the whole roll on Shannon's FlickrStream.

The Dowdell Family On Vacation By Jason Dowdell at 05:09 PM
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Pheedo In Tokyo Presenting RSS Data

I'm not sure why there hasn't been any analysis of this post in the blogosphere, perhaps it's the fact the graph is in Japanese or noone's read it, who knows. Either way, it's interesting to see Bill Flitter of Pheedo presenting RSS data and metrics and Pheedo's RSS Advertising/Analytics platform. He presented in conjunction with their Japanese Business partners AD2 and there were several interesting people in attendance.

Here's the rundown...
In attendance, was Six Apart, About, AOL, Autobytel, Become, and Fujitsu to name a few...

Yes, I bolded Become, you do the math.

Pheedo In Tokyo Presenting RSS Data By Jason Dowdell at 04:09 PM
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Breakfast With Greg Yardley

Yesterday morning when I was at Cafe Metro on 5th and 52nd in NYC I had breakfast with Greg Yardley. Greg and I have swapped many an email and IM in the past and yesterday was the first time we actually had a chance to meet face to face. That's always a bit awkward since you have this idea what somebody looks like in your head and then you meet them and they look nothing like what you thought they would look like. I can't really say that about Greg, he's about what I expected with was strangely comforting.

He and I chatted about the interesting things going on in a few neat little internet cubby holes. I'm not sure whether or not I'm allowed to say who Greg's working for or what that company's up to and he's not online right now [and I'm too lazy to call his cell to confer w/him] so I'll defer til I get approval. I can say that he's working with some pretty cool folks on a new frontier of the internet, data sharing and marketing. Nuff said, more on that later.

If you happen to stop by Greg's blog then I recommend reading his thoughts on the new Yahoo Shopping API. Pretty interesting and that API is going to be quite amazing.

Breakfast With Greg Yardley By Jason Dowdell at 03:54 PM
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Eric Rice Isn't Under The Radar

My boy Eric Rice is once again the subject of an Under The Radar blog post. This time they're pointing to his Podcasting Roadshow. The next stop is Buck's in Silicon Valley followed up by a stop in his local stomping grounds in San Francisco.

The Podcast and Videoblog Roadshow is sponsored by and also by The Podcast Hotel brought to you by Corante; and of course, our good friends at Tucows, makers of the Blogware, the blog software that powers the Podcast Roadshow and many others.

Correction based on an IM conversation w/riceman...

actually SF is this weekend, then atlanta, then silicon valley

~ eric rice

Eric Rice Isn't Under The Radar By Jason Dowdell at 03:34 PM
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Monday, August 01, 2005

Back From Vacation And In NYC

So I'm back from my vacation last week but I'm in NYC. I'm at SpeechTek at the Marriott in Times Square so I'll be posting some stuff regarding the goings on here. I've got a few interesting posts in the works already so stay tuned. I've got to go see a man about a Vespa so I'll be back on later with more.

Back From Vacation And In NYC By Jason Dowdell at 12:57 PM
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August 2005 Week 2 »

  • Week 1 (9 entries) August 1-6
  • Week 2 (9 entries) August 7-13
  • Week 3 (9 entries) August 14-20
  • Week 4 (12 entries) August 21-27
  • Week 5 (2 entries) August 28-31

Chat With Jason Zada & Jeffery Bennett of EVB
not the same jason zada that lived in hawaii are u...
by Rio

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