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August 2006, Week 5 Marketing Archives

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Best Quotes of The Day On Intellectual Property & Music

Well folks, today we were blessed with a mini novella from someone I consider to be a genius (one of only 3 geniuses I know). And his comment on John's post about SpiralFrog and the free music download business model wins the mshift "quote of the day" award, hands down. Before I give you the quote, I'll give you a little backgrounder on Clegg [the man, the myth and the legend]. He works at a little voip / ivr company I owe a huge debt to (although I'd never be allowed to repay them). He, and his cohorts, helped me through the most difficult period of my professional and personal life and I put extra weight on his thoughts because he doesn't talk unless he knows what he's talking about.

Regarding Music, Clegg Said...
"Like it or not (I'm guessing not), music is intellectual property that gets licensed, not sold. When you buy a CD, you're only buying the hard media that comes with a license to listen to the music that is recorded on that media. The fair use exception to copyright gives you some wiggle room about what you can do with that disc, such as make an archive recording, play the disc on your PC (an act which probably causes the PC to make a few different extra copies of the music as it plays the disc), etc.

The owner of a copyright has the freedom to license some, all, or none of the rights that come bundled with the over-arching copyright to a protected work. The owner can license only the right to listent to the music on that disk, or he can license a right to perform the song, or to play it in public, or to incorporate that song into a movie or television commercial. This is not evil (or even greedy)... it is merely the nature of a copyright."

Second Runner Up is Shannon With This Quote Regarding Our Dog Zoe
"the dog pooped on the floor! yes!"

Best Quotes of The Day On Intellectual Property & Music By Jason Dowdell at 05:08 PM
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Video Ads Go Short Form

Yesterday I wrote about the need for video companies to distribute programs online so that they (instead of YouTube) get some revenue in return. Today I came across insightful analysis on ClickZ about consumer tolerance of ads, which shows that 5 second ads will likely be the way to go.

Consumer irritation grows quickly after 5 seconds, so using short spots in between free videos for Lost or Grey's Anatomy would be a beneficial mix. Also, the same short ads could be used on TV, as the writer points out that DVR users often rewind to see the last few seconds of ads before a show resumes when skipping past ads.

Suggesting that ad agencies should push their clients to produce 5 seconds ads is dead on. I assumed that the article was written by someone at an online video ad company such as PointRoll, but in fact it was written by Eric Picard at MSN, a company that hasn't done much with video so far. Perhaps Microsoft is biding its time and will come out with a video ad model that establishes them as a leader, blowing everyone else out of the water.

Video Ads Go Short Form By John Gartner at 02:31 PM
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Online Advertising Ready to Bubble

The USA Today (yes, McPaper) has something to say about the Web 2.0 rush that has VCs spending like its 1999. Writer Maney wisely points out that the cost of building websites is a fraction of what it was back in the bubble days, and companies shouldn't require $15 million to turn an idea into a web biz. He sounds like he's quoting straight from the Labitat manifesto build small and grow bigger as demand and resources require.

I wasn't expecting this little diddy:

David Court of consulting firm McKinsey says, "In the next 24 months, we will see demand for online advertising actually outstrip the supply." That's why we're getting so many consumer websites: They're easy to build and a booming market for ads.

Most of the projections for web advertising are rosy, but demand outstripping supply? As fast as blogs and commerce sites are popping up, it seams odd to project that there won't always be someone with qualified traffic for sale.

IF companies and investors aren't overzealous in their expenditures and expectations, we won't have another bubble-crash scenario (note to self, sell all Web 2.0 stocks in 2009), but I'm not so sure that is going to happen.

Online Advertising Ready to Bubble By Jason Dowdell at 01:15 PM
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On BlogHer, McHummer, Business Plans via txt files and Matt Cutts

Yesterday was kind of funny, well at least it was at 1:00 am when I found a few things as I sleepily stumbled around the internet.

1.) Blogher called us McMarketingShift (love it).

2.) Matt Cutts recapped SES San Jose (actually two days ago - and it was good to finally meet you in person too Matt).

3.) Martin thinks one of the Labitat business plans is only worth a 3rd of what I think the valuation should be but is getting a second opinion.

Quote of the day via me
Text file business plans trump those on napkins.

On BlogHer, McHummer, Business Plans via txt files and Matt Cutts By Jason Dowdell at 09:25 AM
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Few Spots Remaining for the Search Football Challenge

The Search Football Challenge has filled up pretty quickly, but we still have a few spots left. If you want to join send an email to Labitat [a] and we will send you an invite.

Only 1 week remaining until the NFL season kicks off!

Few Spots Remaining for the Search Football Challenge By Matt O'Hern at 04:37 PM
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Top 10 Things Overheard Just Before a Hurricane Hits Florida

So the news tells me there's a hurricane headed for us and that we're under a hurricane watch right now. Well that's news to me, cause I'm looking outside my office and it's nothing but blue skies. It's funny to me how we get so excited about hurricanes here in Florida, and throw all rational judgement out the window and talk in nothing but sensationalistic phrases. It's so funny in fact that I thought I'd share a few of the most often overheard phrases you'll hear when there is a hurricane on the horizon. Yes, I've been guilty of it too but reading it just cracks me up.

Top 10 Hurricane Sayings
1.) Did you hear that they've already cancelled school for tomorrow?

2.) The last report showed us getting a direct.

3.) I can't really commit to any meetings or deadlines for the rest of the week because there's a hurricane out there.

4.) You get your hurricane shutters up yet?

5.) Have you heard the latest coordinates?

6.) Well, I work for NASA and my manager said family comes first and we don't have to go to work if I don't feel safe.

7.) Hh, well i don't know if we'll be back up and running by Friday. I'm a school bus driver so that's why i know. if there are branches and things down from the storm and the buses can't get through then there won't be any school.

8.) We've cancelled all our activities for Wednesday and Thursday.

9.) Well you definitely don't want to be out in the weather tomorrow and you need to make sure that you have all loose items tied down or put away from outside because we're going to see maximum sustained winds of at least 65 mph.

10.) Hurricane Party!

Hurricane Disclaimers
It's important to note here that in most of the above statements, the anonymous "they" is often quoted as being responsible for the ultimate accuracy of the statement and not the individual relaying the information on to their friend.

Hurricane Joke: Not For The Kids
A wife and husband are having a conversation about securing the house a couple of days before a major hurricane is suppose to hit their area.

Wife: So are you going to board up the house tonight?
Husband: Nah, not tonight, gonna wait til the mornin... Cause that's when I'll have the most wood.

Hurricane Tag Cloud
Okay so it's not a tag cloud but there are so many funny words we here in Florida use to describe hurricanes so I thought I'd throw some of the more humorous ones in here for laughs.

feeder bands
sustained winds
eye of the hurricane
marine advisory
rip current
maximum winds
surface pressure
satellite imagery
spiral rain bands
intensity of the eye
category 1 - category 5

Favorite Words News Stations Use To Describe Hurricanes
fierce winds
gusts of up to...
maximum sustained winds
continues to intensify
stay in your houses
school closings
computer models
latest exclusive trojectory
potential for...
more than x feet of rain
strengthen into a hurricane
tropical storm
national hurricane center
hurricane center
live radar
local impact
new orleans

And the list goes on, what's my point? I'll be working at the office tomorrow cause there isn't a hurricane, IT'S JUST A TROPICAL DEPRESSION!

Top 10 Things Overheard Just Before a Hurricane Hits Florida By Jason Dowdell at 03:43 PM
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TV: Publish or Perish

To their credit, the television networks have relatively quickly moved from selling programs for $2 a pop to showcasing some of their episodes for free and taking in advertising dollars. This is an important small step that misses the bigger opportunity that was indicated by the way the online music market grew.

As the YouTube and P2P numbers show, many thousand if not millions of people are watching video content online, and much of their viewing is either clips or full episodes of shows. While ComedyCentral is the most aggressive in making highlights of its shows available online, the rest of the networks mostly leave it to the YouTubers to (illegally) post and share highlights from their favorite programs.

For example, Sunday's Emmy program featured a few funny bits that NBC is not making available online, but thousands of people have watched via YouTube. That's ad revenue gone out the window, and NBC (which has had more people watching SNL skits online than live) should know better.

The parallel with the music download industry is obvious. People started burning and sharing music online, but the music industry waited several years before offering their content for download online, and they have yet to recover. Similarly the technology to record and post video clips couldn't be easier, and it will continue no matter how many times the network semaphores wave the copyright flag.

Soooo, the networks should take the best of their content and post it online and include advertising. If fans of The Office knew that clips of the show that they wanted to show their friends were always going to be on, they wouldn't bother with searching YouTube. The horse is out of the barn, and advertising supported clips is the only way to profit from it.

Or, they can partner with Blinkx, which has the largest stable of licensed video content and is partnering with used-to-be search engine Lycos.

TV: Publish or Perish By Jason Dowdell at 02:36 PM
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Free Music Download Dumbness

A major label announced it will allow people to download music for free and will support the service with ads. As much as I believe that online media (like its broadcast predecessor)can be ad-supported, I am very skeptical about the viability of the agreement between startup SpiralFrog and Universal. Having commercials in between video and audio streams can work if properly implemented, but so far online music sites haven't gotten it right. Napster was the first to launch a free streaming music service earlier this year, which as I predicted, cut into its subscription revenue. Napster doesn't have that many ads on its site and they do not use targeting (hence the constant barrage of Snakes On a Plane ads). But allowing music to be downloaded for free is nuts. Yes, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries says there are 40 illegal downloads for every legal one. But getting a penny or two to advertise to the few who aren't already illegally downloading music will be a big money loser. Allowing people to download songs for free will only increase the amount of songs shared via P2P networks. Perhaps SpiralFrog will limit the free downloads to less popular tracks, and in that case nobody will use the service. This service will have a lifespan much shorter than your average leopard frog (5-8 years).

Free Music Download Dumbness By Jason Dowdell at 12:50 PM
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Monday, August 28, 2006

Plagarism Threatens Blogosphere

Since blogging is becoming increasingly lucrative, the scrutiny of publishers who steal others blogs is getting more intense.

Robert Scoble is arguing with someone saying that bloggers who republishes others feeds are stealing. I agree that just because someone publishes their entire posts through their RSS feed, they don't deserve to be "splogged" so that others can profit.

Copyright law protects online publishers, and someday the courts may have to clarify that. I'm tired of my articles and posts being taken in their entirety, and including a link back is not enough.

Bloggers are earning a living, and they deserve the same considerations as other writers/journalists (which I've been doing for 18 years to pay the bills).

Many respected blogs lift multiple paragraphs from blogs and news stories that can make up an nearly the entirety of the content, and even with a link, that's just wrong. Today, bloggers can complain to Google about people abusing AdSense, but the search engines should also blacklist publishers who are reported to scrape content.

Sploggers and content plagarizes abound, and the blogosphere needs to get behind a standard of conduct and policy for punishing the abusers.

Plagarism Threatens Blogosphere By Matt O'Hern at 02:54 PM
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EBay Playing Both Ways With Ads

So eBay announced that Google will be its advertising partner outside of the U.S., and it will continue to do business domestically with Yahoo. The companies will work together on click-to-call advertising even though the companies have competing VOIP services. I don't think Google is throwing in the towel on GoogleTalk, I think they are attracted to getting an in with eBay, even if it means giving Skype a boost too.

I found it interesting that eBay will divide its advertising this way, but it is a smart tactic to keep both sides hungry for a larger share of the business. If either relationship isn't going so well, eBay can pressure them by threatening to jump to the other relationship.

Recently eBay started displaying ads on its website for products available from outside its commerce site, and maybe the company will be more aggressive with Google internationally before increasing the advertising presence in the U.S. The company has to carefully introduce ads so as not to jeopardize its relationship with sellers or its revenue stream.

EBay Playing Both Ways With Ads By John Gartner at 01:41 PM
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Google Apps Launches & Blogosphere Has Brown Nose

Now before I The Blogosphere Loves Rumors About Googleget too far into this post I want to make one thing clear, I know I'm part of the blogosphere and by merely talking about Google Apps and the rumor mill in the blogosphere that I too am taking part in the hype. Forgive me for taking on that mentality just this once so I can make a few observations of my own about what the Google Apps launch means and what it doesn't mean.

Google Apps Facts
1.) It's true that Google is offering private label email, instant messaging, calendar and web site creation & hosting by bundling a bunch of their online apps together and calling it Google Apps.

2.) This is a strategic move on Google's part to get individuals and very small companies to become more dependant on Google and the Google "web as a platform" software in an effort to generate more inventory for their ads and to get users hooked on Google on many levels. If a user or small company uses Google talk, Google Calendars, and Google email (GMail), then it's going to be hard for that entity to leave and go elsewhere because of all the infrastructure changes it would require.

3.) Relating to point 2, this is just the first in a series of moves to continue to pull more users away from Microsoft and it's Office 2007 and Microsoft Live product line. Google is trying to show they can launch apps quickly and void of the "beta" logo that made them so popular and that the apps are free and don't much of a download or install, if any at all. This is something MSFT has been playing catchup on for quite some time and the next 24 months will be interesting to see how much of the Microsoft small business market Google is able to take away.

Google Apps Fiction
1.) It's not true that this is aimed at the Enterprise market. Why on earth would a large or even medium sized corporation (take Dell for example) open up their internal emails or much less, encourage their users to use Google's IM client? That makes no sense and is absolutely not true.

2.) It is not true that Google Apps will replace Microsoft Office in the next 12 months. Yes, they will make an effort to get people to use their spreadsheet app and other apps comparable to Microsoft Office but the robustness of features will not be there for quite some time and the 6 - 12 month prediction of doom for MSFT Office Live will not happen. Personally I think Microsoft Watch & SEW had the most accurate synopsis of the Google Apps launch.

Blogosphere Brown Nosers
When I was a kid playing soccer and my dad wanted to show me exactly how close I was suppose to guard a member of the opposing team, he use to use a phrase... (well he used many phrases but this is the one that's the most appropriate for this post)... My dad would say...

"Jason - I want you to be so close to that kid that you know when he farts before he does."
Now I know that's not the prettiest word picture but it is to the point. My dad wanted me to be all over the kid I was covering that I know more about him that he does... Well in this day and age, it often occurs to me that the blogosphere has their noses so far up Google's butt that when Google farts, they're the first to spread the word.

There's something wrong with that picture... the blogosphere is for creating news, not regurgitating it, and just regurgitating Google's (or anyone else's) press releases drives me nuts... Many bloggers apply meaning but many more like WebMetricsGuru just regurgitate and that type of blogger is exactly who would have this type of IM conversation.

Mock Example Blogosphere Conversation about Google
blogger a: Hey, did you hear that Google farted?
blogger b: No, are you serious?
blogger a: Totall Serious! Serious as a heart attack!
blogger b: huh uh! No Way!
blogger a: Yep, dude you're not gonna believe this either.
blogger b: What happened, come on, please tell me! I'll link to your post from my blog if you tell me. I promise!
blogger a: I don't know man, I haven't told anyone about it yet.
blogger b: Okay, I tell you what. I'll put you on my blogroll at the very top if you tell me before you tell anyone else about Google farting and I'll keep you there for at least a month, I promise!
blogger a: Okay, deal. But you can't post a word about it until after I post first and you have to link to my post and ping Technorati and Steve Rubel.
blogger b: Dude, done deal! Now tell me what happened!
blogger a: Okay, so I was at the Google Dance last night and there were people all over the place having a good time and I was just chillin taking in all the Google Goodness cause I'm like at the search Mecca of the world, right?! Well then I was walking around acting like I knew everybody and I stepped in this mudd, at least I thought it was mudd but it was really slimey and gooey and gross... And then I realized what it was.
blogger b: What was it?!
blogger a: It was Google sh1t!
blogger b: Nuh uh!!!
blogger a: I'm dead serious.
blogger b: How do you know?
blogger a: First off it smelled like sh1t but secondly because I followed the trail of Google Sh1t using my nose like a bloodhound, I mean I had it all over my face man cause I was commited to finding the source, and the trail led me to this huge server farm.
blogger b: No frickin way!
blogger a: Totally! And it was like 1 billion pigeons typing away on computers powering the Google Search Engine and there was so much poop everywhere that I thought I was going to die!
blogger b: Dude, you must've been so stoked to see the heart of Google's operations like that. That's like the story of a lifetime.
blogger a: Yeah, I was... Now I'm going to post it to my blog.
blogger b: Alright dude, don't forget to IM me first!
blogger a: aight later
blogger b: later man - you rock!

Okay so I got a bit carried away with the little example of a conversation between blogger a and blogger b but I'm just sick of how everyone has their nose up Google's butt... and everyone else's for that matter. And on top of that how they use distantly related stories to promote their own agenda.

Now, I know Michael Arrington must be a pretty good guy, otherwise my friend Steve Gillmor wouldn't have invited him to be part of the Gillmor Gang. But sometimes you gotta call good people out when they need some help seeing the light. Like today, at the end of the TechCrunch post about Google Apps, Arrington promotes his advertiser (Zoho - who also has him on their blogroll) by saying someone should buy them out soon cause they were in that space before Google Apps was launched... That's a bit of a stretch but now I have a good idea where that $60k in revenue is coming from. Now I will say that TechCrunch does admit Zoho's parent company is an advertiser in one post but it took me 10 minutes to make the connection between the two companies and determine whether or not Zoho had compensated TechCrunch in any way.

To Arrington's credit though, at least he did admit there was a relationship of advertiser / blog in a post on TechCrunch and once on CrunchNotes. I know many people never admit the relationship and that's something that needs to be addressed soon. There needs to be a mechanism for allowing bloggers to get paid for blogging about the stuff they love while still maintaining a journalistic standard of conduct. Hmmm, I'm thinking sponsr. (Shameless self-serving plug - this is my declaration that Labitat - MarketingShift - Sponsr are all related entities).

Google Apps Launches & Blogosphere Has Brown Nose By Jason Dowdell at 11:49 AM
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« August 2006 Week 4

  • Week 1 (10 entries) August 1-5
  • Week 2 (14 entries) August 6-12
  • Week 3 (13 entries) August 13-19
  • Week 4 (15 entries) August 20-26
  • Week 5 (11 entries) August 27-31

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