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August 2008, Week 2 Marketing Archives

Friday, August 15, 2008

NASA Faces New Worries -- War in Georgia (the Country)

NASA is slated to ground its space shuttles for good in 2010 while it builds a more modern transportation system.

The bad news is NASA was negotiating with the Russians to handle the transportation load until 2015 when our new systems went operational. That might not happen now that the U.S. is backing Georgia in its little spat with the Russians.

This is the cost of doing business in a global economy. The dream was that once our economies were tied together we'd never had reason -- or ability -- to fight with each other.

Never underestimate the power of human ingenuity.

The U.S. Senate is balking at the idea of doing a big $100 million deal with a government we're actively opposing in a military conflict, as if science and the military ever have gone together.

And it's not just bad news for those of us who think the International Space Station is an important tool for innovation, it's bad for anyone involved in innovation. Nothing is done locally anymore. We spend time interactive with people from around the globe, and the less that happens, the less we'll have the free flow of ideas.

More importantly, though, a return to cold Russian relations means it's less likely that you'll have the next Tetris.

NASA Faces New Worries -- War in Georgia (the Country) By Brad at 09:09 PM
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New Mobile Phones Take Aim (Again!) at the iPhone

Apple doesn't normally get into the game early, but once they do, the company's legions of dedicated fans can sweep aside competition.

So it's gone in the mobile phone sector. While Palm and Motorola have struggled against the Blackberry domestically and Nokia globally, the iPhone has become the must have mobile apparatus.

Yet companies still continue to rage against the Mac-aholics without realizing that people aren't buying a performance machine (Macs are decidedly less functional and free than other devices), they are buying a brand.

Still…

T-Mobile plans to roll out a Google phone later this year. Of course this isn't a phone that just does search really, really well. It's a phone that…well, nobody's quite sure what it's going to do. The key behind it is that architecture is open, which means any software developer anywhere can make software for it.

Facebook, the world's number one social network, took this approach to taking down MySpace, which had until recently kept developers from working on products for it.

The real sign that Apple's iPhone is a winner is that everyone is now scrambling to design a phone that looks like it. The Treo, which has been the step-brother to the Blackberry for the past few years, is getting a hip upgrade with the latest model.

All of this comes a great time for Apple's competitors as the company is having massive issues with its 3G phone, which is not good now that the company is trying to position itself as an electronics maker -- not a computer company.

New Mobile Phones Take Aim (Again!) at the iPhone By Brad at 08:59 PM
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Stallone Shows Poor Timing with latest Promo

I saw this story and thought it was too good to pass up for a Friday post.

Apparently, Sylvester Stallone's publicist isn't familiar with the phrase "Timing is everything."
Russia's invasion of Georgia dominated international headlines this week, yet, at the peak of the conflict, Stallone announced his deal to promote Synergy Russian Vodka. An excerpt from the Rueters' article reads:

Stallone -- whose film character John Rambo killed Soviet troops by the dozen in Afghanistan and whose Rocky Balboa humiliated Soviet boxer Ivan Drago -- will advertise the product under the slogan: ]There is a bit of Russian in all of us.'The advertising campaign concept was based on the fact that the actor has Russian roots, Synergy said in a statement, referring to Stallone's great-grandmother, Rosa Rabinovich, from the Ukrainian town of Odessa.

Stallone's gaffe inspired me to search for prime examples of marketing blunders: Here are some of my favorites:

Staying on the alcohol theme, here are two examples of how poor translation can damage your products image:

  • Bacardi created a fruity,girly drink named 'Pavian' to suggest French chic ... but 'Pavian' means 'baboon' in German.
  • Coors' lost its latin american fan base with its motto "Turn it Loose", which translated to "Get Diarrhea"

And another example of bad timing in the summer:

  • "Summer of Snapple": A 25-foot ,17-ton popsicle composed of snapple juice was placed in NYC's Union Square. Within hours, New York's notoriously-brutal summer heat melted the giant promo into a sticky mess that stopped traffic and required the attention of the FDNY.

Hope these gave you a good laugh for your weekend.

 

Stallone Shows Poor Timing with latest Promo By Matt O'Hern at 06:32 PM
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The Digitial Branding of Obama

As the election season heats up, I''m not too thrilled with many of the choices, but just for fun, I've compared many of the candidates' signs and stickers during my daily drive. Many use the same, traditional technique of blending the candidate's name with the american flag,red,white and blue, and a short slogan, but Obama's logo is one of the most unique logos I've ever seen.

I was born in 81, so I've voted in only two presidential elections, but in my entire life, I've never seen a craze comparable to the one Obama is stirring. His circular logo, which features a rising sun and three stripes of the american flag, is a contemporary twist on the traditional use of the patriotic colors theme. For a week, Obama was audacious enough to incorporate the logo in his alternate version of the presidential seal. (Which was removed from his podium after some harsh criticism)

To capture on the Obamania, graphic designer substance Inc, offers Obama supporters the chance to upload their own image inside the logo at  logobama.com. In exchange, they request a small donation to Obama's campaign. The image is placed in the center of the logo, which is perfectly suited to hold a face or a saying of your own.

This interactive logo offers yet another example of how internet branding is propelling Obama's large lead in the youth vote by drastic numbers, and McCain's generation gap may prove to be costly come November.

The Digitial Branding of Obama By Matt O'Hern at 08:55 AM
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

AT&T Wants to Watch What You Do

You know those fancy keyword advertisements that show up with the help of Google? Yeah, that's because Google watches what you're doing and then delivers content based on that.

AT&T, which has gotten into the ISP business, thinks it ought to be able to monitor the sites you go to whenever you use its service for the same reason Google does.

Most of the major ISPs have told Congress they have no plans to monitor how you surf sites; however, AT&T said it was considering the move so that it could better build an advertising network. It's true that AOL does monitor sites -- but only the ones that it has created and run, something few have had a problem with.

The idea of an ISP, which connects you to the Web, also monitoring what you're doing is a frightening concept for this reason: if AT&T, for instance, builds an advertising network based upon search habits, there is absolutely nothing keeping them from slowing your access to their "non-affiliated" sites, making it easier for you to search for "their" sites and harder for you to search for the "other" sites.

They say they won't do that.

Let me tell you right now: they are lying. Great. Big. Lie.

The temptation is too great and so far no company that has had the opportunity to exploit its monopoly has done so without a great deal of problem-making.

AT&T Wants to Watch What You Do By Brad at 07:16 PM
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Newspaper Stock Jumps 11 Percent after Layoffs

Gannett, one of the largest newspaper chains in the United States, is part of an industry-wide slide when it comes to stock prices. Seven companies this year hit their all-time stock lows, not a good sign for anyone involved in the media.

The good news is Gannett's stock rebounded by 11 percent. The bad news is that jump came after the company announced a staff reduction of 1,000 across its properties.

It's a stinky, dire time if you make your money churning out words on a page (although it's a great time if you understand computers and how business works in a digital world). McClatchy, another on of the big media outlets, said that it wouldn't be laying folks off -- they should just get used to whatever they are making right now. A wage freeze is on the way in September (so get your raises now).

The advertising downturn, which could reach three years in a row for the first time since newspapers started collecting data, isn't getting any better -- at least for companies that chop down trees. That has sent nearly ever paper scrambling. The Palm Beach Post announced its 300 person reduction -- 264 who volunteers -- was almost complete. Those trying to hang around better hope they have "required skills, past performance and organizational needs" ready to go.

That's newspaper code for: technology skills, a history of not being a pain in the ass and technology skills.

The future of the newspaper industry isn't telling stories, it's building communities and seeding information. As soon as the industry gets that, it'll stop having its stock prices jump because of layoffs.

Newspaper Stock Jumps 11 Percent after Layoffs By Brad at 07:04 PM
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Fairness Doctine? "Not on my internet!" Americans say.

Rasmussen's latest poll on the Fairness Doctrine, (which would require equal time for political shows) reveals some interesting facts about Americans and their hunger for balanced political coverage.

According to Rasmussen's figures, nearly half of Americans surveyed believed in balanced TV and radio coverage, including talk shows. Ideally, this would require a democratic equivalent of Rush Limbaugh to be aired for equal length each day. For whatever reason (perhapsits accessibility to every individual)Americans don't want any regulation or balance of Internet content.

Nearly half of Americans (47%) believe the government should require all radio and television stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary, but they draw the line at imposing that same requirement on the Internet. Thirty-nine percent (39%) say leave radio and TV alone, too. At the same time, 71% say it is already possible for just about any political view to be heard in today’s media, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twenty percent (20%) do not agree... Fifty-seven percent (57%) say the government should not require websites and blog sites that offer political commentary to present opposing viewpoints.

Regardless of political leanings, nobody can deny the fact the Fairness Doctrine could prove to be damaging for every media involved. For example, the liberal network, Air America never attracted a significant audience to keep advertisers interested, and as a result, it was forced to pay stations for airtime.  As a result, It barely kept its head above water,filed for bankruptcy. In fact, former Air America executive and host Al Franken ditched the network to run for senate. Judging from the low attendance at his last town hall meeting (1 person), maybe he should have stuck with radio.
I'm not arguing against a balanced expression of ideas, but at the end of the day, radio stations, like every other business, strive for that healthy bottom line, and ,according to Rasmussen,many Americans realize that fact,:

In the new survey, 42% say there are more conservative radio talk shows because they get better ratings, but 28% believe it is because stations owners are biased. Seventeen percent (17%) attribute it to an unspecified other reason, and 13% are unsure.

Obviously, the prospect of regulating radio and TV presents  nowhere near the formidable task that would be required for balancing the Internet, but I still think the poll is a good indication that many view the Internet as the ultimate platform to speak your mind, without fear of the repercussions.

Fairness Doctine? "Not on my internet!" Americans say. By Matt O'Hern at 06:31 PM
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Facebook should strengthen its student/alumni ties

For any facebook "old-timers" who joined the network in its infancy stages during 2005,we remember its main appeal: It reconnected us with many of the good college friends we lost touch with.
Obviously, the site's entire landscape changed two years later, when the general public was allowed to jump on the bandwagon. As a result, the current product is becoming less distinguishable from its main rival- Myspace- the site many of us wanted to avoid in the first place.
While Facebook is enjoying the surge in popularity, many users, myself included, aren't too thrilled with the new format.
How can Facebook appease its old core- the student and alumni users? Well, my suggestion is a renewed focus on college network connections. Sure,many of us moved on to our careers, but at least once a year, we consider a trip to homecoming, or , at larger state universities, a major sporting event, such as a basketball or football game.
The problem is, planning a trip is often trickier than it seems. For example, I was talking to an old college friend on facebook's chat,and we neither of us had much time to talk. I mentioned the possibility of going to homecoming or a game,and neither of us had an immediate reference point or schedule to plan around unless we opened a new window and started a search. Another example is
This is where Facebook could strike pay-dirt.

Now, I'm already aware that there are certain widgets and applications that can upload an NCAA basketball or football schedule,but, again, you have to search for it, add it, and hope your friends have it, or the ability to find it. My alma mater periodically sends postcards and emails regarding campus events such as homecoming or "Step sing", but those aren't in front of me when I'm catching up with an old friend for a few minutes on chat.

If every member of a college network was automatically given a universal calendar that was updated daily or weekly,it would streamline the reconnection and reunion process for users by removing the need to search for a third party application.

Facebook should partner with college activity councils/alumni clubs could create an app for each college network to keep every respective network member updated on upcoming events. You could test the app with all the schools in a particular region or conference, I.E.- all of the schools in the South Eastern Conference. If sponsors were needed, those could include surrounding hotels,restaurants,bars,etc. Each party involved has incentives to cooperate on development of this feature:

1. It would ensure that nobody is left out of the loop in a college's network

2. It could potentially boost ticket sales and attendance for college athletic departments, activity organizations and alumni organizations.

3. It could attract a new wave of users from alumni throughout the world.

Facebook should strengthen its student/alumni ties By Matt O'Hern at 08:32 AM
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Social Networking a Worldwide Phenomenon, Facebook Stands Alone

It's official. The social Web has gone global.

The worst kept secret in the world -- that people use the Web to connect globally -- has been quantified by comScore, one of the leading counting agencies of the digital age. One of the most prescient observations about MySpace and Facebook, the two largest networks, is the stark difference between the two:

Facebook's internationalization strategy has consisted of leaving the single site intact but allowing members to translate it into the local languages of their choice. MySpace, with its focus more on media consumption rather than communication, has launched several dozen localized editions of the site instead.

Facebook continues to grow at the fastest rate globally, in large part because its service has just started appearing in translated versions -- meaning it's been late to the global house party.

Despite getting in late, Facebook's focus on communication -- and not consumption -- has made it the number one social networking site on Planet Earth.

Social Networking a Worldwide Phenomenon, Facebook Stands Alone By Brad at 08:01 PM
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Yahoo's Fire Eagle Let's You Know What's Happening…Right There

I spent the day planning a trip to Clay County, a small berg in the southeastern part of Kentucky that most of you have never head about and even more of you will never visit. I bring this up because I spent the day printing out maps and charting my travels before I left.

It was a royal pain in the ass -- even with Google Maps, which made the whole affair bearable. However, I hate the idea that in 2008 I still have to pre-plan my trips before I go. (Yes, I am that friggin' lazy.)

New location software like Yahoo's Fire Eagle may alleviate some of that in the future, although right now the tech press is struggling a bit to explain why it's so cool. The app allows you to store and manage your locations, accessing them with mobile and desktop devices, thus destroying the need for me to obsessively plan (and it may help you as well).

I'm a bit confused about how this is different than Google Maps, although presumably it is since nobody has yet compared the two services -- at least that I've seen.

I know this, the local news aggregation service Outside.In launched an application that -- using Fire Eagle -- let's you get mobile updates about what is going on within 1,000 feet of you.

Yahoo's Fire Eagle Let's You Know What's Happening…Right There By Brad at 07:31 PM
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Best Buy and Apple Join Forces

Best Buy and Apple combined powers and gave their bottom lines a healthy boost by announcing that 3G I-phones will be sold at Best Buy, starting Sept. 7. Prior to the partnership, Apple's highly-coveted devices were only available through Apple Stores,an AT&T stores. Now, they'll be sold in 600 of the electronic retail leader's stores.

While this new agreement should increase the supply,  shoppers are still left with no choice but to subsrcibe to AT&T's two-year plan.Best Buys' revenue figures from Sept. 7-9 should be interesting to note, considering that over one-million of the new I-phones were sold in its first weekend on the market. With the Christmas shopping season only a few months away, Best Buy may entered at the best time.

As for Google's Android, the long-anticipated rival to the I-phone, it's offcial release date has yet to be confirmed, but yesterday's article by CNET suggests that it may be available by mid-september. Perhaps today's Best Buy /Iphone announcement will give Google more incentive to push for  a release date before 2009. Otherwise, Android will have even less time to catch Apple and AT&T as thousands of new subscibers are added during the holiday season.

 

Best Buy and Apple Join Forces By Matt O'Hern at 04:14 PM
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Microsoft's NASCAR strategy could create new trend

Next time you're channel surfing for Sunday afternoon entertainment and land on a NASCAR race, take a close look at the rear panel of Michael Waltrip's car, where you’ll see  Microsoft’s small business logo. The fancy , $1 million ad cost Microsoft the same number used on Michael Waltrip's car: 00.

How was this possible? Because the ad was financed by Microsoft’s small business clients. In return, each client can plaster their logo on a mock image of Waltrip’s car on their respective website. According to Forbes' article, other companies,including Target, have implemented similar strategies. Target awarded NASCAR-themed in-store product displays to business who wished to contribute to Target’s sponsorship of Chip Ganassi.

Several factors may push NASCAR ad prices higher, from fuel prices, increased overhead, and  higher costs for engineering research. As a result of the current economy, many corporations may cut their marketing costs with the Microsoft strategy.

As Microsoft’s strategy is tested in NASCAR, consider the potential in other sports. The same strategy could be modified and applied for other individual-driven sports: golfers, tennis players and maybe even UFC fighters, who could offer virtual tatoos or shirt logos to cover their online image-which would make for an eye-catching banner ad. The possibilities are endless.

Microsoft's NASCAR strategy could create new trend By Matt O'Hern at 08:56 AM
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

3D Animation Inches Ever Closer to Reality

I spend my days at the university steeped in digital animation, storytelling and other forms of weird computer stuff that nerdy types like me enjoy. I'm constantly amazed at how realistic artist renderings are becoming in the digital environment.

There's news rumbling about the leaps a few companies in the 3D animation space have made.

Alter Ego has a killer set of facial renderings, the type capture the nuance of the human face without leaving you with the creeped out feeling that a serial killer is in your midst.  That's what happened a half-dozen years ago when the CGI-Final Fantasy movie -- based upon the wildly popular computer game -- hit the theaters.

As computers get more powerful and renderings get more realistic, there are more tools on the market as well. The professor who teaches animation at Northern Kentucky University shows me a new program each week it seems. And they run on all platforms -- Linux, Microsoft and Apple -- making the technology far more accessible than those that are simply tied to one.

But it's not just software. Hardware is a key component as well. Some of the more innovative partnerships are combining the two together.

The end result, as is always the end result of innovation, is that these tools will not only give artists the opportunity to create more realistic images, but soon the general public will be able to create 3D renderings as well.

3D Animation Inches Ever Closer to Reality By Brad at 09:28 PM
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Fantasy Football Sites Ready for Some Football

The Olympics are more than just an international sporting event. They are also the prime time for companies to launch a product -- and product -- because somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion people are watching. That's a ton of eyeballs.

CBS is hoping to capitalize on sports-mania by announcing its upcoming mobile website for fantasy footballers (that's American football for those of you outside our borders). The sports application not only enables players to make moves via their mobiles, but it provides real-time statistics and videos, thereby ensuring a nation of men will never again speak to anyone for 26 Sundays (including the bye and the empty pre-Super Bowl week).

Don't like CBS, no problem. You can head to Yahoo, which offers a similar suite of products -- which AT&T has integrated into its own mobile network.

We've covered the meteoric rise of fantasy sports, but it's still amazing how much innovation is thrown towards the industry. Even the famed card-counting, Vegas-busting, MIT student Jeff Ma has launched a Facebook application for fantasy sports.

Fantasy Football Sites Ready for Some Football By Brad at 07:51 PM
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Many Olympic Athletes Are Still Out of the Spotlight

During the past five days, I’ve developed MPF- Michael Phelps Fatigue.

It strikes every five minutes during NBC’s Olympic coverage, when I learn a new trivial fact about America’s favorite competitve swimmer. Meanwhile, other athletes remain as obscure as a stranger on the street.

Now, I’m the first one to appreciate an in-depth feature story about a rising star athlete in a "small market" sport, but it’s almost as if Bob Costas feels obligated to recite every line in Phelps’ Facebook profile during every studio cut-in. Due to the unofficial Phelps Love Fest, I can tell you his favorite restaurant, his daily breakfast the breed of his pet dog and his medical history, yet I can only name one player on the Volleyball team- Kerri Walsh, who made headlines after she lost her wedding ring during a match. (It was eventually recovered by a diligent volunteer with a metal detector.) 

Major Olympic sponsors, such as McDonalds, have plastered the names and faces of U.S. athletes on their wrappers,bags and cups, but we only remember certain names, such as Mark Spitz, Jackie-Joyner Kersee and Mary Lou Retton. Some of those former Olympians, including Spitz and Kersee, have capitalized on their long-term name recognition. Spitz is now endorsing Botox and Kersee is doing promos for a healthcare benefits provider, Medco.

With all the media tech at NBC's disposal, one can't help but wonder- Why are so many of our shining summer athletes forgotten by October? There are a two simple answers

  •  By the time we become acquainted with them, they’re heading back to their hometowns.
  • We can remember the names like Derek Jeter and Tom Brady, because they’re regularly seen on our living room TV. With the exception of the basketball team, most  athletes appear on national TV only once every four years. 

When NBC and sponsors devote more time and energy to  rising stars in other sports, such as USA softball's ace pitcher Jennie Finch maybe we’ll recognize more of the names and faces on our TV when 2012 comes around.

Many Olympic Athletes Are Still Out of the Spotlight By Matt O'Hern at 04:26 PM
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Madden's fanbase crosses new lines

The cult also known as Madden Nation gathered for the official nationwide release today, which marks the start of the most profitbale quarter for EA Sports.
I noticed two interesting facts about the latest version of Madden 09:


1. The game has transcended the sports fan market and is officially a part of pop culture.

2. The Madden "cover curse" is nothing to scoff at.

On the first point, the Madden 09 AD features gamers from all age groups and both genders. The 30-second commercial shows the fans exchanging taunts and trash talking, including a father and his daughter. Obviously, the ad attempts to illustrate how the game has transcended from sports to pop culture as a whole.
As the NFL's popularity continues to surge and spread, Madden 09, which is expected to sell nearly 3 million copies,has developed such a passionate and wide fanbase that its official release party, located the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, had a superbowl feeling of its own kind Fans met NFL all-stars and rocked out to concerts by Good Charlotte, Bustah Rhymes and others.To give some perspective to the growth, I clearly remember Madden's status 12 years ago, when we just went to the mall, grabbed it off the shelf, spent our summer lawn-mowing money and ran home.

With all the release hype, it's hard to believe that sales for the product actually declined in 08, but analysts credit that to the shift from the old XBOX and Playstation platforms to the new ones. As more americans make the leap to the new technology, the game's following should continue to spread.

As for the curse, it's a long-held belief that the star player selected to appear on the cover is due for either a serious injury  or controversial story in the following story: I.E. - Mike Vick, Garrison Hearst, Shaun Alexander and now, Brett Favre. The original concept for the 09 cover was to honor Favre's career with the Packers, but as many of you already know, his rocky return forced him to leave Green Bay in favor of the New York Jets. The curse lives on.

Madden's fanbase crosses new lines By Matt O'Hern at 09:05 AM
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Ratings reveal valuable viewership stats

America's love affair with sports continues to grow, just ask the head execs at NBC, which has enjoyed its highest TV ratings since 1996, when the event was on our home turf in Atlanta. Saturday's opening ceremony drew an estimated 34.2 million viewers, which was 11 million more than the  2004 audience. 90% of the viewers watched on NBC and 10% watched on nbcolympics.com, with 0.2% watching on the internet alone.
An excerpt from the Wall Street Journal Article reads:

The streaming will not diminish the ratings, said Neal Pilson, a sports-media consultant who advised the International Olympic Committee in negotiations for broadcast rights. It encourages viewers and provides them with information. There will be no dilution or fragmentation of the national audience. 

On the surface, higher nielsen ratings appear to be a strong indication that NBC’s TV audience hasn’t suffered a March Madness inverse result- where TV ratings decreased and web viewership increased. Instead, the combination appears to be mutually beneificial.
 While there may be many factors for the stronger numbers, it’s important to remember that the NCAAtournament attracts many causal, short-term viewers- everyone from the secretary to the CEO, who occasionaly check a few scores to track their status office betting pool. The olympics attracts also many casual viewers, but it also draws a high amount of passionate fans from each sport. As a result, the Olympics attracts steady viewership in several different demographic groups.
For example, on Sunday, I watched the entire first half of USA basketball vs. China (praying that Dwight Howard would avoid any serious injury). Today, during my lunch break, I tuned away from women’s water polo within a couple of seconds.Conversely, my best friend’s wife, who’s the same age as me, will watch an entire volleyball match but probably won’t devote a second of her time to any basketball game. (I must admit, after seeing USA's volleyball team, I may have to jump on that bandwagon)
With a plethora of games each day, the resulting clutter of scores and medal counts can become a little overwhelming, and nbcolympics.com  gives each viewer a chance to sort through the clutter and find the next game for their favorite sport.

The key number to watch this year, and in the years to follow, is the 10% who watch at nbcolympics.com and on TV. As more TV viewers are acclimated to webcasts, I expect that combined-media audience number to reach 20-30% for the 2012 Olympics in London.
 

Olympic Ratings reveal valuable viewership stats By Matt O'Hern at 04:30 PM
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eBay Not Liable for Fake Tiffany Items, Yet

eBay is the great international flea market. While I've never used the service (I have enough stuff thankyouverymuch), millions of people use it to find what they need at a much cheaper price than you can find in a store.

Of course sometimes that price is cheap for a reason.

Tiffany's sued the online retailer, claiming the company turned a blind eye to fake merchandise being trafficked on the site. Now, the jeweler is appealing that ruling.

The rapid growth of the Internet has thrown into question many assumptions that hold true in the physical realm. In this case, Tiffany's believes that eBay -- which simply connects individuals together -- should also police what those individuals are selling. eBay has a different take.

Muddying the waters is a recent decision in French court that held eBay should be held liable for facilitating the sale of counterfeit goods.

For netizens, the victory was a welcome relief, ensuring that the misdeeds of individuals not become the responsibility of companies. Had Tiffany's won, they posit, the underlying architecture of Web-based businesses would have been placed at risk. Also at risk was individual privacy. If companies such as eBay were forced to police every item, they would have been responsible for tracking every transaction, a reality that would have increased the cost of doing business and slowed down the real-time interactions.

But the victory in U.S. court doesn't mean the battle is over. Already other industries are readying their legal challenges to the eBay system.

eBay Not Liable for Fake Tiffany Items, Yet By Brad at 03:51 PM
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China Digitizes Opening Ceremonies

Just because you see the images fly across the screen doesn't necessarily mean that what you're watching is real, at least in terms of "real life".

If you tuned into the Olympics' opening ceremony you were treated to a 55-second, breath-taking fireworks display. Except you weren't. Instead, you watched a 3D rendering of the event that took a year to create.

The fireworks at the stadium were real, but what viewers saw on their televisions wasn't because organizers believed it would be too difficult to capture the entire event safely.

As news of the fabrication spread to the 1 billion people tuned into the event, news organizations around the world have reacted with a wide gamut of emotions, from angry to completely non-plussed. Some 2,000 stories have hit Google News in just the last few hours.

Normally I'm okay with such fabrications when we're dealing with a non-news story -- as writer James Fallows points out, but the more we move into a digital world, the more important it is to make sure we maintain a trust with the public. When these events go off without a direct reference to them, it breaks that trust -- making it ever less likely that we will implicitly trust what we see.

Not that it's bad to question everything. But sometimes it's nice to just believe.

China Digitizes Opening Ceremonies By Brad at 03:22 PM
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Vocus helps companies adjust to new media

 

To appreciate the power of the new media, think of the blogosphere and social networking world as a dam, lined with many cracks. Obviously, every crack has the potential to become a major leak, and it' s virtually impossible to devote equal attention to each one. You may focus on the wrong area, and before you know it,you suffer a devestating flood of negative press.

Until the 2000s, executives only had to monitor the four major TV news networks and about 10-20 major daily  publications (NY Times, Wall Street Journal,USA Today). Obviously, that's all changed, thanks to the new media.

As social networks,blogs and other online media become increasingly relevant to modern business, PR companies such as Vocus are bridging the media gap for CEO's and company leaders.

Most companies don't have the time or manpower to track blogs and networks all day, and that's where Vocussteps in. Vocus spreads your name to the top bloggers and news sites, but it also offers Sentiment Analysis, a tool that tracks press, positive or negative, regarding your company-  in real time. Reports are offered in graph form,for easy and instant insight into your company's current image.I interviewed sales executive Joshua K. Gondwe, who outlined the tool's features.

You can render reports that show- are you getting a positive zone on these articles or negative?  You can print out a report with graphs and insight to see what publications are saying. You can see how people are talking about you and how they view you, and your customers are ultimately paying your salary. 

For those CEOs and leaders who aren't familiar with the background, rhetoric and tone of blogs and social networks, Vocus advises a personal approach toward new media and explains the differences between the traditional methods of PR and today's new challenges.

We try to educate them on the fact that bloggers are real people. They care about specific issues and want you to understand them before you approach them.

What does this evolved form of PR signify? It validates what we already suspected- that over time, your online reputation, whether it comes from USA Today or a random blogger in Boston, can morph into one of your biggest assets, or one of your heaviest liabilities.

Vocus helps companies adjust to new media By Matt O'Hern at 09:39 AM
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« August 2008 Week 1 August 2008 Week 3 »

  • Week 1 (17 entries) August 1-9
  • Week 2 (20 entries) August 10-16
  • Week 3 (20 entries) August 17-23
  • Week 4 (14 entries) August 24-30
  • Week 5 (0 entries) August 31-31

Fairness Doctine? "Not on my internet!" Americans say.
if they pass the fairness doctrine,we must form an...
by paul
The Digitial Branding of Obama
I agree man. Never has any presidential candidate...
by Nick Stamoulis
Vocus helps companies adjust to new media
For disclosure, I am the Director of Product Manag...
by Kye Strance
Vocus helps companies adjust to new media
One more thing: my note above and our experience i...
by Martin Edic
Vocus helps companies adjust to new media
Be very careful in writing about claims of sentime...
by Martin Edic

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