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February 2009, Week 3 Marketing Archives

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gamestop Thrives from Culture Shift to Home Entertainment

gamestop store

Recession, What recession?

Judging from the sales figures despite the slow economy, video games are now considered the best bang for your entertainment buck. Just ask Dan DeMatteo, CEO of Gamestop (NYSE:GME), who's overseen the store's recent surge in sales. DeMatteo was quoted in in today's Wall Street Journal , in an article titled: Gamestop Boasts Momentum.


We think '09 should be a very good year in spite of the recession. Given what we've seen so far, videogames are considered a form of value entertainment.


I just have one question: Why wasn't he talking like this 15 years ago, when I was begging my parents to buy me NBA Jam?
There's a simple answer: Times have changed, along with our routines and habits.

Cultures are defined by their customs and what they value. Our culture has grown accustomed to being constantly amused and entertained, similar to the Romans. We still seek entertainment, but in cheaper forms. For the price of five tickets at your local movie theater , you can buy a PS3 or XBox 360 or Nintendo Wii game that will entertain family and friends on multiple occasions. Innovations such as Netflix on Xbox Live provide even more incentive to spend the night at home with friends and family.

Gamestop Thrives from Culture Shift to Home Entertainment By Matt O'Hern at 03:28 PM
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Myspace Music Streams New U2 Album : No Line On the Horizon

myspace music

Fellow U2 fans rejoice. Thanks to MySpace,  You can hear the entire new album- No Line on the Horizon -at Myspace Music, a free music service.

The new album featuring legendary rockstar Singer Bono (Paul Hewson), Bass player Adam Clayton, Guitar player David Evans (A.K.A. The Edge) and drummer Larry Mullins Jr. will hit stores March 3, but Myspace Music gives fans a sneak preview.

 When you reach the profile page, be sure to click on the playlist and click  No Line On The Horizon , otherwise you'll just see the single "Get on your boots".

myspace new u2 albumNo Line on the Horizon is the group’s highly anticipated 12th studio album and their first release since How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. Long-time U2 collaborators Brian Eno and Danny Lanois produced the album, with additional production by Steve Lillywhite.

For more information vist the U2 Myspace Profile

Myspace Music Streams New U2 Album : No Line On the Horizon By Matt O'Hern at 01:32 PM
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iPhone Issues: Slow Recharge for Dead Battery

If Blackberry wants material for their next commercial, I have the perfect anti-iPhone anecdote.

On two different occasions during the past couple weeks, I became a victim of the iPhone's slow recharge speed.  I was spilling my guts and emphasizing a crucial point during a pivotal conversation with a "friend" (the controversial  word which prompted my call in the first place) when my phone died. I knew my power was draining, because that annoying indicator told me, but I figured I could plug it in and get back to business- Nope.

Two-hours later, my phone was still in the "Red" zone, and I was still in the 'Friend' zone. I couldn't even access the home screen to text. Needless to say, I wasn't a happy camper. (The fire was definitely out.)

Have you ever rambled on about a certain point or topic, only to hear silence on the other end?  It usually goes like this:

Anyway, I know I talked your ear off, but I just had to get some things off my chest....(silence) What? Now you don't have anything to say? Hellllo?

At that point,  you realize your phone died somewhere in the middle of your rant, but you have NO idea what point of your rant it was. So they could have heard anything from  the first five seconds to the most critical segment of your speech. Thanks to iPhone, I'll never know!

Last night, I used all my battery life, and now I'm starting to wonder if it's a phone problem or charger problem, because it was still in the red when I woke up this moning. I want fellow iPhone owners to tell me how long it takes to recharge your phone, and if you have your own story, feel free to share it with me.


iPhone Issues: Slow Recharge for Dead Battery By Matt O'Hern at 10:26 AM
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Update on - Terminator 4 Viral Campaign: homepage







The invasion has begun. has infiltrated social networking, including a fan page on Facebook, (379 fans) a channel on Youtube (216 videos watched, 82 Subscribers, 759 channel views), a Twitter profile (73 following, 51 followers) and a Flickr photo sharing account.

Earlier today, I mentioned an odd email I received, calling for robotic design submissions.

After a few minutes of quick research, I realized it was a viral marketing campaign for Terminator Salvation, the fourth installment in the movie series. On the site's hompage, there's no direct VISUAL reference to the Terminator series, but if you listen closely, you'll notice a snippet from the theme song playing in the background.

Here are some screenshots I took from the series of Youtube Videos on the skynet research channel. skynetskynet model 101skynet youtube I wonder how long they'll wait before they release videos of the robots going haywire and taking over the nation. More later, I gotta run.

Update on - Terminator 4 Viral Campaign: By Matt O'Hern at 02:55 PM
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Track the Word on the Steet with Alacra Street Pulse Sentiment Tagging

alacra logo

With blogs, forums and news articles updating every second, your company's reputation could be tarnished before you even realize it. As a result, sentiment tracking and analytic tools are becoming essential for survival.
Alacra Technology just released the Pulse Platform and Street Pulse.
Pulse Platform  reads and analyzes news stories and blog posts from more than 2,000 hand-selected mainstream and alternative media RSS feeds searching for specific types of business information that lets you quickly consume relevant and vital about a company.

Street Pulse is a free application that captures and organizes comments from traditional equity, credit and industry analysts as well as alternative media. A free, ad-supported version is available at

How does Street Pulse work?
According to Alacra's Press release, Street Pulse integrates comments from sell-side, credit analysts, industry analysts and a carefully vetted list of influential bloggers. The data is organized so that users can easily see comments on a single company or those from a specific firm or analyst. It's the only source that organizes comments from traditional analysts and the alternative media in a single view.

Streetpulse features an easy user interface with three search options:

  1. Company.
  2. Analyst.
  3. Firm.

streetpulse coke searchEnter your desired company and you'll see the latest analyst comments on the next page. For a broad overview of the market as a whole, you can return to the homepage, featuring an analyst comment ticker and on the right, a section titled:  What's Hot? The Most Talked About Companies Today. The comment tickcer is categorized by sellside analysts, bloggers, credit analysts and industry analysts, streetpulse key
Companies are ranked by the total number of comments, with the latest comment posted next to the analyst indicator. Hot companies today included GM (NYSE: GM), HP (NYSE:HPQ), Sprint (NYSE:S), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) , Chrysler LLC, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), CBS (NYSE:CBS), Nestle (VTX:NESN)

Overall, I was impressed with Street Pulse, and I think it's a valuable tool for market research. However, many of its tools are already on Google Finance, such as updates on news,blogs discussions. and feeds. Street Pulse's most appealing features are the search by firm and search by analyst options.

Track the Word on the Steet with Alacra Street Pulse Sentiment Tagging By Matt O'Hern at 01:27 PM
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Skynet Research E-Mail = Viral Campaign for Terminator Salvation Movie

skynet research email

Jason forwarded me an odd email this morning from Special Ops Media. The subject line read: SKYNET RESEARCH CALL FOR ROBOTIC DESIGNS.

Jason noted, "This is pretty funny"

skynet robotsAfter I scrolled down, looked at some of the robot images and read the company overview, I laughed to myself  because I was reminded of Cyberdyne Systems, the research and development firm that made the killer robots in the Terminator movies.
I mentioned the Terminator link to Jason and he agreed it seemed eerily similar. I read through the Terminator plot and had my "Duh" moment.  Skynet Research was a division of Cyberdyne in the Terminator movie and TV series. The funny thing is, I'm not even a huge fan of the series, but my memory made an association almost immediately.

In the storyline,Skynet is a network of supercomputers that replace human pilots and military control systems, including nuclear missiles. Keep in mind that the fourth installment of the Terminator movie series:Terminator Salvation, debuts in national theaters on May 21. This email and is just the beginning of a complex viral marketing campaign at, It also incorporates a Facebook group and its own Youtube channel.

There's  a lot of material to digest from this website, including videos to review, so I'm going to take a closer look and share some of my observations in a follow-up post. ATTENTION: Here is the UPDATE: - Terminator 4 Viral Campaign

Skynet Research E-Mail = Viral Campaign for Terminator Salvation Movie By Matt O'Hern at 10:35 AM
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Angry Users Force Facebook to Retract New Terms of Use

facebook logo

The people have spoken, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is listening.

A new terms of use policy was recanted after users voiced concerns over privacy. In response, Zuckerberg crafted his response for the entire network , which read more like a state of the union address, but I guess Zuckerberg's approach was appropriate, considering the fact that 175 million people are on the network, which would be the sixth largest country in the world.

Here are some points from Zuckerberg's announcement that caught my attention:

First, he reminds us that Facebook is,in the words of Ron Burgundy," kind of a big deal."

mark zuckerberg update

Our terms aren't just a document that protect our rights; it's the governing document for how the service is used by everyone across the world. Given its importance, we need to make sure the terms reflect the principles and values of the people using the service.

Facebook's philosophy on info:

People own their information and control who they share it with.

Facebook's goal:

Build great products and to communicate clearly to help people share more information in this trusted environment.

Facebook's reason for the user terms update:

One of the reasons we updated our terms was to make this more clear.In reality, we wouldn't share your information in a way you wouldn't want. The trust you place in us as a safe place to share information is the most important part of what makes Facebook work.

Plans for the next version:

It will be a substantial revision from where we are now...Since this will be the governing document that we'll all live by, Facebook users will have a lot of input in crafting these terms.

Zuckerberg closed his address with an invitation to contribute feedback.

We expect to complete this in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we've changed the terms back to what existed before the February 4th change. If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.

Judging from the tone and points in the network-wide note, online reputation management is a top priority for Zuckerberg and staff. Facebook's honest, humble and open approach to its users is what differentiates it from other networks that treat you like a mere number.

Angry Users Force Facebook to Retract New Terms of Use By Matt O'Hern at 11:33 AM
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Power to the People: Nominated for Emmy Award

nowpublic logo

New Media will reach a major milestone at the 52nd New York Emmy Awards ceremony.

  NowPublic,a citizen journalist site, is among the nominees for Advanced Media: Interactivity. It marks the first time in Emmy history for a user-generated news site to earn such a nomination.
While there's no specific date or story to mark the official birth "citizen journalism", NowPublic deserves credit for providing passionate and resourceful independent  reporters the tools the the site to publish their original material to a mass audience.nowpublic video

Based in Vancouver, NowPublic publishes stories from thousands of contributors, with reporters in more than 5,500 cities and 160 countries.   Established media eventually followed their lead and cable news networks integrated citizen repots into their daily broadcasts, such as  I-report on CNN.

Leonard Brody, co-founder and CEO of NowPublic, believes the nomination legitimizes citizen journalism as an integral modern source for  news.

An Emmy Award nomination is a tremendous honor for NowPublic and an enormous step forward for participatory journalism.User-generated news has been widely embraced over the past year and this occasion validates that it as relevant as traditional newsgathering processes

NowPublic has already received recognition for its contributions to news. The Guardian named NowPublic one of the top five most useful news sites on the web and Time Magazine named it one of the top 50 websites in 07.Venture capitalist contributing to NowPublic's growth include Rho Ventures, Rho Canada, Brightspark, GrowthWorks and members of the New York Angels.

Power to the People: Nominated for Emmy Award By Matt O'Hern at 10:30 AM
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Synthasite Receives $20 Million from Reinet Investments

synthasite logo

Don't look now, WordPress and TypePad, but you may have some serious competition just around the corner.

Reinet Investments saw great potential in Synthasite, a free site-developing platform that started in 2007. Synthasite's simple drag-and-drop user interface attracted enough users to earn accoloades from TechCrunch, Wall Street Journal, VentureBeat , Business Week.

Synthasite Founder & CEO Vinny Lingham reflected on the site's remarkable progress since it launched in 2007

When we began building SynthaSite, we wanted to provide the opportunity for anyone anywhere to build a website that would achieve their unique goals, from starting a small business to showcasing their achievements.SynthaSite has grown from just a handful of people to more than 40 individuals in both offices, supporting over one million users.  


As a result, Synthasite's support forum is one of the most active on GetSatisfaction's network, and its recent "Best of SynthaSite" contest attracted more than 1,000 entrants.

Synthasite Receives $20 Million from Reinet Investments By Matt O'Hern at 08:45 AM
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Boost Mobile Targets Broader Audience with Unwronged Commercials

In a moment shock and disgust, you've probably uttered the cliche exclamation:

    "That's just wrong!"

Boost Mobile, the pre-paid division of Sprint, (NYSE: S) knows that millions of wireless customers feel wronged by excessive feeds and charges, That's why Boost worked with 180LA to develop an  "edgy nationwide campaign portraying humorous situations that most would consider 'wrong,' Boost Mobile's new 'Unwronged' marketing takes aim at its competitors' shortcomings and their negative impact on consumers. especially in tough financial times.

180LA took a page from Bill Clinton's campaign playbook, and the theme of the "Unwronged" Commercial series is: Boost  Mobile"feels your pain".

William Gelner, executive creative director 180LA, crafted the "Wrong" scenes that highlight the series, including: pigs eating ham, a coroner dropping a burrito into his work, and a woman with extremely long armpit hair riding in the front seat of a tandem bike with no regard for her fellow biker.boost mobile armpit hair   

Times are tough for our audience. What makes matters worse are all the deceitful plans cell phone companies use to gouge people. This campaign has fun with that idea by positioning competitors as the ultimate wrong and Boost as the right.

As an alternative to the plans offered by major competitors such as Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: ATT), Boost Mobile gives consumers straightforward pricing and predictable payments with no additional Telecom Taxes, activation, roaming, traveling or long distance fees. 

Boost President Matt Carter explained Boost's straighfoward plan in a behind the scenes video at Boost Mobile Community.

Boost is 'unwronging customers with the  $50 dollar plan, where $50 means $50, it doesn't mean $65 with roaming fees. What Boost is all about is telling customers, 'This is what you get.' Wll give you all these benefits at this price, and and this is the price you're going to pay for.

On a side note, as I was watching the behind the scenes video, I noticed Matt Carter's resemblance to Cleveland, one of the main characters on Family Guy. What do you think?matt carter cleveland<

Boost Mobile Targets Broader Audience with Unwronged Commercials By Matt O'Hern at 03:13 PM
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Q&A with Offerpal Media CEO Anu Shukla: Monetizing Social Network Apps

anu shukla

I had the chance to ask Offerpal Media CEO, Anu Shukla a few questions about the platform structure for service, a company overview, and Offerpal's vision for the future.

Offerpal Media just announced  $15 million in Stage D.E. Shaw Ventures, InterWest Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Shukla is the  former CEO of Rubric, which she sold in 2000 for nearly $400M.  Offerpal has about 55 employees and a range of 30-40 million in revenue. Shukla saw the great potential in games and applications for social networks, and she realized that many developers weren't getting the compensation they deserved for their creative efforts.

We looked at social networking and  realized people aren't looking at banner activities. People are engaged in activity and you need to be involved in that activity. What we've done is focused on our platform from service aspects. quality advanced technology  advertiser wanted, the publisher is making amount of revenue  and consumer the is getting something they want anyway, so everybody wins.We're making social networks and open web platforms profitable.

How did Offerpal find a viable solution to appease the advertiser, consumer and developer?: Action-Based Offers.

I asked Shukla to explain how an action based offer works.

In a game like Texas Hold Em Poker, you can earn chips with real currency or virtual. In our iframe page that pops up, we know who you are here are some things you'd like to do if you subscribe to Blockbuster you get $100 worth of chips. We find consumers w/ith money and time. If I'm in interested in Blockbuster or Netflix, I'm also going to get a $100 in virtual currency.The advertiser is acquiring consumers that they know a lot about and they only pay for performance

action based offers

Offerpal only uses nationally recognized corporations for its advertisements, so customers don't worry about providing credit info. Offerpal lunched its app platform in October of  07, and now supports all the major social networks, including Facebook and Myspace. Clients include  800 publishers on casual gaming sites, 2,000 advertisers, with 2.5 million transactions per month and 50 million consumers with access.Of the 600 social networking apps, which range from mob games, to go green apps and dating apps, the median app is collecting $150,000+ a month in revenues.

These applications can make a lot of money on social networks,some of the big players are seriously looking at taking their popular games and RPGs and launching them on social networks.

Q&A with Offerpal Media CEO Anu Shukla: Monetizing Social Network Apps By Matt O'Hern at 11:46 AM
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Broken Hearts & Bargain Hunters Deal Jewlery at

engagement rejection

Finding a diamond in the rough has never been this easy.

Whether you're frugal couple looking for a great deal or a heartbroken from an fickle fiance, there's a light at the end of the tunnel, called

I discovered this site while I was reading a "sign of the times" article in Reuters. Ido nowidont is a rejection collection search engine for bargain hunters. i do now i dontThe site buys " leftover assets” from  failed relationships and resells them at discount deals to buyers, including engagement rings, wedding bands and wedding dresses.  I've never proposed (never even come close to that point), but I'm sure a broken financial worries must feel like salt in an open wound after a broken engagement.

That's where idonowidont provides at least one solution for your strife.  Sellers can create a free listing and buyers reap the reward of major discounts.  If you're planning to pop the big question, but can't afford a ring from one of the major jewelers in your local mall, this site is the ideal alternative.

    Compared to a diamond retailer, our site enables sellers to receive as much as 100% more than a jeweler would pay, while providing up to 50% in savings to buyers. I Each diamond sold on the site is inspected by our GIA-trained and accredited gemologist to assure its authenticity. The buyer's money is released to the seller only when that certification process is completed. In a world where so much is uncertain, our auction process allows everyone to buy and sell jewelry in a trusting environment that is 100% safe and secure. provides a silver lining for couples who find themselves stuck in a scenario that seems hopeless. I'm not implying money will solve all of your problems, but in these tough times, we could all use an economic break.

Broken Hearts & Bargain Hunters Deal Jewlery at By Matt O'Hern at 10:01 AM
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Is Gymnast Alicia Sacramone the New Face for Gatorade and ?

alicia sacramone

Gatorade must have noticed the same trend I did when I was reviewing keywords for my posts about and the Quest for G: A cute athlete always helps your ratings with the 18-35 male demographic.

Compared to Derek Jeter and Kevin Garnett, Alicia Sacramone was an athlete with niche market appeal, yet she was among the top keywords searched for my post about Quest for G webisodes.

Before you send the hate mail,hear me out. I'm not questioning Sacramone's athletic talent. You may recall my post from last summer, when I said that too many olympic athletes are left out the spotlight after the games conclude.In fact, I believe swimmers, cyclists and gymnasts are among the top-conditioned athletes, but it's a well-known fact that, with the exception of the olympics. Gymnastic competitions aren't exactly a primetime sporting event. In my opinion, Sacramone's role for Mission G indicates Gatorade is using new angles to promote its brand, but it's still keeping the 18-35 year old male demographic in mind. Sacramone went to the 2009 NBA All-Star game to interview sports stars and other celebrities at the T-Mobile Party. Sacramone interviewed American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks and two fan favorites from the Miami Heat Dwayne Wade and Alonzo Mourning. You can see the video here.

 On a side note, for every visitor to, Gatorade is donating $1 to charity, so everybody wins.

Is Gymnast Alicia Sacramone the New Face for Gatorade and ? By Matt O'Hern at 11:33 AM
Comments (0), Yahoo Let Fans Vote for Favorite Daytona 500 Commercial

daytona commercial showcase

Nascar's Daytona 500 has been called the Super Bowl of Motor Sports, and for good reason. During the past decade, the league enjoyed rapid growth in viewership and overall popularity.

To capitalize on the spreading fan base, Nascar and Yahoo created the Daytona 500 Commercial Showcase, where fans can replay and vote for their favorite commercials. It's a win-win for fans and advertisers, because the brands get extra exposure, and the fans have instant access to video they can share with friends on social networks., Yahoo Let Fans Vote for Favorite Daytona 500 Commercial By Matt O'Hern at 10:03 AM
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Shaq Gives Jabbawockeez More Publicity with Dance at All-Star Game

shaq jabbawockeez

Consider this Exhibit A for the gallery of evidence that any publicity is good publicity.

Donning one of the white phantom masks, Shaq performed his own dance tributeTO the Jabbawockeez at the 2009 NBA All-Star game last night. You probably recognized them from the What is G? Commercial series by Gatorade. Mr. O'Neal tried his hand in movies and music, but watching him rap and act was almost as painful as watching him shoot free throws.  A few years later, he enlisted as an officer in the Miami-Dade Police Department and to track down internet predators, but a restraining order ended that part-time gig.

A quick glance at Google Trends suggests the Jabbawockeez should be pretty grateful for Shaq's "performance". The funny thing is, Shaq is still popular, but most of today's youth probably know more about Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, two of the league's youngest superstars. 10 years ago, this stunt by Shaq would have been an AMAZING plug. I'm just trying to decide which character looks more foolish: Kazam or Jabbawockee?

Shaq Gives Jabbawockeez More Publicity with Dance at All-Star Game By Matt O'Hern at 09:30 AM
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Presidents' Day Tribute: Fun Facts About the Less Popular American Leaders

unpopular presidents museum

Everytime Presidents Day rolls around, we think of the all the popular leaders and our current President, but what about those 10-20 we rarely hear anything about.

We've all listened to lectures in history class about  George Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy and Reagan, but what about those names we only memorized to complete the list. Personally, I wish someone would create a museum full of nothing but trivial facts about the less popular Presidents . With the help of, I dug up  some interesting facts about those Presidents you forgot about after middle school.james garfield

Here are some interesting facts to share with your family and friends today:

James Garfield was the first left-handed President and he could write Greek in one hand and Latin in the other. (Talk about multi-tasking)
grover cleveland
Grover Cleveland, the 22nd President, was the only president elected to two, non-consecutive terms. He paid for a Civil War substitute to fight for him.When he left after his first term in 1889, his wife told the White House staff to take care of the furniture because they would be back. She was correct.Cleveland paid someone to take his place in the military draft.
millard fillmore
Millard Fillmore, the 12th president, ran on the "Know-Nothing Party" ticket in 1856. (Perfect fodder for an attack ad! )

William Henry Harrison, the ninth president, gave the longest inauguration speech, but died after only 30 days in office.

william howard taftWilliam Howard Taft is one of only two  Presidents buried in Arlington Cemetary. The other is John F. Kennedy.  Taft is also the first President to purchase a car.

john tylerJohn Tyler was the first President without a party. The Democrats and the Whigs both threatened to impeach him, and he called his home "Sherwood Forest."
 Creepy fact- Three Presidents died on July 4th- Thomas Jefferson-1826, age-83 John Adams-1826, age-90 James Monroe-1831, age-73.

P.S. To hear a humorous tribute to America's mediocre president, check out this song.

Presidents' Day Tribute: Fun Facts About the Less Popular American Leaders By Matt O'Hern at 08:35 AM
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« February 2009 Week 2 February 2009 Week 4 »

  • Week 1 (20 entries) February 1-7
  • Week 2 (23 entries) February 8-14
  • Week 3 (16 entries) February 15-21
  • Week 4 (19 entries) February 22-28

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