5/22/07

The Social Networking Universe?


Not. I'm spending more time building profiles than I am being social on these sites. Ken at KenRadio.com provides these snazzy IQ media reports daily. A couple of days ago he distributed " Social Network Marketing, the Sky is the Limit" (Note: You may have to login to view it, Ken is building his own social network complete with yet another profile to fill out, his numbers say he has 15,000 folks).

He did an amazingly comprehensive chart of 90 social networking sites with a brief description of their type and their user number. I don't know where he got these numbers you will have to ask him. I sorted them by user number and excluded the "unknowns" and networking sites exclusively for specific geographic or demographic users. I took off any sites with less than 1,000,000 members since that seems to be the magic number for advertising viability.

That seems to be his focus, not membership premiums which I'd just like to give a shout out to Flickr on setting up an easy and "safe" pro service unlike other Yahoo services.

KenRadio.com reports that " in 2007 marketers will spend $900 million on advertising and marketing on social network sites in the US, mostly to create profile pages and sponsored promotions. MySpace, still the largest player by far, is estimated to generate $525 million in the US this year. Facebook is expected to generate $125 million and both should continue to see healthy revenue increases. Combined, the two account for 72% of US social network ad spending in 2007 and 75% in 2008."

I understand the non sophisticated aura that a banner ad on Myspace represents to most advertisers and they want to build involvement and a "personality" for their brand but I think it's a huge wasted opportunity because it seems, at least 85% of the time, based on my faulty human memory a banner ad pops up with the fake celebrity rip offs or offers for "free" things. I'd like to know how many people actually received one of those free items. It leads to a survey site which provides direct spammers with information about the users.

Maybe they should do some barter ads with content sites to provide fodder for healthy discussion on myspace or is that completely unrealistic? I know there is intelligent life on myspace, it's just got such a bad rap that many people stay away.

5/18/07

NYT's Take on the Upfronts

This year’s television upfront presentations, where the networks open giant briefcases and introduce samples from their fall lineups to advertisers, came and went with whimpers.

But the entrance whimper and the exit whimper were different. The first, at NBC’s presentation Monday, was one of pain. It came through on the projection screen behind Kevin Reilly, the network’s entertainment president.

“Big fat disappointment,” the screen read, the acknowledgment saving Mr. Reilly from prolonged public penance by subtitling his subconscious. It had indeed been a horrible year for NBC, which, having long ago lost its first-place status, needed a brilliant one.

How the mighty have fallen. And how the unmighty have risen: Fox, which after all these years is still not counted among the “big three” networks by some old-timers, now attracts the audiences advertisers desire more.

5/14/07

from dembot - pointed information : andrew michael baron

Why do Video Platforms Fail?

In online video, there is big interest in the entry point, the place where people go to discover and watch video and ultimately where payment is made, one way or another, for the watching. For some incredible reason that I can not fathom, an extraordinarily large number of people believe they can create the entry point in which the rest of the world will come to discover video. The competition is fierce and the success rate over the years has been a series of clockwork dead on arrivals.

This entry point offline used to be TV-Guide for TV content along with local newspapers for Movie listings, both "dead sources", so to speak. In music, a company called Sound Warehouse once dominated America as the entry point for musical recording sales, physically, and now it's completely gone.

Meanwhile, musicians only needed a cheap and clear signal-to-noise ratio to record sound with while the audience only needed dial-up to d/l the music with, to bring on the democratization of the music industry regardless of the pre-established industry's control.

The traditional TV/Movie/Film studios have not been as afraid of the internet recently, having had the opportunity to stand by and watch their music industry colleagues break down. Easily anticipating awhile back what has now become cheap and clear imaging to record and edit the world with, a new audience has now materialized only needing to click once to see anything by anyone.

5/13/07

25 Startups Watch (Biz 2.0)

Startups to watch


I can't find a date on this article from Biz 2.0 on the CNN/Money "channel". I'm assuming it was in late, late '06 or early, early '07 since the descriptions says "ones to watch in '07". They have a nifty little thumbnail description of pertinent facts about each one like date founded, funding, employees, why it exists and what it does, etc. The 25 are:

  1. Stumbleupon
  2. Slide
  3. Bebo
  4. Meebo
  5. Wikia
  6. Joost
  7. dabble
  8. Metacafe
  9. Revision 3
  10. Blip TV
  11. Fon
  12. Loopt
  13. Mobio
  14. Tiny Pictures
  15. Soonr
  16. Turn
  17. Adify
  18. AdMob
  19. SpotRunner
  20. Vitrue
  21. Success Factors
  22. JanRain
  23. LogoWorks
  24. Rearden Commerce
  25. Simulscribe

How 2 Make Sure Ads Get Seen on Network TV

The other reason the networks need viewers to keep watching ads is that Nielsen Media Research, the ratings arbiter, intends soon to begin measuring viewership of commercials as well as programs.

One way that many networks hope to engage viewers during commercial breaks is by wedging original content into the blocks of advertising time, so that viewers will anticipate seeing something fun if they sit through a few ads.

Fox Broadcasting, for instance, tried out a series of clips for two weeks last month about an animated character named Oleg, a New York cab driver, who popped up in eight-second vignettes during commercial breaks in series like “24.” CW has been running “content wraps,” which mix sponsor products into program snippets.

Some experiments involve the cast of the shows in which the commercials appear, serving as hosts for the breaks. That is a throwback to an era when “cast commercials” proliferated with the stars of series like “I Love Lucy,” “The Beverly Hillbillies” and even “The Flintstones.”

Interviews

John Fugelsang: 'All the Wrong Reasons'

April 28, 2007 · The son of a former priest and a one-time nun, John Fugelsang says he wasn't sure if he should have been born. He's turned funny stories from his life into a one-man show, All the Wrong Reasons. It's at the New York Theater Workshop until May 6.

5/12/07

NYT on Murdoch

Tilting at a Digital Future

Published: May 13, 2007

IN Rupert Murdoch’s world, two things are certain: the sun never sets on the kingdom, and a TV is always on in the background.

Rupert Murdoch, from his office in Manhattan, oversees holdings that include television, film, satellite TV and newspapers.

On the evening of April 26, several large television monitors adorned the terrace of Mr. Murdoch’s Beverly Hills mansion for a dinner celebrating a special edition of “American Idol” that raised more than $70 million to fight poverty. An Asian noodle station was set out by the pool; nearby, sushi chefs busily sliced tuna for “Idol” co-hosts Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest, and seven, hyperactive “Idol” finalists who, when they weren’t clamoring around megastar Tom Cruise, dreamily watched themselves on the big screens. Wendi Deng, Mr. Murdoch’s wife, wore a billowy, green dress and introduced their 5-year-old daughter, Grace, to guests before sending her to bed.

Mr. Murdoch casually sipped wine and chatted with his daughter, Elisabeth, and other guests. He had planned for the event to be an early dinner party, but he finally headed to bed at 1 a.m., leaving music impresario Quincy Jones and others chatting on a sofa. After all, he had work to do.

Digital Culture

Exploring TV's Takeoff on the Internet

GoodNight Burbank, an award-winning comedy program about life behind the scenes of a local news show, airs exclusively on the Internet. GoodnightBurbank.com

All Things Considered, May 9, 2007 · People are already calling 2007 the year of Internet television, and within the past few months, TV networks have officially jumped into the business.

The founders of the popular web sites Kazaa and Skype are launching their latest project, an Internet TV venture called Joost. At the same time, indie web TV shows and programs with big backers are trying to make money.

Jeremy Allaire, founder and CEO of Brightcove, a company that has built thousands of Internet "channels" for its clients as well as runs its own, talks to Robert Siegel about the growing industry.

We also hear from Dan Rayburn, executive vice president of Streaming Media, an industry trade publication, and from Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom of Joost.

And Laura Sydell reports on the making of Goodnight Burbank, an independent, web-only comedy show that has received accolades.

NPR Covers VH-1 Flavor of Love Charm School ...

Interviews

'Charm School' Teaches TV Manners

News & Notes, May 9, 2007 · Cable TV channel VH1's Flavor of Love girls are headed for Charm School, a new spin-off reality show that tries to teach manners to an unlikely group of young women.

Mikki Taylor is Charm School's dean of students, in addition to being the cover editor and beauty director for Essence. Taylor speaks with Farai Chideya about the show.

From Time Magazine's Most Influential People

Chris Anderson

All writers are in search of the Big Idea. A Big Idea has to matter. But you can have only one of them. Your Big Idea can't be that there are, say, 89 Rules of Power. E=mc(2) was, technically speaking, a Big Idea. But not really, because the best Big Ideas are also transparent. Truly Big Ideas are the rarest of phenomena, and when I first came upon Chris Anderson's The Long Tail last year, I knew this was one.

Born in 1961, Anderson became a physicist and conducted research at Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico. As editor in chief of Wired, he described the idea of The Long Tail in a 2004 article; the book came out in 2006.

Here is what the idea says: Many of us see the same movies and read the same books because the bookstore can store only so many books and the movie theater can play only so many movies. There isn't enough space to give us exactly what we want. So we all agree on something we kind of want. But what happens when the digital age comes along, allowing the bookstore to store all the books in the world? Now, it doesn't sell 1,000 copies of one book that we all kind of want; it sells one copy of 1,000 books each of us really wants.

Five sentences to explain something that, if you think about Amazon and Netflix and iTunes, will make you see the world a different way. That's a Truly Big Idea.

Gladwell is the author of The Tipping Point and Blink

VH-1's Michael Hirschorn on Social Web 2.0 Bubble

M y broadband connection went down earlier this year, and I was briefly forced to use a dial-up Internet service provider. I considered which of the icons to click on my desktop: “Free 6 Month AOL Membership,” or “EarthLink,” or “NetZero First Month Free!” I went for the 30-day free trial on EarthLink, and up popped a headline-news crawl. This provoked something of a flashback to 1997, when this innovation—basically, information you’ve requested being automatically delivered to your computer—was called “push technology” and was going to transform the experience of cruising the information superhighway. Wired magazine, at the very apex of its hyperbolic frenzy, infamously pronounced: “Push!” “The Web browser … is about to croak. And good riddance.”

Thompson offers LAME apology on gay remark

AP | Huffington Post

“Tommy Thompson cited a dead hearing aid and an urgent need to use the bathroom in explaining on Saturday why he said at a GOP presidential debate that an employer should be allowed to fire a gay worker.

Brian Williams on Bloggers from Crooks & Liars

Brian Williams on Bloggers:”I’m up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment.”

brianwilliams.jpgvia Sully:

"You're going to be up against people who have an opinion, a modem, and a bathrobe. All of my life, developing credentials to cover my field of work, and now I'm up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasn't left the efficiency apartment in two years" — Brian Williams, anchor of the "NBC Nightly News," speaking before New York University journalism students on the challenges traditional journalism faces from online media.

5/11/07

The 12-Step Program For News Addicts

The 12-Step Program For News Addicts
May 9, 2007
By Mike Elgan

The first step in dealing with addiction is to admit you have a problem. In the spirit of that cliché, allow me to fess up:

"Hi, My name is Mike, and I'm a newsaholic."

"Hi, Mike!!"

With that out of the way, let me tell you how I get my fix.

When I've been away from my PC and other sources of breaking news for more than a few hours, I get the horrible feeling that the world is moving on without me. What's going on? Did Redmond get wiped out by a meteor shower? Has Iran deployed a missile that can reach Sparta? Did Paris Hilton escape from prison?

As a hardcore news junky, I've developed a list of focused web pages that together give me an instant "fix" of every major event in the world.

5/9/07

TV’s Silver Age

TV’s Silver Age

Published: May 6, 2007

TV Land, that cable network repository of pop-culture comfort food, knows how to put on a splashy marketing event. The current resting place for series like “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Bewitched” and “Little House on the Prairie,” TV Land transformed a restaurant in Times Square into the Bat cave, complete with Adam West and Julie Newmar prowling the premises and the Batmobile parked outside, to celebrate its fifth anniversary in 2001. On a rainy afternoon in March, however, the network forsook its usual irreverent shout-outs to television’s past glory. Instead, for its latest effort to woo advertisers and media buyers, TV Land hired Bill Clinton to speak soberly about the future of the planet.

5/3/07

Wired: Sitcom to Bitcom

Fox's tragic loss is the Web's major gain. Former Arrested Development star Michael Cera - arguably the funniest 18-year-old in the world - and his actor-buddy Clark Duke have inked a deal with CBS' new broadband channel, Innertube. The duo will write, produce, direct, and act in their own short-form comedy series called, succinctly, Clark and Michael. To speed up our interview, we've deleted the questions. (Think of it like the grown-ups on Peanuts.)

WIRED:...?

DUKE: It's about two guys who think they have this great idea for a TV show. But they're so wrapped up in acting like Hollywood hotshots that they're sort of oblivious to the fact that their project is going down the tubes.

WIRED:...?

CERA: We sort of modeled it after the stuff we enjoy on Adult Swim - especially shows like Tom Goes to the Mayor, which are really great at getting in a lot of jokes in a relatively small amount of time.

WIRED:...?

DUKE: Since we're producing for the Web, where you can't always expect people to stick around for an hour or even half an hour, 11-minute episodes seemed to make a lot of sense. Our budget is obviously a lot smaller than it would be if we were making the show for TV. But I think that will turn out to be a good thing, because we ended up hiring friends to operate cameras and do the lighting and stuff, which means we're working with people we really like.

CERA: Also, we traded in a larger budget for the ability to be a little more offbeat. We have the freedom to attract a different audience than CBS usually goes for. If the network can build a big business around selling ads on smaller, weirder projects, that will be pretty awesome.

WIRED: !!!

CERA: Yeah! We're the Web's great hope.
- Eric Steuer

Theresa Strasser does funny on myspace dating


Feb 15, 2007

So, MySpace or yours?

A latecomer to the revolution finds that, even here, some things haven't changed.

I thought of MySpace as a storm that would pass. If I didn't panic, it would blow by like Hurricane Friendster and I would never get hit. I would never have to come up with an ironic yet welcoming "headline," or decide who would make my "Top 8."

The whole thing seemed like a juvenile fiasco that was tossing my girlfriends asunder and causing them to regress emotionally.

If I could wait it out, it would pass and I could avoid pillaging Ferlinghetti for quotes on embracing life.

MySpace just seemed undignified for those over 29 … which I'm not, if you go by my résumé. Just don't check my license.

The point is, I knew if I could clutch my disdain, I wouldn't be forced to cobble together a list of "Favorites" that would appeal to my target demographic: Bono, Bukowski, "The Big Lebowski." Too bad I caved.

A month after posting my profile, I went out on my first MySpace date. It was my first Internet date ever. This is not a fact to be glossed over in today's world of JDate weddings and Match.com babies.

continued