— blending the mix

March, 2006 Monthly archive

MediaPost reports on a speech by the President of Fox Interactive Media Ross Levinsohn that they would be “tidying up” profiles which contain profanities and offensive material from myspace.com

The tidying up has resulted in the loss of 200,000 myspace.com profiles which begs the questions, depending on the influence of the advertisers, just where will the clean-up stop?

Can News Corp. (ultimate owners of myspace.com) really expect myspace.com to continue its high growth if content is being controlled to suit advertisers?

Can they also expect to maintain their current high levels of active users, when those users know they are being monitored for advertising purposes and in all likelihood, targeted too.

It takes me back a short time to when Steve Rubel moved to Edelman. The Wal-Mart story which happened the day after he jioned (I think!) evolved into a lengthy discussion about how neutral Steve could be as a well-kown blogger yet at the same time represent major companies.
In the same way, to what extent can myspace.com retain its trusted peer-to-peer status when there is such a strong openness and trust between members about to be interferred with by advertisers?
Danah Boyd wrote a wonderful paper on why myspace has become so popular and the conclusion is that it is MY SPACE,nobody else’s. I can be who I want, when I want and talk to whomever I want without any otuside influences.
Will this feeling of independence still be enough to ensure myspace retains is position once the ad campaigns really start kicking-in? Are we looking at this:

Maybe not, but the big brands need to realise that they are treading on dangerous grounds and whilst myspace are not in the business for free, that they should NOT be censoring anything.

Diversification in the network is vitally important and it smacks to me of Fox Interactive needing to get some revenue in quickly and the easiest and quickest way of doing this is to fall at the feet of the big -spending advertisers.

To succinctly make the point, let me quote from Danah:

“MySpace might be a fad, but it will fade for different reasons than Friendster. Friendster has itself to blame – it never loved its users… it never treated them with respect, or learned to understand why they were there… it never give them what they needed to make themselves at home. Friendster never learned to provide for the diversity of users it had – it wanted them all to be the same”.

No one brand is bigger than the community so they need to tread carefully.

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Micro Persuasion: Marketing’s New Black is an exploratory article into how the gadget now dominates the daily commute instead of newspapers.

Steve argues that the dominant commuter-activity is now SMS, iPod, Blackberry or PDA’s these days rather than reading newspapers and suggests that the gadgets are taking over.

But I have to ask how much of this is down to the increasing popularity of technology rather than the natural evolution of the newspaper market?

Do newspapers like the Guardian and The Times now produce tabloid-sized versions because they want to save paper? I don’t think so! I think that newspapers finally recognised the utter impracticality of large broadsheet newspapers being read on publilc transport with limited space…

…or have they?

Have they realised just how many people use news-capable gadgets such as Blackberry’s or mobiles (not on the tube!) and reacted accordingly by making their basic product more practical?

Does size matter or is it the portability of the medium that makles the difference?
Ultimately, the whole subject deepens newspaper’s fears that a wi-fi connected commuter will soon not need to buy a newspaper and then how do they sell their content?

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Hey guys, I may be asking too big a favour here, but green just isn’t my colour and as much as I like the simplicity of the layout of the Green marinee wordpress theme, I want to have something a bit more sophisticated and modern!
I am planning to add some competitions as well as some other interactive stuff to the blog, just as soon as I have a great looking template which can be fiddled with, just as I want it to be!

In return for ths, I will be offering a 200px x 50px permanent blog/ad link so that you will see some reward for your efforts. With c.500 unique visitors a week this presents a good opportunity to be seen by a wide variety of marketing and tech. professionals (and many geeks like me!)

Simply leave a message below or email me on the email opposite!



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An interesting statistic by Sony Ericsson suggests that once a new technology (like picture messaging) has achieved a 25% market penetration then it will no longer be a doubt for consumers that the technology will stick around.

In this instance, SE claim that once 25% of people have started to use picture messaging, the rest of the market will no longer fear that someone at the other end will not be able to see it
I am surprised that any market would be 25% early adopters (especially one with high entry costs such as mobile telephony), but I suspect that if that was broken down, there would be leading-edge adopters, keen early adopters, follower early-adopters making up the 25%).

Thinking about applying this rule to web-based products is an interesting idea, especially with things like blogging, wiki and other consumer-generated material. Once you start to get a handful of readers to your blog, that number quickly increases (please!!), likewise a wiki and forums…but just how many people are your 25% early adopters?
With blogs, wikis, forums etc., as long as there is some degree of credible activity going on people will be happy to become part of the conversation. If that is 25% who knows and with several hundred million internet users it would be a wild guess anyway but there is no getting away from the fact that early efforts need to get the early adopters in board to spread word of mouth.

Don’t believe anyone who tells you that the internet is full of people who don’t care about wiki’s, blogs etc. or simply use the internet to shop. If they see something that interests them, that others also share an interest in – they will come.

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A great little article here about the new trend for people being buried with their mobile phones, laptops and other technology gadgets.


have you got something you need to take to the grave with you?

It used to be just memories or lies you took to the grave, now it looks like it could be secret bank details, the mistresses number…gulp…and what about pollution??!!

i guess though it is only fair that the things we spend the most time with, we take with us to the next life!

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(hat tip to Gizmodo for finding a way to get a screen shot!)

Get the video HERE I have to say it looks great and for someone who is seriosly considering abandoning everything he knows about PC’s for a macbook pro, it has made me think about that decision, all because of a ribbon!
It seems that MS have taken into account the “pretty” factor on why people use and buy Macs (read: Apple products generally!) and as a result have produced a very attractive UI.

I have to admit one of my sole reasons for buying an [tag]Apple[/tag] is the attention to the UI, but this [tag]Office 2007 video [/tag]seems to have made GREAT strides in this and I admire them for the reasons they claim they have done this.

They have responded to the fact that there are many, many feautures that most normal users never make use of because they are afraid to try them out (i.e. you try something clever and you lose your work!) or they simply do not know HOW to use them.

The new “ribbon” interface enables you to see real-time previews of the effects you would like to see rather than ticking boxes and simply holding your breath whilst you press “OK” which is a very Mac thing to do!

Hats off to [tag]Microsoft[/tag]. [tag]Office 2007[/tag] looks to have provided me with the answer to many “How do they do THAT?” questions and will enable me to get the most out of my work (although whether or not that will make me spend more time messing around deciding what looks good or not than actually working is another matter entirely!!)

OK, I know it is not cool to credit Microsoft but who cares iof someone creates something genuinely cool which makes my working life easier?

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SEOmozsWeb2.0Awards is s comprehensive list of winners and the 2 best runners-up of a variety of [tag]Web 2.0 [/tag]categories ranging from Blog Guides and Bookmarks to [tag]Mashups[/tag] and [tag]Wiki[/tag].

See if your favourite software is there…and find out what else there is…

Thanks again to Steve

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Free iTunes Downloads is a nice little blog with regular updates on all the songs that pop up from free on iTunes!

You can now say “I heard it before they made it BIG!”

Thanks to Steve Rubel for the tip!

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U.S. high court to hear landmark eBay patent case reports on the impending US court case for eBay against small software developer [tag]MercExchange[/tag].

The item of the argument is the [tag]eBay[/tag] Buy It Now feature which MercExchange claim infringes upon patents secured by them.

However, the crux of the argument is a much bigger and more important argument about the rights of the patent-holder and infrigner.

Traditionally, patent infringers were forced to either see a total ban of the infrigned product, or settle out of court. (Research in Motion and Blackberry) but software companies are complaining that they can often be held to ransom by the patent-holders threatening an injunction.

Drug companies and other patent-holders argue that due to the high research costs in developing a new drug, patent-infringing drugs do more harm than good. The return on the original investment is weakened by the copycat drugs and therefore limits the funding available for new drugs.

What makes this case even more interesting is that MercExcange has already been awarded a small amount of damages for eBay infringement yet this decision has been reversed because the law states that patent-holders are entitled to an “automatic” injunction if the court finds in their favour!
eBay argues that monetary recompense should also be an “automatic” option where possible. The drugs companies say otherwise.

The issues over automatic injunctions is much wider than this court-case alone and will be very interesting.

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Inside Google reports on the failure this week of the potentially exciting Goole Print Advertising scheme.

Google bought up ad space in a variety of publications at bulk prices, then auctioned them off to the highest bidders.

In one instance, $177,000 of ad space sold for $4,000…how can that ad up?!!

In principle, it is a great idea…limit supply by buying up space, then force prices higher by actioning it all off to the highest bidder(s).

IG suggests that they should wait until the marklet is more comfortable with buying this way, but to be honest I am not sure if it ever will.

Here is why:

1) Schedule – Planners have a responsibility to their clients to know when an ad is going to be published. To find out you have not bid enough is too late to then fuind other vital space.

2) Price – with so much pressure from online media, print spend needs to be more carefully accounted for. To find out you have paid more for your spot on auction than you would have over the phone is criminal.

3) Tradition – rates are spots are improved over time with the development of the relationship between the agency (typically) and publication staff. Google does not allow for this and as a result, meaning flexible negotiations do not exist.

4) Creative limits – Your ad may be best run across a series of high-profile publications over several weeks, which involves a sequence of carefully planned creative executions as well as the knowledge that you will be in those publications. Budget changes, outbidding means much more than lost space.

It is without doubt a meritous scheme for one-off campaigns but I think the advertising industry is so (read: too) comfortable with the way it works at the moment that it is going to have to take an almighty leap of faith or improvement in the system for it to take off.

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