Random Thoughts 01/31/2008

Amazon Earnings Call Details: Web Services Use Up More Bandwidth Than Amazon.com; The Kindle is a Hit

tags: amazon, kindle, ncb, pc, print

  • I find Amazon’s Kindle product very interesting. Obviously those with a vested interest in the print business <cough> are watching this closely, but news that kindle has a browser should make every PC and laptop manufacturer sit up and take notice as well. With cloud based computing becoming more and more of a way of life for some of us, what can’t you do with just a browser? (Answer: not much)
    - post by tacanderson

Bad Days For Warner Music Group - Seeking Alpha

tags: business, music, ncb, warner

  • Obviously the large, overly bloated music labes have a lot of fat they can trim as they “re-align” but I wonder if we’ll begin to see some of these big boys drop off.  David (the author of this post) seems doubtfull that they can adapt quick enough.  There are many (I’m one of them) who share his perspective.

What MSM can learn from Barack Obama | Zac Echola

tags: media, ncb, news, obama, politics

  • Wow, I loved this quote:
    “Except for a CNN breaking update I got via Twitter last night (after Obama’s text message), I knew who won the primary without ever seeing a newspaper or TV site.Only today, when I checked CNN’s excellent primary elections section did I go to an MSM site. News that I care about comes to me, despite the source.”leading up to this great sound bite, the author talks about email, SMS, and Facebook all provided the news he wanted, when he wanted it. I suggest you read the whole post.

    - post by tacanderson

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Opera Mini and Mobile Blogging

There are 2 things that have kept my Blackberry from completely replacing my laptop and I think these problems represent a threat for Blackberry.

I can’t blog easily from Blackberry. Opera min is enabling that but it still lacks all the browser capability I’ve become used to in from FireFox. A lot of that functionality aides my blogging.

It also requires a lot of extra scrolling and clicking. Which is a problem with most mobile browsers. The iPhone and Windows mobile have a real advantage here.

The second problem is editing and creating documents. Sure I can view them but I want full functionality (or at least most of it). Once again Windows has a huge advantage here. The iPhone is better if you’re dealing with web based docs. Opera mini may enable this I haven’t tried yet but I’m sure I’ll still run into some clunky functionality.

The iPhone has made huge headway here but Nokia and others are closing that gap quickly. It’s still a wide open field with a lot of room for improvement.

So far Blackberry has overcome these issues by using purpose built apps, like Google Mobile. I actually like apps better than accessing something via a platform. The problem is you’d need a highly motivated development community to build all the apps your customers need.

This being my first mobile post I’m not sure what this will look like (or how bad my spelling will be) when posted so wish me luck.

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Random Thoughts 01/29/2008

Understanding the difference between Forums, Blogs, and Social Networks

tags: blogs, forums, ncb, socialnetworks

  • I’ve often used similar examples as Jeremiah when explaining the differences between various types of tools.  I’m still amazed at how many managers (especially at the CXO level) still don’t understand the difference.  I was recently listening to the results of a CIO study when it became apperant that neither the interviewees or the interviewer understood the differences.  I could tell by the responses that the CIO’s thought blogs were forums and when I pressed the researcher about it he obviously didn’t understand the difference either.
     - post by tacanderson

Bloggers vs Journalists and Who Cares : [chrisbrogan.com]

tags: bloggers, journalism, journalists, ncb

  • Many of my journalist friends give me a hard time about the hard time I tend to give journalism.  Chris has a great post about the difference between bloggers and journalist.  I think that this is especially important for PR folks to understand when engaging with bloggers.  They don’t understand or care what an embargo is and there is no ‘off the record’.  With bloggers you at least know where their biases are.  I think reporters try really hard to make people believe they are objective but usually aren’t.  I also think that bloggers could learn something from journalists and try a little harder to check for acuracy.
     - post by tacanderson

Global Neighbourhoods: My Living Room Policy-or why I banned Bob

tags: blogging, comment, ncb, policy

  • When trying to explain to a manager/CEO/owner what value a blog will have to their business the question about negative commenter’s always (and I do mean always) comes up.  Shel’s ‘Living Room’ rule is an easy to understand rule that makes sense and, for me at least, has always eased the manager/CEO/owner’s mind allowing us to move on to more important topics.
     - post by tacanderson

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The ‘Go Make Your Own Social Media’ eBook

MetzMash: There Is No Secret Sauce

Adam Metz of LaunchSquad just released an eBook entitled:
There is No Secret Sauce a.k.a. You Want Your Social Media, Go Make It.

The eBook is broken into 7 parts (8 if you count the intro) and is a relatively short 75 pages. My favorite 3 sections are:

  • Introduction: 10 Super-Stupid Social Media Mistakes
  • How To Bring Social Media To Your Team
  • How Do I Write A Strategic Social Media Plan?

The eBook has some great examples as well as very practical advice on how to get started with a social media plan (something I don’t think most companies have, at least not formally).

I think Adam’s eBook is very timely. More and more companies want “some of that social media”, they just don’t know why or how. This leaves many a marketing manager left to try and figure it out.

If that’s you, or someone you know, do yourself a favor and grab this eBook. Right now he’s got free copies available so you’ve got nothing to loose.

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3 kinds of lies: There’s lies, damned lies and television ratings

I just came across the Nielsen Company’s 2008 Guide to the Super Bowl and I thought I’d give my take on the numbers that were provided. My commentary will be sarcastic italicized.

Among the key findings from Nielsen:

I have nothing against Nielsen. I think they do the best with the numbers they have but I think they’re lacking some context.

- TELEVISION: As usual, the 2007 Super Bowl was the highest rated TV show in the U.S. for the year attracting more than 93 million TV viewers.

Is it really that tough to beat the abysmal ratings TV get’s these days? What’s their closest competitor? Are they loosing ground to other types of programing or not?

- ONLINE: Super Bowl 2007 advertisers saw a collective 50% increase in Web traffic the day after the big game, from 8.5 million unique visitors on Super Bowl Sunday to 12.7 million unique visitors on Monday. Budweiser brands generated the most online buzz.

Here’s what I mean by context. How much traffic do these sites normally get from Sunday to Monday? Sunday is normally a slow day on the Internet anyway.

- THE ADVERTISERS: The cost for a 30-second commercial during the 2007 game was $2.38 million down from $2.5 million in 2006. Total spending for the 2007 game reached over $161.8 million. In 2007, Anheuser-Busch aired the most commercial time, while Cadillac had the most sponsorship air-time.

Wow, that’s practically a deal; $2.38 million. I really hope HP doesn’t advertise this year, here’s the ad they ran last year in case you already forgot what it was (I did).

- MUSIC: Halftime and pre-game performances have provided sales growth for music artists since the early ’90s. After last year’s Super Bowl halftime, Billboard reported that Prince’s album sales more than doubled.

Once again, a little context please. How many had he sold before that. If he’d only sold 5, selling 6 more would “more than double” his sales.

- BOX OFFICE AND DVD SALES: Box Office sales continue to be lower on Super Bowl Sunday vs. typical Sundays in the winter months. The top selling Super Bowl-related DVD since 2000 is SUPER BOWL XXXVIII, featuring the Patriots and the Panthers.

Maybe they’d sell more DVD’s if they included the commercials. Isn’t that why most people watch the game?

- SHOPPING TRENDS: During the Super Bowl period, snack food had the largest incremental increase in total sales and alcoholic beverage coolers had the largest percentage increase.

Gee really? Couldn’t have guessed that. Is there an increase of sales on game day for those snack foods that advertise on Super Bowl Sunday?

- DEMOGRAPHICS OF FOOTBALL FANS: People in wealthy homes, which generally have more than a $100,000 income, are almost three times more likely to watch the Super Bowl as people in homes with less than $30,000 in annual income.

This number really drives me crazy. Someone with a household income under 30k is probably working at the Wal-Mart you bought your snacks from right before the game and is most likely still there at half time when you run back for more beer.

NY Giants fans are more than twice as likely as New York adults to have bought sporting event tickets online within the past year. 15% of Boston’s Patriots fans belong to a household with an annual income of $150k or more.

Last time I checked it was the New England Patriots not just Boston. I’d be willing to bet that at least 15% of Boston households make more than $150k. What about the rest of Massachusetts? Or the rest of New England?

Like I said, I have nothing against Nielsen, but I’m beginning to wonder if they aren’t just highlighting numbers that make their network clients happy.

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Random Thoughts 01/26/2008

462 Million Mobile TV Subscribers By 2012: Report | mocoNews.net

tags: mobile, ncb, video

  • I still remember back a few years ago when nay-sayers said no one would want to watch video on a 3×5 inch screen.  Of course those screens are getting bigger thanks to Apple.

    462 Million people by 2012.  The implications to that are still rattling around in my brain.  Maybe a blog post with some futuristic predictions will emerge.

     - post by tacanderson

Seth’s Blog: Bad judgment

tags: judgement, ncb, seth.godin

  • I’m not one of the many Seth fanboys you find among web marketers.  In fact I don’t really like him.  I don’t like that he doesn’t allow comments on his blog.  He kind of comes across as arrogant; but damn he makes everything seem so simple.

    No matter what I think of him personally, he sure has good judgment :)

     - post by tacanderson

4 Tips to Help Manage Multiple Blogs | Performancing.com

tags: blogging, gtd, ncb, tips

  • Even before joining HP I had multiple blogs.  In addition to that I currently have an internal HP blog, help manage an HP VP’s blog and am getting ready to launch another HP blog.  Here are four tips from Performancing that I would also recommend.  I’ve also found Diigo invaluable for posts like this which help keep the content fresh.
     - post by tacanderson

New York Times - Small Business Summit Center » Blog Archive » DIY Market Research Tips for Entrepreneurs

tags: diy, marketing, ncb, research

  • Good friend of mine, fellow HP employee and fellow blogger Chris Hawkes offers some really good advice for small businesses doing their own market research over on the NYT Small Biz Bites Blog.  Chris is the perfect guy to blog about Market research.  He’s been doing it for years for HP and before that was apart of US Military Intelegence (I know, save the oxymoron jokes).

    I especially found the comments interesting.  The Market Research Association doesn’t suggest startups do their own research (imagine that), but as Chris rebuts, startups usually can’t afford proffesional research and something is better than nothing.
     - post by tacanderson

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Why can software make it work but the media can’t?

Can competing business models co-exist? Some people have argued that open source will only flourish at the expense of traditional software models. 

From Seeking Alpha: I came across this article praising IBM for their Open Source initiatives which seem to be working for them. Microsoft Be Warned: IBM Boards the Open Source Software Express.  Then this article points out that Microsoft is also doing well and that Vista is partially behind it.  Microsoft Reports ‘Blow-Out’ Quarter, Raises Guidance

Maybe there’s not just room for both, but room for both to do very well. It’s even creating dual fanboys out of some people.

The main stream media on the other hand doesn’t seem to be able to make any model work. 

Arrington writes on Seeking Alpha about the continued demise of media and that some believe the Government may need to step in to help.  That’s of course is insane and as I’ve pointed out Journalism isn’t dying, it’s just being displaced.

Of course some, like the Wall Street Journal, are fortifying their defenses and although I never thought I’d hear myself say this, for some newspapers, it may be the right business model.

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Random Thoughts 01/21/2008

Best Engaging Communities: Where the new gigs are? How to deal with recession?

tags: china, india, ncb, recession

  • This is something that every business owner or manager (especially US ones) needs to be thinking about. Recessions are only bad for those companies (and people) not prepared. For businesses that are well prepared they can propell your business even further. Just ask Google, they got huge after the last dot bomb.
    - post by tacanderson

Thumbs Race as Japan’s Best Sellers Go Cellular - New York Times

tags: book, mobile, ncb, phone, writing

  • I wrote about this before here, but if your interested in more details the NYT did a front page article on the story.

Delicious Integrated Into Yahoo Search Results

tags: del.icio.us, ncb, search, yahoo

  • This is something I’ve been waiting for years to happen. Seriously why has Yahoo not taken advantage of this asset before? This could give them a real advantage over Google and Page Rank. Active recomendations have a lot of value a link can’t provide. They can provide better context and description. Of course look for even worse tag spam now.
    - post by tacanderson

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Boise Bloggers Unite!

Maybe that’s a bit melodramatic but if you’re one of my local readers and a blogger (or a blogger groupie spouse/significant other of a blogger) we’ve finally scheduled our long awaited Boise Blogger Meetup. This does of course include those within driving/flying distance to Boise.

January 29th around 5:30 or 6:00 @ Lush (on Main St. between Capitol and 9th). Questions? Email me @ [email protected]

Full details can be found on the TechBoise blog (aka my other neglected less active blog).

You can also join the Boise Bloggers Facebook group.

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The Writers Strike effect on Advertising, Amazon and The Office


As I’ve said before I’m a huge fan of The Office. For me it has been the biggest casualty of the writers strike. Fortunatley I have all three seasons on DVD.

So on my last visit to Amazon I was delighted to see Turbo Tax using some of our beloved Office characters to promote their seasonl tax offerings.

I (being in marketing) instantly wondered if how this promotion is affected by the writers strike. On one hand is it hurt because one of the greatest comedies of all time is not being aired? Or is it helped because those of us who are longing for an Office fix will be delighted to see those familiar faces?

Either way it’s a great deal for Amazon. They get to cross promote two seeming unrelated products on their site. When you click through to see what type of taxpayer you are, you better believe that there’s a plug for all three DVD’s.

So what type of taxpayer am I?
Read more »

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