Posts tagged: Television

Happy Birthday Emma

Today is my daughters 11th birthday. Happy birthday Emma. I love you.

I marvel at the generational technology changes that are happening.

When I was 11 my media consumption consisted of comic books and Saturday morning cartoons. I rarely ever used the phone.

Today Emma has a Palm Centro, her own Gmail account that she uses regularly and her own HP Mini netbook.

Jen had showed Emma how to stream Netflix so while we were moving and I had yet to hook up the TV the kids were streaming Shark Week on her 8 inch mini (I guess it was better than nothing).

I can’t tell you how proud I am of my daughter. She’s smarter than I was (note Emma I said was, you’re not smarter than me yet), unquenchably curious and reads more than both of her parents combined.

Kids today are plugged in and empowered. It can be scary for parents to let their kids loose on the net. I personally believe there’s more benefit than risk. We set ground rules we talk honestly about the risks and what to stay away from. Besides it’s not any scarier than the thought of having a teenage daughter.

In the constant debate about if tactileness is generational or not, it’s  interesting to note that Emma, who has never known life without the Internet, asked for books (the printed kind) and calligraphy supplies.

I don’t know what most tween girls are asking for (probably Jonas Brothers stuff) but this tells me two things:

  1. Tactile learning is an important part of learning and development and will never completely go away, even if it’s just becomes the new “vinyl”.
  2. I have the coolest and smartest daughter in the known universe. (It’s a proven fact I think it’s even on Wikipedia).

Maybe she’s about ready for her own blog? Or is that more of 12 year old birthday gift? :)

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Conan O’Brien Tells Us About a New Technology Called: Television

Most of my fellow insomniac friends out there are probably aware that The Tonight Show gets a new host tonight as Conan O’Brien takes the reigns from Jay.

I admit I thought this commercial was funny. Of course I’ve always been a fan of Conan O’Brien. However I do find it ridiculous that you have to watch an annoying commercial before you can watch the cool commercial. FAIL

So here’s the transcript in case you don’t want to sit through two commercials.

Hi, I’m Conan O’Brien and I’m here to tell you about an exciting new technology called, television.

Television allows you to watch things just like you would on your computer or cell phone, except while seated in a more comfortable chair.

Television. Why not watch some tonight.

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What’s your social media distribution plan?

walmart distribution center

Image by Mr. Wright via Flickr

I’ve been thinking a lot about the challenges the companies face with social media and using it for marketing. There are lot to be sure but there’s one in particular that I haven’t heard anyone talk about yet; distributing your content.

In the early days (a few years ago) making people aware that you had a company blog was easy; just start one. 3-4 years ago when a major brand started a blog it was a big deal. Now starting a company blog is about just meeting the bar.

Let’s say your company has a blog (or dozens of them), now what? Apparently corporate blogs suck. But of course yours is the exception to this rule. Let’s go with that for now.  Is it enough to produce a high quality company blog that serves your customers valuable information?

The social media *experts* will have you believe that’s all you have to do. If you build it (and it’s good) they will come.

The World doesn’t work this way. The best musicians aren’t the most successful. The greatest movies don’t gross the most, I would even argue that they aren’t even the ones winning the awards. The best TV shows still get canceled. The best, coolest startups, with the best technology don’t always win (heck they probably don’t even usually win).

In the crowded space of content marketing you need a distribution plan. In order to answer the ROI question companies will need to maximize the content (and potential conversations) they create. New media is perfect for creating content once and distributing it a thousand times. (Hopefully you don’t re-purpose it that much because then it’s spam.)

Companies need to be putting just as much planning into the creation of their content as they do the creation of it. I believe this is why so many marketing efforts fail online. Marketers don’t think about the channels they will be using to distribute the content they create.

There need to be 3 parts to your social media distribution plan:

  1. Organic
  2. Viral
  3. Paid


You need to build and tap into your social networks. Your social networks become your focus groups. They’ll tell you directly or indirectly whether your content sucks or not. They will also be the channel that pushes the good content to their networks.


I know this is a loaded word but I couldn’t think of a better one. This is the content and channels that you use sometimes to just raise awareness. It’s usually off message a little (hopefully not too far off message). Usually people think that viral has to be funny or crass. Viral can also be cause oriented. The channels that you use here are often outside your immediate social network and are channels better suited for distribution. YouTube, Digg, even the main stream media.


At the end of the day there are just some channels, even newer online ones, that you can’t get into unless you pay for it. And yes I listed this one last for a reason. Use your paid distribution channels carefully because too much paid media can kill your organic and viral efforts.

Distribution will be the next level of differentiation among vendors.

2009 will see the lines between technology, platform, ad network, agency, media company blur to an indistinguishable level.  IMO the platform providers that have built in distribution will gain big ground in the Enterprise.

These are just rough ideas and this is my first stab on the topic. I’ll be writing a lot more on this topic but for now that should get the gears in your mind turning.Please feel free to shoot any holes in my theories here.

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Will this be the year we finally get some decent original online video?

Doctor Horrible Banner
Image via Wikipedia

The long tail is a great thing. I love niche content. I also really
love watching video online. I just wish there was more of it and not
more re-purposed, canceled, once run TV shows from the Sci-Fi network. I want some really good, made for the Internet content.

I was certain that the writers strike would lead to a whole crop of
fresh, indie, online content. We haven’t seen much yet and I’m starting
to doubt that we will.

In 2008 we had one bright standout and that was Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. I loved it. Joss Wheadon
is a stud. Not many directors achieve this level of fandom. I’m really
hoping that we’ll see more Internet content producers step up in 2009.

The need for Video Search

I know there is some stuff out there. It’s just hard to find. It’s
almost like the early days of the Internet when you only found out
about a new Web site when someone told you about it.

I’m afraid thought that we really won’t see the online video
industry take  off until video search comes of  age. If you can’t find
viedo, it doesn’t matter how much good stuff there is.

What about you? Do you know of any good, original video content out there?

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The Myth of the Corporation.

Sears Tower from the John Hancock Center Obser...

Image via Wikipedia

There was a time, supposedly, when large companies  resided in one building. When you worked your way *up* the company ladder, you literally moved up in the building. The higher you went the higher the paycheck, until you reached the top.

Information traveled in the company the same way. Information came into the company at the bottom levels, usually in the form of mail, telephone calls or information in people’s heads.

That information was turned into reports and memo’s and sent up a level. From there I imagine that someone took a series of reports and condensed those into another report for another level of management and sent it up. When the reports reached a high enough level orders were passed down the ladder again, getting broken up into smaller and smaller actionable items.

Being old enough to remember my mother typing reports up in triplicate on carbon paper and sending inter-office memo’s, I can’t imagine how long it took to get work done.

Now of course I think most of this was theoretical. It’s the version of Corporate America we still see portrayed on TV and in movies, but I doubt it ever functioned this precisely. There are obviously a million opportunities for error and deviation in this model. I’m sure this is why IT was seen as the second coming of the messiah in the eyes of CEO’s everywhere. And those who didn’t bow in humility were wiped from the face of the earth.

People, and knowledge, stayed inside the company. You learned your job from your boss and you got promoted when he moved up or retired. People rarely left the company they started with. You were loyal to the company, and in theory, they were loyal to you.

Companies competed with other local or regional companies. In rare instances, companies competed with other companies nationally. To stay on top companies only had to understand their business. Product cycles were long. Innovation was something that happened very slowly. The only global threats facing a company were political in nature. A war was the most disruptive thing that could happen to a company.

In this fairytale Corporate America, companies provided all kinds of community service. One such service was that they paid for our radio and television. They also provided valuable bit of information about the most wonderful things we’d like to know about and they conveniently placed these treasures of information in the shows we were all already watching as commercials.

People trusted the Government.
People trusted Corporate America.
People trusted the Media.

The Media was the most trusted organization in America. The News was the most trusted source of information. Media defined us (some argue that it still does). Media unified us (some argue that is does the opposite now). Media validated everything that we believed about our fairytale lives and what we believed about the rest of the world.

Like all fairytales this one also be turned out to be not true.

This is the fairytale I was told growing up. In order to be granted admittance to this mythical land all you needed to do was do well in school, go to college and when you graduated you would be able to choose from all the awaiting jobs.

That obviously isn’t the world that me and my Gen X brothers and sisters woke up to. Someone changed the rules and didn’t bother telling us what the new rules were. So we made up our own. I think this is why Gen X has been the most entrepreneurial generation to ever walk the face of the earth, and we’re only in our 30’s and 40’s.

In my next post I’ll contrast this fairytale world to the one we live and work in today. Have any thoughts (of course you do)?

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like father like son

Every now and then I marvel at how different our children’s lives will be compared to ours.

The above photo is of me doing my MBA homework while my youngest son, Seth, plays games on When I was his age my father was getting his Masters and I was watching Sesame Street on PBS. It was one of 4 local channels.

Those of us wrapped up in the internet like to marvel at how much has changed in the last 10 years. I can’t even begin to wonder at what things will be like in 30 years when my son is sitting around with his 3 year old.

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How does Journalism Stay Relevant?

From Eddie at the IBR:

“A few weeks ago, Tac Anderson posed this question for us on his blog:

My question for the Idaho Business Review is “what’s next�?? John Foster has made some great changes in the right direction, but I think that they need to strike while the iron’s hot. One blog is a great *start* but is not even the tip of the iceburg (sic).

I’ve struggled with this for a few weeks, but I’ve been unable to come up with a concise, thoughtful solution. Instead, in the spirit of Web 2.0, I’d like to turn the question over to our readers. How do you use the Web site? What features would you like to see us add? How should we keep the conversation going?”

My response in the comments:

“There’s a lot of buzz in journalism right now about how does the industry stay relevant. I think an industry wide shift needs to happen and reporters need to stop worrying about ‘reporting’ and be more concerned with ‘aggregating’ and delivering stories.

The key is personalization. You nor anyone at the IBR has any idea what I (or anyone) will be interested in as a reader. Provide relevant content (no matter what the source)and provide a way for me to select what news I want aggregated to me and how I would like it delivered.”

Garry Goldhammer had this to say on the Social Media Today blog:

“You don’t work for a newspaper; you work in the news business, using any tools at your disposal necessary to do your job. A print reporter may shoot video if that helps tell the story. A TV journalist can write a blog or a radio journalist can post photos to illustrate a story on his podcast.

I witnessed this struggle first hand during a recent “new media�? workshop for travel writers. These were print people worried about what cameras to buy, how long a podcast should be and whether they could manage this new approach to storytelling. All they knew for sure was there was no choice but to learn and evolve.

This is not threatening but rather freeing – without conventional constraints, reporters can be more engaging and thorough. It also secures a place for print as a needed piece of the multimedia pie, instead of becoming a faded, stubborn relic screaming for dominance in a media world gone forever flat.”

So what do they do?  There is no *right* answer.  I think the answer lies in my last post.

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