Media

Pure Awesomeness (NSFW)

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The Wire was the best TV show I’ve ever seen. But it is over, and now we have only reruns to enjoy it.

Here is little something to make you remember this amazing show. One of my favorites is around 8:40. NSFW (language), mind you…

5 Ways To Buy For Less Using Twitter

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w:Biz Stone, co-founder of w:Twitter, at w:Sou...
Image via Wikipedia

Biz Stone, Twitter‘s founder, will visit Israel in the end of the month. As a member of his visit planning committee, I’ve decided to write how Twitter could be used in every day life. This is the first post in the series.

If you are using Twitter regularly you already know how powerful it is. Here are some tips on how to buy for less using Twitter:

1. Before you decide what to buy – ask your followers. I do it on a daily basis. For example, I was debating whether to buy Canon 5D Mark II or Canon 7D. Twitter to the rescue! I asked a question and received answers with detailed points of consideration before choosing my next camera.

2. Find out what’s the best price – after you decided what to buy it’s time to ask followers how much they paid for it. You will be surprised how much prices vary.

3. Get better deals when buying products – a friend of mine twitted from his bank, while negotiating a loan, asking his followers how much intrest they are paying. Needless to say, he got pretty good rates….

4. Show your dissatisfaction – I was unhappy with my ISP. I twitted about it, and was immediately contacted by their customer service. Quicker then waiting for someone to pick the phone, that’s for sure.

5. Recommend products to your followers – every time I am happy with a service or product, I let my followers know about it. I think it is a kind of good twitter karma to do so.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter, and follow #bizil for more information about Biz Stone’s Israel Tour.

Beautiful Things In The Making

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Facebook New Marketing Rules – A Cheat Sheet

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Facebook, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Facebook is slowly removing many of the elements that made it a marketer’s wet dream.

Facebook announced several major changes that affect marketers using the platform to promote their services:
1. Splitting feeds to news feed and live feed – users see, as defualt, a feed with only content and comments from their friends. Information about groups etc was moved to a separate feed.
2. Removal of app notification – Facebook apps will not be able to send notifications to users.
These changes reduce the virality of the platform in a major way.
For example, if in the past one could invite friends to become fans of a page, and his friends would have seen that he joined, now they wouldn’t see it unless they look for it. This effect was crucial for virality of fan pages and applications. The same goes for notifications.
While many users rejoice, as they see more relevant and focused information on their feed and notification tab, marketers should rethink the way they interact in Facebook.

The two most important consequences for marketers are:

1.  Advertising becomes more important in creating traffic to Facebook applications and fan pages – without virality, paid advertisement within the platform, or in other channels, is an important part of any Facebook marketing activity

2. Fan pages and apps should provide more value to users, as it will be more difficult to attract repeat visitors.

In the next part we will discuss additional changes in the platform and what are the opportunities for marketers in this area.

HTC Shows The Real Meaning of Mobile Communication

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If you follow my blog you know that I hate HTC devices with passion.
However, their latest multimillion dollars campaign is brilliant (even though I’d change the music to something more sentimental). HTC challenge is huge – they are making many phones for many carriers. As such, they need to find a way to distinguish themselves without harming the carrier brand. They chose to go with a campaign showing how significant mobile phones are in our life.
Brilliant and to the point.

Enjoy the rest of the day.

Another Beautiful Thing

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An amazing video shot with a prototype of Canon 1D Mark IV. This camera is so sensitive to light that it shoots in light levels that consider extremely dark for the human eye. The whole video was shot with available light only, and was done by Stu Maschwitz and Vincent Laforet

More information about the production could be found here

Thanks to @Ronenk for helping with embedding the video player here.

The End of Faceless Brands?

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Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase
the end of faceless brands?
Social media, sophisticated customers, and lack of control of the conversation are all pointing to the same direction – brands can’t afford to be faceless. But now they also need a soul, a spirit and a person that people can relate to.
If in the past, brands could use anonymous models, with shiny teeth and great curves, to lure eyeballs, If in the past brands could use celebrity presenters as a pillar of emotional attachment, now things are different.
You see, when brands are involved in social media tools, they are exposing themselves. They can’t afford not to be there, but their involvement make them more accessible. Their involvement in Twitter and such has one more effect – as people using Twitter in order to communicate with friends, when a brand is getting into their personal space they expect the brands to be, well, real.
But what’s real?
People are real. Individuals in the companies that are representing the values and position of the organization. But they can’t be just a front.
AT&T’s Blogger ads, explaining why iPhone customers are facing network issues, could have been great several years ago. The ad shows an AT&T blogger who explains why there are network issues. But then people realized two important things:
1. This blogger doesn’t have any authority to solve those problems. Meaning, he is nothing more that a glorified spokesperson with touch of social glare.
2. He isn’t  even employed by AT&T
Think – who is the true face of Apple? Is it the dude from “I’m a Mac” ads, or is it Steve Jobs?
Being real is tough. Really. But brands can no longer hide behind fancy ads and shiny logos. If they want to talk – they have to keep it real.

Social media, sophisticated customers, and lack of control of the conversation are all pointing to the same direction – brands can’t afford to be faceless. But now they also need a soul, a spirit and a person that people can relate to.

If in the past, brands could use anonymous models, with shiny teeth and great curves, to lure eyeballs, If in the past brands could use celebrity presenters as a pillar of emotional attachment, now things are different.

You see, when brands are involved in social media tools, they are exposing themselves. They can’t afford not to be there, but their involvement make them more accessible. Their involvement in Twitter and such has one more effect – as people using Twitter in order to communicate with friends, when a brand is getting into their personal space they expect the brands to be, well, real.

But what’s real?

People are real. Individuals in the companies that are representing the values and position of the organization. But they can’t be just a front.

AT&T’s Blogger ads, explaining why iPhone customers are facing network issues, could have been great several years ago. The ad shows an AT&T blogger who explains why there are network issues. But then people realized two important things:

1. This blogger doesn’t have any authority to solve those problems. Meaning, he is nothing more that a glorified spokesperson with touch of social glare.

2. He isn’t  even employed by AT&T

I am certain it would have worked better if C level AT&T guy had taken the stage.

Think – who is the true face of Apple? Is it the dude from “I’m a Mac” ads, or is it Steve Jobs?

Being real is tough. Really.

But brands can no longer hide behind fancy ads and shiny logos. They need a soul.

If they want to talk – they have to keep it real.

Another great post on this topic can be found here.

Beautiful things

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Sometimes, you can just come across a beautiful piece of video, with great storytelling, music, and shots. This is one of them. Done with HV20. Yes. HV20. Ted Chung is the guy behind this one:

A Thousand Words from Ted Chung on Vimeo.

Could Operators Change Digital Cents to Dollars?

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Last week, the online video world rejoiced. For the first time, Hulu, the online premium video provider, had more viewers than Comcast subscribers. Pro online video folks all around gathered to support the revolution as it unfolds.
The only thing missing is, well, like in most cases, money. Hulu is making small time money compared to Comcast.
The paradigm of digital cents is very simple – services are much cheaper on the internet, and the value of goods is diminished when they are distributed or sold digitally. The full phrase states that the media industry is facing a challenge – as it transforms from analog dollars to digital cents. This issue is affecting advertisers who are asking agencies to shift dollars from expensive TV spots to cheaper online advertising, which in return hurts the media business.
Hulu, though delivering the same shows as TV channels, is not making as much money as the traditional providers. This is a eye challenge to the whole media industry. But they are not alone.
The slow demise of the walled garden adds another pressure, to a different section of the value chain – the operators. The mobile market is a great example how technology is threatening the old world order. Early in this decade, when GPRS launched all over Europe, operators believed that the answer of their declining voice ARPU would come from selling content, such as ringtones and wallpapers.
The basis of this strategy was the operators controlled the availability of content to users – whatever an operator put on its portal could be sold – but nothing else. This way, by creating scarcity, the operators could gain revenues and control the subscriber’s experience.
Then came Apple.
And Google.
And Nokia.
And all these companies decided to break operator’s hegemony and tear down the garden’s walls. Android, iPhone and Ovi challenge the mobile operator’s ability to control the content and customer experience.
While media companies such as NBC and HBO don’t have a choice but to be a part of the digital cents game, operators have some ways to leverage this market disruption to their advantage.
Services are, in my opinion, a key to change the cents to dollars. Some of them are clear but still not done well, such as three screen syncing – allowing users to start watching a show on their TV set and continue to watch it on their mobile phone.
Some are based on cutting deals with the devil – and tightly integrate web services with traditional TV content. Several companies unveiled such services, such as TV and Twitter integration.
And some are down right evil, such as disregarding net neutrality and providing differentiated quality of services to content providers, based on deals with preferred content providers.
If operators will succeed in finding the right services and implement them in the near future,  we might see that they will rise to play a more significant role in  the media industry.

Last week, the online video world rejoiced. For the first time, Hulu, the online premium video provider, had more viewers than Time Warner Cable subscribers. Pro online video folks all around gathered to support the revolution as it unfolds.

The only thing missing is, well, like in most cases, money. Hulu is making small time money compared to Time Warner Cable.

The paradigm of digital cents is very simple – services are much cheaper on the internet, and the value of goods is diminished when they are distributed or sold digitally. The full phrase states that the media industry is facing a challenge – as it transforms from analog dollars to digital cents. This issue is affecting advertisers who are asking agencies to shift dollars from expensive TV spots to cheaper online advertising, which in return hurts the media business.

Hulu, though delivering the same shows as TV channels, is not making as much money as the traditional providers. This is a major challenge to the whole media industry. But it is not alone.

More

iTunes 9 – Social Integration Done Wrong

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Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Apple released yesterday a new version of its music management iTunes. The application, that syncs apps, music and videos from your computer and iTunes store, got many new features, including Genius Mix (automatic playlist creation based on your music library), iPhone app management and more. And for the first time, Apple added a social networking feature to its core media management application – the ability to share your media on Facebook and Twitter.
And they completely blew it.
Social sharing should be an easy, one click, intuitive, almost impulsive act. That’s why sharing buttons should be conveniently located at key areas of a page or application.
But Apple decided to do things differently. They hid the sharing feature so well, that I had to go to YouTube to find a tutorial. And this is a Mac application for crying out loud.

But that was the good part:

You can’t share the song you are listening to.
You can’t share Genius Mixes
You can’t share songs you’ve purchased in iTunes store
The only thing you can do is, when you are in iTunes Store, share items that are on sales. And you need eyeglasses to see the small arrow that allows you to do so.

In one word – Lame.

In a whole sentence:
We all know that the guys at Apple don’t play nice. Maybe they shouldn’t try to be social.