Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gone Fishin'

We'll see all of you in the New Year, bigger and better than ever! Happy Holidays to all!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Alec Baldwin Busts a New Media Move

Today's New York Times reports an interesting marketing move by NBC, starring Alec Baldwin.

Tens of thousands of fans of the NBC show “30 Rock” (or their friends or colleagues) have had the unusual experience over the last week of picking up their phones to hear the voice of Alec Baldwin addressing them by name and wishing them a happy holiday.

The messages are recorded, but the recipients can hear Baldwin wish them a happy holiday while revealing personal information about things like hobbies, jobs, homes, and their personal appearance (e.g. "I am not above telling you that you have a nice behind.")

The Times likens the experience to a good ole game of Mad-Libs where those visiting the 30 Rock website are offered a variety of sound choices previously recorded by Baldwin (he recorded about 500 first names in a recording session).

The company behind this is Varitalk, and if the campaign sounds familiar, Samuel L. Jackson used it to promote this summer's film "Snakes on a Plane." Tyra Banks also recorded a similar campaign for the CW network. It also brings to mind the Ari Gold experience on HBO's Entourage web site.

Flipping Out

An interesting article in today's WSJ chronicles Conde Nast's efforts to get serious online. It focuses on the company's efforts to launch, a web site for teenage girls. The site will encourage girls to create "flip books," scrap books containing pictures, videos, music and more. Flip has apparently co-opted a group of girls to advise on what's cool, and the so-called "flip squad" has been meeting every other week with CondeNet executives.

The site is being seen by Conde as a complement to MySpace. Interestingly, Nielsen/NetRatings estimates that 5,719,000 girls, ages 12-17, visited MySpace in November. I think that roughly equates with visits to this blog. How to latch on successfully to this demo has had traditional media brands questioning everything. Earlier this year Teen People and ELLEgirl actually ceased offering printed versions of the publications.

Advertisers and sponsors are obviously being courted. There will be an "image bin" where advertiser logos will be available for inclusion in individual flip books. Of course, there's always a potential disaster on every page where brand images collide with user generated content. But it's a risk that brands appear willing to take on this site, which will be heavily monitored. Johnson & Johnson is interested in using the site because it will permit them to make use of user generated content under the umbrella of a tried and true media brand.

A Year End List Worth Checking.... The Bivings Report does a nice year ender of sites which you really should check out. Cool stuff.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Yours, Mine and Ours

In case you missed the drumroll and all of the excitement, YOU have been named Time's Person of the Year. Well, not YOU as in you, but really all of us. Time's editors decided that it has been the year of people powered media, and that all of us should give ourselves a collective pat on the back. Well, well done. Congratulations. If you ask me, it's a cop out, too clever by half.

Digg Video

In a major reconfiguration, Digg will be reformatted to accommodate serious video sharing. Viewers will be able to watch videos from YouTube, Google and Metacafe without leaving the Digg site.

FCC to Morse Code: See Ya'

In a late breaking development the FCC has determined that competency in morse code will no longer be a require to obtain an amateur radio technicians license. Boys, the pressure is off.


As the year comes to an end, things have been getting a little hectic on the personal and professional fronts. The last entry for this year will be Thursday's. Then after a bit of R&R, we will come out swinging with original material, new info about companies, etc. Promise, New Year's resolution and all. Please pass the word about your media home away from home.