It has been a while since I updated so here’s a quick download:
I recently led a workshop for our Street Team ’08 members. These 51 state-based citizen journalists will be covering election ’08 from a youth perspective. They will submit weekly reports online and via mobile, which should lead to some interesting and hyper-local reporting. They are using Adobe Creative Suite CS3 to edit/produce their packages, podcasts and animations.
It will be interesting to see how the team members work out all the issues that will arise in the fun and often aggravating world of multi platform production. For many, this will be there first time working as mobile producers… When I say mobile, I mean it in the context of working on or near the location they are covering, creating content for several screens. Armed with their laptops and portable hard drives (and wi-fi), they will have the ability to create and upload content wherever they happen to be. They can start and even finish projects on location – from tape to the web.
This won’t always be easy, but the truth is that what they are doing is what the next wave of young producers/journalists will be responsible for. They will need to know how to produce content for air and the web (and as the lines blur between what defines both, adapting will be required). They will need to create something timely and relevant within the concentric circles of related ongoing coverage (extended aired packages, blog follow up entries, photo galleries, podcasts, etc.). They will need to be able to think small picture (blog entry first) and bigger picture (follow up with clips, then cut package, then start thread on community page, etc.)
Obviously digital production skill requirements vary based on work environment need, but it is truly no longer a “nice to have” on your resume if your job has anything to do with media. More than ever, producers are required to script, shoot, blog, take photos and often edit their own packages. There are a lot of questions pertaining to pay grades and schedules/quality of life in the evolving world of ‘360’ production, but ultimately it’s essential to create a balance between your on-air and digital production skills. One of the results of the evolving synergy between both “sides” of the production coin is a lot of work flow and content direction changes. No longer just an issue for the vlogger, these changes are affecting major networks and the people working for them, in good and not-so-good ways.
The bottom line is, job requirements are changing. The world is changing. And whether you are an aspiring media mogul or an established (up ’til now) on-air producer, it’s time to start thinking beyond the idiot box if you want to remain competitive.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
I can’t believe I missed this! Barack Obama supporters have been going after California Latino voters through mini online Spanish language novelas.
The mini-novelas are called Tu Voz, Tu Voto and were part of the “Como Se Dice…Como Se Llama (Obama, Obama)” media campaign that was launched by Nueva Vista Media in June of ’07. The campaign featured a website (Amigos de Obama) and reggaetón song.
Tu Voz, Tu Voto is also being promoted and supported by Vote Hope California. In addition to hosting the series, they created a YouTube channel that contains the short political films inspired by the wildly popular telenovela genre of Latin American soap operas. The three-episode series, in English and Spanish, follow the journey of the Ortiz family and their burgeoning support for Presidential candidate Barack Obama. – via vivirlatino
The Amigos de Obama site doesn’t provide links to the videos beyond a single video promo, so it’s clear that Vote Hope is the responsible entity in terms of promotion and outreach for the series. The point of the videos seem to be that Latino voters need to focus on registering to vote and picking the correct candidate (Obama) in addition to marching for causes. I think the concept behind the series is really clever but after all the work involved, are people even watching the videos?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
So you’re trying to increase capital and resources for your fledgling company, cultivate lucrative partnerships, the whole exciting hot mess that is entrepreneurship, but are hesitant to expose the personal side of your business. How much info is too much info? Perhaps peeps would be willing to offer more support – if they had a better idea of what was going on beyond the bottom line.
“What else am I supposed to do?” you may be wondering. Do you have a blog? check. You even uploaded that zany company picnic video to YouTube. You thought it demonstrated how creative and fun spirited your team was, but really it just looks like a lot of boring crap intermixed with people eating. What you’re thinking is right – transparency for transparency’s sake (without strategy) is lame. What methods of disclosure can help you/your business? What are your options and how do you measure what works?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Why mention both? Well besides obsessively patrolling the web all day and browsing through random web show archives, I remembered that the host of Mahalo Daily is Veronica Belmont, who was once a guest on the show formerly known as Jet Set. You can read Veronica’s Mahalo Daily announcement on her blog.
Mahalo & Google: A Relationship To Ponder
I wrote about Mahalo back in September, feeling it would be a great place for my web savvy/obsessed brother to work.
So far, as a user, I have mixed feelings about Mahalo. Initially, I wondered what the difference would be between Mahalo and community curated/moderated search sites like Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a source for information about *almost* every topic in *almost* every language imaginable, presented as continuously updated articles with reference links…Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
This past weekend I tried to take it easy and get back in the habit of taking photos. I cleaned up around the apartment but managed to get a way for a bit to explore the Union Square farmer’s market, where I bought some cute plants.
I also hung out with Le Stinky, my new roommate. I rescued him about a month ago and until I figure out what to do with him, he’s been amusing me with his cat insanity and clawing my toes.
Some time last week a co-worker gave me a DVD that had me transfixed through most of last night:
Girl 27 – Director David Stenn’s Girl 27 is a fiercely dramatic account of a Hollywood scandal that is as pertinent and tragic today as it was in the late 1930s, despite the fact that it’s an incident no one seems to remember. Stenn wades heavily into this more than six-decades-old cover-up, which he stumbled upon while doing research for a book on Jean Harlow. Although he prides himself on being an expert on MGM, he had never heard of a 17-year-old dancer named Patricia Douglas, who was raped at a party during the studio’s annual sales convention in 1937. (Sundance)
Girl 27 Linkage
Lately I haven’t gone to the movies as much as I usually do, but I did discover this gem on Sunday while rifling through the $1 shelves at Strands Bookstore:
Dictionary of Films by Georges Sadoul – a compact guide to the world’s most important films. It’s a great addition to my collection of books on movie history, and will aide me in future DVD purchases. It’s already reminded me that I still need to watch and buy Ace in the Hole.
Saw Recently: In Theaters
2 Days In Paris, Resident Evil: Extinction, Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Bought & Saw Recently: On DVD
Alien, All About Eve, Mommy Dearest, Laura, Easy Rider
I Want To See: In Theaters
Trade, The Darjeeling Limited, 3:10 To Yuma, The Brave One, In The Valley of Ella, The Last Winter, My Kid Could Paint That, The Assassination of Jesse James, Death at a Funeral
I Want To See: Coming To Theaters
Michael Clayton, We Own the Night – October 12, Elizabeth: The Golden Age – October 12, I’m Not There – November 21st, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – December 21st
What movies have you seen lately that you’ve loved?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Back in April I gushed about a new social networking site I had stumbled upon – LibraryThing (see Gen-Twitter Malaise: Salvation through LibraryThing?).
I am not going to give a bullet point breakdown of all the awesome features LibraryThing offers (I was going to but decided that was a little insane). Here are the major selling points for me that influenced my original membership:
– LibraryThing gives readers the rare opportunity to browse through their favorite (participating) authors catalogs.
– Schools can integrate LibraryThing’s social data into their catalog using LibraryThing for Libraries. LTFL lets you add tag-based browsing, book recommendations, ratings, reviews and more to your OPAC, by integrating with LibraryThing and its high-quality book data.
– LibraryThing is a full-powered cataloging application, searching the Library of Congress, all five national Amazon sites, and more than 80 world libraries (including Barnes & Nobles, Bookfinder, Booksense, Worldcat, Abebooks, etc.) Basically if there is a book you want to find, it’s there. No joke.
– Users can create a LibraryThing widget to display new books or featured books on their blogs, webpages, and other social networking sites.
– LibraryThing Early Reviewers (“LTER”) gives LibraryThing members the chance to read and review advanced copies of upcoming books from select publishers, in exchange for reviews.
– You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone.
Ok! That all sounds great, right? Everything a bibliophile could ask for. So how do I, someone who reads 1-3 books a week, feel about LibraryThing five months later?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 11 so far )
– via toprankonlinemarke ting’s flickr
I’m not really feeling the motivation to hunt down an invite to any more social networking sites, especially this one. What for? The ability to alter my friends profile layouts? Zzzz. Change their information? (Is anyone else thinking of Spock? And who cares about that anymore?) All of this is perhaps fun for two seconds, but what productive adult truly has time to do that on a continuous basis? Aren’t we all wasting enough time playing Facebook Scrabble?
The novelty of being “invite only” may generate an initial healthy stream of blogger/industry buzz, particularly since Yahoo Mash will offer more enterprising developers the opportunity to build modules for it (making it yet another ad market to dip your brand ladle into). But then what? A wiki-style model requires people – lots of people – to showcase it’s true potential. So why start out limited?
What makes Mash worth including in my already precious free time used on Facebook/ Friendster/Vox/Yelp/Flickr/etc.? Can I even integrate my existing Yahoo apps into this thing? Even if Mash is targeted primarily to Yahoo users, I’m still not sensing the relevance. What need are you filling that doesn’t already exist – the need to make my friend’s profile blue? Sorry, that’s not enough. Is it such a good idea to prevent the public from experimenting with it from the get-go? Time will tell, but unless Mash has some tricks up it sleeve that provide services the LinkedIn, Friendster, Bebo, MySpace and Facebook crowd aren’t already enjoying, I’m very skeptical.
Some Services I’m Still Not Getting
– Organize my planner on the go and compare it/sync it up with my friends calendars
– Translate the pages of my friends profiles in various languages
– More relevant video search within social networking sites and the ability to have playlists automatically created for me defined by tags/settings
I’m not discounting all private Betas. With a P2P service like Joost, it makes sense to start with a small group of users and grow from there, as bandwidth, tech, and usability issues are resolved. But I will never understand why, beyond the very temporary appeal of exclusivity, a social networking site would risk dangling invites out as if they were pioneers in a brand new market where we don’t already have a bunch of options.
Edit: You can read the Mash blog here.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
The Back Story
I deleted my MySpace account four months ago for two specific reasons – both an overload and lack of information. To be more specific, I was frustrated with spam and the inability to keep it away from me, as well as the inability to keep track of updates.
I tired of receiving phony email messages that were supposedly from my friends, but were really from bots. I was sick of deleting attempted comments that were full of spam, sick of avoiding friend requests from phony accounts created to produce spam, sick of invites to join groups created solely to attack me with spam, etc.
The last straw was when my account was hacked and I noticed that my profile had sent some Viagra message to everyone on my friends list. As, Ricky Bobby would say,
“THAT IS IT!”
Facebook = Information Freedom
Running away to Facebook has definitely helped. I’ve experienced a blissful four months of virtually spam free social networking paradise. I’ve been enjoying the news feed, the ability to customize my experience down to which updates I receive on my cellphone, who can see what on my page, and integrating my other social tools like Twitter, Flickr, Last FM, etc.
I like being able to see all updates from all contacts within my home page – it’s a huge time saver. MySpace counts on your lack of information to bombard you with ads – unless someone posted a bulletin and I subscribed to their blog, I had no idea what was going on with them and rarely bothered to check because I hated all the ads I had to go through to get what I wanted. My loose ties with quasi friends/contacts were in danger of being severed, and the internal pressure I felt to keep checking my cross country close friends profiles was starting to wear on my nerves.
Facebook helps me to stay informed, and lets me control how I receive my information – without bombarding me with ads (for now). I’m privy to social and work related news at a constrant stream, and I don’t feel this insane compulsion to constantly check everyones profiles. I just look at my feed – one page, one source of information, two hours becomes ten minutes. Slotted in my feed as well from time to time, almost discreetly, are featured ads. It’s a “byte” of information, easily digestible, and quickly scrolled past if it’s useless to me. The ads are usually supported by a richer user experience – a promo for a film may allow you to join a related group, get free gifts, or offer some other pay off for clicking. The choice is yours – click or don’t click. I’m informed but not annoyed, and my time isn’t wasted.
Kings of Sticky
But all this time saving isn’t a threat to Facebook’s stickiness. According to Tech Crunch, the average Facebook user spends two hours a day logged in. I would say my Facebook enthusiasm (as it pertains to time spent) is limited to checking the feed, leaving comments, viewing photos I note in the feed that are of interest, and reading invites.
I do acknowledge however that updating some of my Facebook apps can be a huge time sucker (bad for me when I want to go to bed or do laundry), however smart parties are taking notice of how these apps are being used, shared with friends, sending traffic to sites, and developing their own time suckers – good and bad for everyone, depending on user behavior (See Mashable’s list of “30 Awesome Applications for Facebook”).
The Status Updates and third party apps are info streams that supplement the feed. Those brief Twitterian-like glimpses into my friend’s and coworkers head spaces on a constant basis are adding to my overall awareness of who they are. I don’t take an update as an encapsulated definition of their being, but it helps to know when someone is feeling sick or needs help moving.
IDEA FOR FACEBOOK
***If Facebook were to ever offer Twitter-like tools within Facebook, Twitter would finally have some real competition. You can already make and receive Status Updates from your cellphone, and if Facebook were to offer Updates as an archive and in widget form, what need would I have for Twitter?***
How Apps Enrich Off-Line Relationships
Ilike and Movies have increased my knowledge of my friends/co-workers/business contacts’ personal tastes and recommendations (see “Facebook/Work Culture: Just Good Times Or A Requirement To Stay Connected?”) in ways that could never happen face to face. Who has time to get a movie review from each friend every time they see it? But it takes ten seconds to read one, and it’s a useful service, at least for me.
For some reason seeing my peers’ updates in my feed and the mini description almost always lures me in for a closer look. I end up caring more than I initially intended to, and that is one of the two holy grails of site use that Facebook is currently the king of:
#1 By giving users the freedom to control their experience, it entices them to go deeper into that experience
#2 Creating Successful Word of Mouth
You’ve Been Bitten!
At WidgetCon back in July, we learned that RockYou’s Zombie App was (and is still) the top Facebook application. RockYou is a great example of a company succesfully transferring it’s popularity from within MySpace into Facebook, with the help of the news feed and word of mouth.
How? …As soon as you see that one of your friend’s has added an app, why not give it a try? Simple to ad, simple to remove. App “hit” status shouldn’t be measured solely by how much page life it gets – how quickly it spreads is just as important.
Creating An Army Of Unintentional Advertisers
It’s so simple that I’ve been scrambling to try to find examples of this happening before. It’s had to have happened before! I’ll keep looking but right now, I have squat. So I tentatively say that Facebook has set the precedent for this ad model:
1 – Generating a feed source that aggregates information from a user’s “friends” activities and displays it in a central location (homepage upon login), and offers it through mobile updates
2 – Displays app additions in the feed source as updates and offers the ability to add it to your own profile from within the feed. Provides option to purchase items relating to added interests/reviews.
3 – Inserts targeted ads (based on the users interests) into the feed
The combination of these four observed tactics is a marketing/advertising formula that should have MySpace more than a little concerned. But then again if it’s not broken, why fix it? As long as MySpacers have to constantly go to each friend’s page, one at a time, for updates (beyond the bulletins) they are willingly submitting to a barrage of ads.
But are those ads truly resonating with their targeted audience?
I think as the web becomes more and more customizable, advertisers and the social networking sites they partner with are going to have to become more savvy about how they push their product. I ignore most billboards and posters in the real world, I have no interest wasting a second of my time online viewing the equivalent.
Thoughts On the Threat of “The MySpacing Of Facebook”
John Chow recently posted an interesting blog entry called “How Much Can You Make Off 1 Million Facebook Users?”
It’s a great example of how shady types are already attempting to exploit friend networks to sell unsanctioned-by-Facebook ad space (Facebook already addressed this specific situation).
I feel that marketing infiltrators will continue to prey on users interests in a myriad of ways, and Facebook will continue to be vigilant about identifying the real from the phony. As long as it stays that way, users won’t experience that much of an inconvenience. The benefit of Facebook not being owned by a huge entity like News Corp (I would assume) is that site issues like these can be addressed immediately, instead of having to travel through endless channels. The Facebook blog often addresses issues like this and calls for user input. There’s a sense that a real person is “on the line” so to speak.
So I don’t believe the MySpacing of Facebook is an external threat. If it ever is an issue it would be entirely based on company decisions from within Facebook.
So, what “MySpacey” issues would force me to leave Facebook?
1. Lack of Relevance
Another huge reason I left MySpace was that I didn’t feel I was being “found” by the right people, or coming across any new people who weren’t (sorry) complete idiots. There wasn’t any information I was getting by logging into MySpace that I didn’t feel I was already getting off-line. When I joined as a 21? (I think) year old, my social networking needs were different. I grew up, but MySpace didn’t.
Currently, I use my social networking profiles primarily to share information with work colleagues and potential business contacts. I still leave comments and send gifts to friends, but I am not overwhelmed with the urgency to create a new layout for my profile twice a week. I feel comfortable with the idea of an employer looking at my Facebook profile (I can limit access) – All MySpace offers is public or private.
As long as Facebook continues to be relevant to my life and adapts to my constantly changing user behavior, I see no reason to leave. A truly successful “lifestyle social networking site” (one that supplements all daily behavior versus targeting a specific interest, ala Flickr) has the flexibility to grow with its users and the foresight to anticipate needs and developing interests.
2. Too much Bacn
There’s Facebook bacn (ads, invitations, etc.) and friend bacn. The kind that is starting to take it’s toll on me already is friend bacn. I suppose everything in the News Feed could be considered bacn, but these are items I have singled out that, for me, define the term in the context of Facebook:
– Invites to charity functions (sent several times for the same event)
– Requests to fill out question are app (Who should I date?/What are you doing this weekened?/Where should I take my date)
– Requests to donate to charities
– Invites to “just for fun” groups
– Requests to join political groups/causes
Anything essentially that is asking something of me beyond passively looking at an image/video or reading profile updates (Status, adds/removes, etc.) is Bacn, to me.
I control bacn to a certain degree by adjusting my feed preferences. I can’t control Facebook from inserting ads into my feed, but so far they are so infrequent and subtle it’s not an issue at all.
3. Mass Friend Requests
As we all know, there are many MySpace users who are add whores. They add anyone, anywhere, anytime. You inbox becomes cluttered with friend requests from people you don’t even know. Often these people are phony accounts created to send you spam.
I don’t really see this being a problem on Facebook as they are pretty excellent about removing false accounts, and friend whoring is not an aspect of Facebook culture (from what I can tell). There are the few who insist on adding everyone they ever knew since they exited the womb, but that not the same as indiscriminately adding for the sake of adding. That is just fulfilling your bizarre need to remain in touch with everyone you ever met. Whatever, I just ignore those people.
With so much freedom to customize your Facebook user experience and the unobtrusive ad placement, I don’t see the MySpacing of Facebook happening any time soon.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
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