You know the stereotypical tag line when breaking news happened back in the day. The authoritative news anchor would come on and give some background and then end with “Film at 11″ to get you to watch the late local news.
That may have worked in an unplugged world, but in 2012 you can’t hook like that. Old media can’t bait the viewer to tune in later for information on breaking news, there are just too many sources for information.
Witness today’s breaking story of the Keystone XL pipeline being denied by the US government. Sue French, a CTV Calgary reporter, broke the news on twitter and tried to bait viewers for her newscast:
Keystone Xl pipeline denied. Official from US state department. More at 5.30 on CTV news
This is the classic ‘film at eleven’ hook. She teased with the headline and then asked viewers to come back for more information later. Two decades ago she would have received an A+ from her broadcasting school instructor and a pat on the back from her news director. In 2012 she failed her network miserably.
All this hook did was bait me to seek out information elsewhere. Why should I have to wait 4 hours to get the details? Within seconds of this tweet there were dozens of stories online including a full transcript from the company denied the pipeline.
A story posted to the website with details beyond a 140 character tweet would have been simple to craft. A couple of sentences with a tag on that story encouraging viewership at 5:30 would have sufficed.
By linking to your own website you keep the traffic internal. You bolster your brand as a source for breaking news and you keep the searches to your site. There’s no need for me to Google the breaking news.
Meanwhile, Shirlee Engel, a reporter with Global, used Twitter to blast out details as they became available.
For Engel, Twitter became a reporting platform, not a place to blast out hooks for her broadcast.
News wants to be free and if you try to lock it up, you lose. Unless you have a locked and loaded exclusive story that nobody else has details on, you can’t use ‘film at eleven’ as a hook because the internet will tell me now.
Google+ is creeping up in my use, but only because the long form content that people are posting there is reminiscent of the early days of Twitter.
If you’re into Twitter, you’ll notice many people have it synced with many of their other social network accounts. The overlap of content is starting to build into many many layers and now … there’s Path.
The social network that limits you to Dunbar’s Number of 150 friends is all the rage as people flock to this latest social network because of … social overload?
Yes, apparently, we’re sharing too much so we need a new social network so we can share less and keep tabs of it all.
I’ll load up Path and stick the icon in the “Social” folder on my iPhone, but I’ve already mentally put it in the same folder as Foursquare – the “delete” folder.
Here’s a hint: stick to Facebook and stop accepting friend requests from people you don’t really “know.”
CES may stand for Consumer Electronics Show, but when the biggest trade show of the year hits Las Vegas, standing out in the crowd can be tough – enter the celebrities, making this theCelebrity Electronics Show.
CES 2011 saw visits from Rick Fox, The Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga. This year’s show promises to bring a big star spotlight and thousands of screaming girls who love gadgets. Look out everyone, Justin Bieber is on the guest list for CES 2012.
Here’s the full rundown of celebrities, athletes and musicians scheduled to appear at CES 2012 and which booth you can spot them:
So if you’re wanting to take advantage of sick savings, get the Future Shop iPhone app and become familiar with how it works so you can elbow your way through the online crowds with ease. If you’re not on an iPhone, no worries – FutureShop.ca‘s mobile site has just been rejigged for a better experience.
Here are some of the pro tips to get you ready for Boxing Day:
Familiarize yourself with the site/app. Open an online shopping account and do a test run so you can see how the system works. You can abort the purchase right before the end, but o through to make sure you have all the info the site needs. There’s a great breakdown of the Future Shop app with screenshots and tips and complete directions.
Charge your batteries, check your signal. Make sure your phone is fully charged and you’re either on a strong WiFi network or you have full bars from wherever it is you’re going to be doing your shopping.
Get social. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, follow or like the Future Shop accounts to get more inside advice and help on the fly.
Have a list. Check it twice. A lot of the Boxing Day flyers have already been released. Price compare, find your best deal and read the reviews of the items to make sure it’s what you want.
How big is the Future Shop Boxing Day Sale? Check out these appetizers:
Denon 945 watt 7.2 Multi-Zone Receiver,$449.99 (Savings of $550). Web only
Monster Turbine Pro in-ear headphones,$99.99 (Savings of $300). Web only
Frigidaire Front Load Laundry Pair (white), $599.98 (savings of $400)
Bosch Built-In Dishwasher, $499.99 (savings of $450)
BlueAnt S4 Speakerphone (voice activated), $59.99 (savings of $60)
BlackBerry 16GB PlayBook with Wi-Fi, $199.99 (savings of $200)
HP 15.6″ AMD Dual Core C-50 Laptop,$299.99 (savings of $100)
Canon Rebel T3 Camera Bundle,$699.99 (savings of $350)
Monster Beats Studio By Dr. Dre Headphones,$229.99 (savings of $120)
Panasonic 60″ 1080p 600Hz Plasma Smart TV (TCP60S30),$999.99 (savings of $500)
LG 55″ LV4400 LED TV, $999.99 (savings of $250)
Sharp 42″ LCD TV (LC42D69),$399.99 (savings of $150)
Energy Reference Connoisseur 4-Way Tower Speakers (RC-70) – Black, pair,$999.99 (savings of $1,500)
Pioneer 7.2 Channel Network Receiver (VSX-1326-K),$749.99 (savings of $750)
The movie is classic Bond: sexy ladies in evening gowns, bad guys who want to end the world, and gadgets that will blow your mind.
As Ethan Hunt says to the team boarding a private jet on a tarmac in Dubai: “Wait until you see the car.”
Cruise’s character drives a couple of BMWs in the movie, the flashiest being the BMW i8 concept car with Vision EfficientDynamics.
While the car is set for a 2014 production release, one of the plug-in hybrid sports car’s cool features is available now.
BMW’s ConnectedDrive, used in the movie to provide a visual display of detailed maps and collision warnings, and allowing voice-activated phone functions, is now in cars. Think of that scene in Minority Report where Cruise was thumbing through flies on a wall – this is that in your car. A heads up display that takes the information from your dashboard and puts it directly in your field of vision.
BMW reportedly spent more than $10M at the chance to promote the car in the movie.
Mission: Impossible is a whole new dimension for BMW,” says Ellinghaus. “It’s what James Bond used to be.
The scene that everyone talks the most about is Cruise on the oustide of the Burj Khalifa. Some 1200 feet in the air, Cruise scales the glass of the tallest building in the world with special “blue is glue, red is dead”climbing gloves.
If you want to try it (no thanks), look for Gecko Tape. It’s a material covered with nanoscopic hairs that mimic those found on geckos’ feet. The tape is so sticky it could allow people to walk up to sheer surfaces and across ceilings, say researchers.
That’s just the beginning.
There are chain mail suits paired with maglev robots, contact lenses that sync with your iPhone for facial recognition and remote camera printing, iPads that toss hallway holograms, 3D printers that can fashion and paint realistic masks, surface computing that can read data from devices simply through touch, along with random USB devices that can stop nuclear warheads.
Even the basic iPhone countdown timer gets a starring turn in the film.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is on IMAX screens this weekend and goes in wide release December 21.
New, New Twitter was the name given to the redesign of our 140 character obsession last week and it seems the masses have spoken: they don’t like it.
“They’re simplifying Twitter. They’re confining it to four spaces — Home, Connect, Discover, Me — and hoping we’ll forget about the good features that they’ve taken away.”
- The New Twitter For iPhone, We Hate It Too
“It’s a bold new move for Twitter, which is good because the company hasn’t made many bold new bets.
But, it’s alienating for the current crop of users who know how the service works, know how to follow people they want to follow for news, and don’t care about the news passed around by the masses on Twitter.”
- Everything That’s Wrong With The New Twitter iPhone App
“By adding more features, the new Twitter seems to be trying to do two things at once: make it more compelling as a social networking platform, while at the same time making it easier for the uninitiated to grasp. I think Twitter will likely fail on both counts.”
- The New Twitter Leaves Me Disconnected
I involved Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey in a discussion I was having with a colleague about the redesign and he replied that it’s still a work in progress.
@jaypiddy always working to simplify. This is just a start.
“Tweetbot has been shooting up the iPhone App Store charts, according to App Annie. It’s currently the no. 34 paid iPhone app, down from no. 16 on Saturday, but up from no. 708 a couple of weeks ago. That has been good for business — its top-grossing rank has also surged.”
Guys please stop complaining about the new Twitter app, they might revert back and I’m really enjoying the increase in sales.
Tweetbot is clean, it’s intuitive, it has similar functionality to the old new Twitter. It respects screen space, and you can dodge easily between conversations and screens with customizable swipes and taps. There’s no suggestive upselling via Twitter’s urge to have us Discover.
And with the removal of Twitter from my iPhone, I’m not getting the pings on my screen via Notification Centre so I’m less distracted by my device calling me to interact on the internet. I get what I need to get done and then I’m out.
What about you? Have you ditched New New Twitter for another app?
The people who follow John are likely those trying to make money from their own blogs. Problem is, John is the one with the audience and when the readers try to implement his affiliate tools, they have a hard time gaining traction. John is at the top of this pyramid (scheme) and he can make it work, but what about those on the bottom?
I have been wondering a lot about the relationship between bloggers and PR firms lately. I think bloggers are being taken for a ride by doling out mentions to brands in exchange for products instead of real ad dollars.
The blogs doing this are likely on the bottom of the pyramid. They’re the fish scrambling to climb the mountain and secure a real audience and build a real relationship with clients. When you have a small, local or niche audience, one that’s not sellable against the big blogs, you have to take what you can get. For many part timers, this means turning their blogs into infomercials.
And then you have to take it to the next step – are the PR firms placing products with the bloggers getting a decent return on their investment? If my theory that niche bloggers end up travelling in schools, the only people reading about “Mom X Blog’s review of Brand X coffee maker” are other PR Friendly blogs scrounging for their own nut.
From the outside, the world of amateur blogging looks like a series of professional contest players. The entries are their blogs, the prizes are diapers, coffee makers, trips and test drives. So when a PR company seeds one blog, do they end up with an increase in sales or simply an increase in emails from other bloggers touting their “Klout” asking for a prize?
Just look at the conferences, it’s not about parents sharing ideas on how to raise our kids, it’s about small business people trying to find a way to rise above the mediocrity.
Years ago I noticed this trend amongst bloggers in Vancouver. They were banding together in a herd to increase traffic and page rank in the hopes of getting genuine media accreditation.
The problem is, without the legitimacy of audience demanded by media directors for events, they are left filling the hallways with legions of those who serve no purpose other than to legitimize themselves.
Some bloggers, notably in Vancouver, openly admit to this sort of gaming of the system. Boris Mann of Urban Vancouver has defended his site’s scraping and republishing of content by saying it was a means to help bloggers gain access to events.
“Many people benefit from the ability of UV to help generate “press” credentials, for everything from music awards to the Olympics,” he said.
There will always be a couple of high level bloggers who will attract interest from the masses, but the rest of us are just fish trying to climb the hatchery ladder, and not all make it. In the end, those caught a few steps down the ladder just end up cycling back the same messages to each other in a drowning echo that goes nowhere.
JP and I have the same frustrations with the new new Twitter that others have been detailing, none better than Gruber at Daring Fireball.
Twitter 4.0 for iPhone lacks the surprise, delight, and attention to detail of a deserving successor to Tweetie, offering instead a least common denominator experience that no one deserves.
When I replied to JP, I just included @Jack in a conversation about the new design. I didn’t @ him specifically, still – he was listening and he responded. You don’t have to follow everybody on Twitter. It’s about eavesdropping, its about listening about paying attention when it matters, as Jack did. Now if he can just bring the old app designs back.
The site is like a virtual vision board and it really is beautiful to navigate. The thumbnails seem to scroll endlessly and you can daisy chain around from people you follow to new connections and categories.
Now similar graphical interfaces are making waves – for articles.
Flipboard(long on iPad) moved to iPhone this week.
The app works by sorting the links coming from your feeds (GoogleReader, Twitter, Facebook) into thumbnails.
What flow as text links in the Twitter stream have summaries and images attached in Flipboard. I found myself instantly reading more of the content my stream was sharing simply because of the layout and design.
Google has been very busy of late, redesigning their entire user experience, but has still found time to launch new products Schemer and Google Currents [iPhone, iPad, Android - US only].
Google teamed with more than 150 publishing partners to offer full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, Fast Company and more. Content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if you’re offline.
To get started, simply download the app and choose the publications you want to subscribe to for free. You can also add RSS, video and photo feeds, public Google+ streams and Google Reader subscriptions you’re already following. In addition to consuming your favorite media, you can also use the trending tab to discover related content that matches your tastes.
Greybox, a Canadian startup from Edmonton moved out of beta this week. It works the most like Pinterest from these article aggregators. You follow people, topics and networks and can share stories. The articles are thumbnailed on a grey board that is elegant to look at and easy to browse.
These are all content aggregating answers to the tablet trend. Taking news and making it swipable, making it sortable and making it more like the experience of flipping through the pages of a magazine. You can set the parameters of the content you consume, so it’s familiar, but at the same time it’s fresh and new and easy to consume. These are just a few of the new apps and sites to take advantage of the trend, get ready to see more of it on the web and mobile.
So here’s how to solve the problem and make some honest money with your mommy blog, daddy blog or personal blog. Instead of being PR Friendly, try being Advertiser Friendly. Try being Client Friendly.
My blog network mostly relies on AdSense for revenue. I also belong to TextLinkAds and I have tried a few affiliate programs without much success. I have blogs because I like to write and share stories. I have something to say, I have an opinion to offer, I have insight. If I can make enough money to drop in a US savings account to blow at CES in Las Vegas every year, I’m winning.
Only one of my blogs, DadCAMP, actively solicits relationships with brands. It’s a parenting blog, a genre filled with opportunities for brand relationships to happen. So to tap in to those opportunities, I placed an Advertise link and page on the site.
DadCAMP has an audience. DadCAMP has influence. If a brand wants access to that audience, it comes at a price – not a product.
By being Advertiser Friendly I’m still asking for clients and partners to engage with my audience, but I’m seeking out business relationship with the clients, not free samples to play with, keep or giveaway.
When you’re Advertiser Friendly, you’re actually placing more value and legitimacy in your content.
Traditional media does this all the time. When somebody is giving away something on a radio station or on a television news program or in the newspaper it’s not just because they walked up with tickets to giveaway
Traditional media offers up the giveaways as added value on top of the thousands of dollars the client makes in the ad buy. It says “Hey we’re in business together you spend thousand dollars advertising on my radio station newspaper or TV show. I’ll give you some added value by doing extra mentions through giveaway.”
PR companies send bags of treats to dj’s all the time hoping for plugs on air. But if we were to give a plug in exchange for free donuts every time they showed up, we’d be devaluing the real clients who actually pay for access to the audience via commercials. This is what bloggers do – they do the plugs for peanuts. You can’t get the real business relationships if the PR companies know they can get access to your audience for a simple gift basket.
It’s magnified when bloggers get into the giveaway scheme too. Not only does the PR company get the original blog review, they get their message spread virally through your audience with the giveaway. They are not taking advantage of you once, they’re magnifying it with the word of mouth. Sure, it looks like a win-win for you and your readers, but it’s the PR company that’s winning.
Giveaways are great, but they should be saved for the clients that do real and honest business with you.
When you get paid that little gift of a teabag sample or a book or diaper bag, you’re selling yourself short. You have influence you have an audience. If somebody want access to that audience and influence, make them pay for it. Set the bar high and demand more. If more bloggers work as advertiser friendly and client friendly instead of PR friendly, we would all make more money.
We are saying our audience has monetary value, our content is honest and genuine and if you want in to this party, you’d best bring a chequebook. But that’s work. Instead of being an editor or writer, you now need to be a salesperson too. You won’t deal with the cushy PR side of the business, you’ll need to get into the business side where budgets, ROI, CPM and RPM swim.
It is still okay to have exclusive and great relationship with client and it’s still okay to be the spokesperson for a grocery store or a spokesperson for an electronics manufacturer, just remember that your brand is worth something.
JLo isn’t driving a Fiat because they just gave her a loaner for the week. Charlize Theron‘s not wearing Dior just because she got a free pair of shoes.
When you’re PR friendly you’re selling yourself short. You’re selling your audience short. You’re selling your business short. You’re selling your brand short. Demand more. If you truly have the audience, if you truly have the clout, if you truly have the influence you’ll get a lot more than a promo code for an iTunes app.