Slacker Uprising’s Weakish Social Media Tools

September 23, 2008

MV5BMjA5MjAyNzcxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTk2MzI5MQ@@._V1._SX266_SY399_ I signed up to get Michael Moore’s latest documentary Slacker Uprising a few weeks ago and this morning I received an email telling me it was now available. The documentary covers Moore’s failed bid to oust Bush the Lesser from office by giving out Raman Noodles and clean undies. With none of the emotional impact of Sicko and none of the laughs of An American Carol Slacker Uprising is being distributed online for free (or $9.95 for the DVD). The movie can be watched on, iTunes and Lycos or downloaded from Amazon, iTunes and Hypernia.

However, despite the free-love goodness and the clear support for Obama, Michael Moore has failed to take a page from the Obama social media playbook and leverage social media to get the movie’s message out. The Slacker Uprising site has no way to embed or super-distribute the movie (missed the button) no way to comment or rally support around it, there isnt even a means for people to indicate support or provide any feedback on the film. All fairly standard social media tools, which would extend the viral distribution of the film, defray some of the cost and amplify its message.

Obama says Yes We Can to Digital Music

September 21, 2008


The Obama presidential campaign will be remembered for its many first. The first bi-racial presidential candidate, the first presidential candidate to acknowledge his black children, the first presidential candidate with an African first name and the first presidential candidate to release a digital CD.

The compilation was put together by the good folks at Hidden Beach Recordings, best known for removing the arsine ramblings of ignorant buffoons from popular rap songs and making them palatable to anyone with a 5th grade education, in the UnRapped Jazz series. The CD is only available from the Obama campaign store, and will set you back $25 bucks for the digital download or $30 bucks for the physical CD. All proceeds from the the CD will go to the Obama/Biden ticket. After the election the CD will be released to retail stores around the country.

Videos for a fun friday

September 19, 2008

Red State Update is always good for a laugh. Today they tackle the Oprah controversy with Sarah Palin. Best joke in the video comes in the last segment.

Bristol Palin’s African-american baby daddy speaks out (and promotes his music). This has been making the rounds for a couple of weeks and I’m surprised it hasnt died yet but people are still forwarding it around.

If you need evidence of the death of “Hip-hop” I offer the following two videos. First up is MC Frontalot with a video called “It is pitch dark”. MC Frontalot combines the lyrical skills of a Lupe Fiasco with the social inclinations of Maurice Moss . This is geek rap at its musical best.

On the other side is “Its cold in the D” a scary but heartfelt ode to urban and musical blight.

How EA crushed my enthusiam for Spore

September 17, 2008


A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with another geek friend about the merits of buying the full-version of Spore rather then downloading it via BitTorrent. I was so excited about the games release that not only was I willing to buck the P2P trend and purchase the full $79 version but I was insisting that my friends do it to. Sure you could get it for free, I’d argue, but then you would have to get a crack for it and hope the crack still worked in a week or two mode. When Spore hit stores I was ready to buy into the shrink-wrapped goodness of the retail version, alas that was not to be.

“Dumbed down experience and draconian DRM”

That was the title of the very first review posted on Amazon for the full retail version of Spore by a poster going by the name of Erich Maria Remarque. The review goes on to outline a complaint that will be echoed in over 2,000 other reviewers, namely that the Sony/BMG styled DRM, effectively punishes the purchaser of legitimate versions of Spore. After 2,595 reviews fewer than 200 rated the game 4 or more stars (one can imagine that most of these reviews are from EA staffers).


A quick look on MiniNova shows 10 well seeded Spore torrents (>50 seeds + >100 leeches) of 76 available. Another 86 torrents where listed of various cracks and patches to the game to ensure gameplay. Clearly EA’s DRM efforts have had little impact on the ability of people to get the game without paying, nor has it limited the playability of the game, as several posters on the Mininova boards have pointed out. Everyone seems to be asking is asking is; Is this of the of

When you treat paying customers like thieves and make the purchased product less functional and more cumbersome the the free alternatives you will lose your customers. The US traditional music industry has be a shining example of this process and should function as an object lesson to other industries. Alas, EA seems not to have gotten the message and has managed to convert Spore from the most anticipated game of 208 to the most derided. So rather then a post about how awesome Spore is and how elated I am to finally have played the game, I am instead posting a missive on how I went from Promoter to detractor.

Starfish and Prisms: Visualizing conversations in Social Media

September 17, 2008

The vision of communication in the digital age is one of two way conversations, sometimes lead by brands and sometimes lead by users but always distributed across services, niches and purposes. Brian Solis of PR 2.0 has an excellent update to the classic social media Starfish visualization. He calls it the Conversation Prism and in true which attempts to capture the conversation flow across services and sites. Both visualizations highlight the plethora of tools and services that continue to disperse audiences and the stories they carry about your brand, product or service, across the Interwebs.

Use the Conversation Prism to help discover new services and sites, where conversations about your client’s brands are happening. Begin by observing the conversations you find and as you discover ways to add value and truly contribute to the conversation, jump-in participate in them. Identifying and understanding these services, how to leverage them and build strategies around them is the real challenge facing communications companies