Brands scratch at the surface of online conversations

May 19, 2008

Last week I looked at two social media services and wondered why brands weren’t taking advantage of the wealth of information about the products and services, being offered directly from their customers. Ad Age must have seen my post because they responded with a piece about a company which is hawking a brand monitoring service that is raking in the loot. The company, MotiveQuest, offers month long studies of the chatter happening about and around brands for $30k to $75K.

While I havent seen any of these reports, based on the description in the article they seems fairly superficial. They are only using keyword matches and user tallies to provide brands with “insight” into what people are saying. While I’m sure its a huge leap over what they had previously, that is to say nothing, simply giving demogrphic information based on keyword matches isnt really pushing the boundaries of what possible and knowable. When digital agencies start offering psychographic profiles and “viral value” of users that discuss a product online and then help brands engage with them is when it will get really interesting.


Signs of Bubble 2.0: Tons of “me too” Black sites launching

April 22, 2008

There has been a ton of talk about Bubble 2.0, it started with Fred Wilson back in March of ’05, was picked up by Vulture Central in Oct of the same year and has since since spawned everything from an official blog to a Wikipedia entry. However, the only sure sign that Bubble 2.0 is in full effect is the recent launch of 5 major web sites focused on the Black audience. The last time this many copy-cat Black sites, with major backers, launched was at the tail end of the dotcom boom in late ’99 and 2000.

Back then a series of lackluster online efforts launched and failed in rapid succession. These sites were generally the brainchild of a disgruntled black executive in a traditional media firm who had snagged a white funding source. He (its always a he) would then hire a bunch of magazine writers, movie/music promotions people, traditional ad-sales folks and some witless MBA’s for legitimacy. What none of these sites had was a real problem to solve, a raison d’etre that was unique to their target audience, or a technological basis to solve that problem.

Read the rest of this entry »


Research Tuesday: Research from around the web

June 28, 2007

Ok, so research Tuesday became research Wednesday Thursday.

Males Love Video Long Time
It’s been a reading week for me. Lots of great stuff to mull over and help shape ones thinking about digital media. Lets start with a report by consultancy Frank N. Magid & Associates with the irresistibly tantalizing header “80% of 18 – 24 Males Watch Online Video“. Only 53% of their female counter-parts are watching an equal amount of video. The report goes on to claim that news clips are the most watched content type. Teenage cat fights, skating injuries and soft-core porn dont even chart according to the report thus greatly reducing its credibility. Via Digital Media Wire

Ladies Love Drunk Texting
Ever gotten a drunk text at 3am from a former girlfriend, proclaiming her undying love and mounting desire for you? Maybe this just happens to me… Well, thanks to a new survey put out by Samsung we now have some fun research on these women. Yup folks, the technocrats at Samsung have put out a pretty funny research report outlining some of the cell usage behaviors of single women. The title is a good indication of the rest of the report: “Single Mobile Females Find New BFF: Their Cell Phone“. It’s a funny fast read lite on details with blog worthy data pulls like 40% of women experience “text shame” the morning after texting while inebriated.

Read the rest of this entry »


Gadget Goodness: Radio with 37GB Harddisk

February 28, 2007

Our friends at Akihabar News ran a blurb on a very interesting product from the folks at Olympus. I have long since given up listening to radio, with its overly repetitiously play list, its canned DJ’s and its monotonous pop drone (can Mos Def get some airplay?). Anyway, while the radio isnt that interesting by itself, the idea of sticking a hard drive in the radio and and allowing it to record in the WMA format, which can easily be ripped to MP3, is interesting. Olympus may be doing this to Radio’s today, but watch for Apex to add harddrives to TV’s tomorrow. Read the hilarious BableFish translation here or the Japanese original here.


Sales Down, Profits Up: How movie theaters do it.

February 14, 2007

Do you still go to the movies? Then your one of an ever dwindling number of Americans that still do. A factoid released by the good folks at Kagan Research puts a sunny face on the industries declining fourtunes. In it Kagan helpfully points out that movie theaters making money despite sinking sales by gouging anyone still not using Netflicks, GooTube or Bittorent for the movie needs.

Kagan points out that although sales have declined for the last four years theaters still managed to eek out a profit though higher price and advertising. Since 1997 ticket prices have grown by more then 4% a year which more then makes up for the decline in ticket sales. In Kagans view this news is a reason for the major studios smile. Think of it as an “honesty tax”. . .

Now, I dont have a raft of MBA’s running models for me or hordes of baby-faced analyst like Wade Holden crunching data but I dont think fewer people coming to my business and higher prices for my remaining customers is any reason to smile.


Piracy has No Impact on CD Sales says Report

February 12, 2007

JPE coverA central tenet of the RIAA/IFPI terror campaign against file downloading has been that file downloading causes the industry to loose billion of dollars a year. This point is hotly debated by many who point out that downloading is more like sampling then buying and has probably resulted in net growth for the industry. However, the myopic, luddite brain-dead response of the music industry has been to ignore the mounting evidence of the negligible impact of file-sharing on music sales. Instead they prefer to sue old ladies and children and further poison their relationship with their customers.

Needless to say these arent the brightest folks in business. Fortunately, our good friends in the Ivory covered halls of academia have been busy crunching numbers and running models to see just what is what. Well the latest in a string of reports from some well lettered individuals is in and the numbers show that file-sharing is likely to have negatively impacted just .7% of CD sales. Ars Technica has the full story and its not good for the labels. You cant argue with science man.

Some of the previous research (Price and Piracy, Piracy and Sales, SSRN articles)


Digital Ethnography: The Machine is using US

February 7, 2007

GooTube isnt just the domain of scantily clad women, moronic teenage antics and copyright infringement. There’s gold in them thar servers and one nugget was sent to me by the amazing Phasing on Monday. It has captured the mood/feeling of the “whats happening?” crowd and offers some insights into thinking of the “whats next!” crowd.