Author Archive

Singularity and Media

The idea of singularity starts out simple but as soon as you begin to wrap your head around this theory you begin to question everything about technology and life.  Singularity is an idea that refers to a hypothetical point of time in the future where artifical intelligence surpasses human intelligence which results in the fusion of the two.  A world where our thoughts can be downloaded and our minds exported into different bodily experiences.  This idea is most commonly talked about one of the great innovative minds of our generation, Ray Kurzweil, who was the subject of the 2009 documentary Transcendent Man.  I urge all of you to watch this documentary or read any of the numerous articles available on this idea before you continue reading.

Image Credit: Ray Krunzweil

When exploring this theory I immediately begin to think about what media or the entertainment industry would look like when singularity or some form of it is a reality.  It is pretty crazy to think about the possiblity of downloading media straight to your brain but if Mr. Kurzweil is correct that is exactly where were headed.  This could open the doors to new types of entertainment, virtual reality simulations, and new innovative ways to particpate in live events.  Could artificial intelligence write better tv shows than humans do?  Are we going to be playing video games in different bodies with others inhabititing other bodies themselves?

Image Credit: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tag/singularity

 

These possibilities truly boggle the mind.  We are getting to the point where technology can truly take over a lot of what we do.  I think its important however to keep in mind, during this “rise of technology”, to consider the important of media and the arts in society.  New ideas are exchanged all the time by the arts and through media, and we never want to be content with what we have.  We should always strive for more reflection and input on ideas of our time.  Technology will surely get better and change how we get our media, but let’s make sure the art that comes from this media is as pure and independent as possible.  Let’s use this technological singularity to get new ideas out in the world and empower others to create because of the new found freedom of a singularity.

So what are your thoughts?  Afraid of singularity? Excited? Please comment below

An interview with True Voice Media founder Jeff Gibbard

Today we had the opportunity to talk with a pioneer in the social media world in Philadelphia, Jeff Gibbard.  Jeff is the founder of True Voice Media, a Philadelphia based social media company.  We discussed a myriad of subjetcts about social media, and the best thing about it…. it was done entirely over Twitter.  We even created a special hashtag for the event: #smphila.  You can follow Jeff @jgibbard and follow his company @truevoicemedia.

 

New Media Musings: 1st question… How did you get involved in social media?

Jeff Gibbard: My first foray into social media was Friendster & then MySpace. While getting my MBA realized this was going to be BIG!!  As a professional I started with a mgmt consulting company doing interactive mktg.

 

NMM: How does your business True Voice Media, monetize its social media efforts?

JG: Well for starters, we monetize social media efforts because clients pay us, beyond that we go about it in a fairly traditional way. Quantify the value of a lead for clients & get more leads.

 

NMM:Why are bigger corporations more tentative to adopt social media?

JG:Good question. 3 reasons. Fear. Oversight. Scalability. I’ll explain,  fear, big corporations are afraid of making mistakes, there’s more accountability, less risk tolerance they are afraid someone might say something negative, that it might get out of control…it’s fear of the unknown. Oversight, It is MUCH more difficult to manage 100′s of people representing a brand than a small handful scalability is about the fact that social media replicates individual relationships. More of a one-on-one dialogue. And that’s more difficult to scale in big corporate environments

 

NMM:Very interesting insight, Which emerging social media platform do you see becoming the “next big thing” ?

JG: I don’t really believe in the concept of “the next big thing” for a technology / platform. I think the “next big thing” is getting serious about all this and treating it like anything else in business. Each network will continue to evolve or it will fizzle out. The next big thing is often tomorrows failure.

 

NMM:On that note,How do you think social media will be used by big business in the next five years? How will they monetize it?

JG:It depends. You can profit without making a difference in the world or fulfilling the biggest potential. My hope is that business monetize it in a way that capitalizes on what makes these technologies so special. Social Media technologies enable an open dialogue w/ customers to garner feedback, ideas and provide customer service. I think ultimately businesses will realize that not every function of SM is about monetization. Certainly monetization is important and should be essential but it’s not everything, Much of what SM provides is the ability to bolster a brand’s reputation, add value to customers to build loyalty.If we focus solely on monetization then we end up like Facebook and we cease to respect our customers.

 

NMM:Last question what do you recommend to individuals on how to use SM effectively in a professional sense?

JG: Understand your goals. Plan. Learn about your audience. Be Generous. Be Authentic while using discretion.

 

Thanks for reading everyone and please comment below.

 

Social Media and Black Friday

Another Thanksgiving has come and went, which means one thing….. the holiday shopping season is in full swing.  If you went out on Black Friday you know the fever these great deals create.  Looking at the news across the country, it is frightening to see how some people act during this time of year. Hopefully all of your holidays were safe and lacked and pepper spray attacks.

Image Credit: Amazon

What surprised me this holiday season is the lack of functionality of social media with Black Friday.  There has been little to to interactivity between retailers and customers on deals.  I thought we would see more time sensitive deals, like Amazon is doing with their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.  Just imagine the fever and traffic best buy would get by giving away coupon code on social media that gets you TV’s at bargain prices.  These codes could be time or quantity sensitive.  It would increase traffic to their sites and help them gain a social media presence.  What Amazon is doing is a great first step into what I see as the future of shopping, in which social media plays a vital role.

Image Credit: Twitter

So what was your experience on Black Friday? What deals did you participate in?  Did social media play a factor?

The Kindle Fire and the Future of Tablets

Image Credit: Amazon

With the recent release of the Kindle Fire, tablets have evolved in a new direction.  The Kinlde Fire, for all intensive purposes, is a media consumption device.  It lacks compatibility to the Android App Market, which makes it features heavily reliant on Amazon’s Prime service and through internet services.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  Many people only need their tablet to consume media.  Maybe they just want to watch a tv show or browse the web on their way to work and they don’t need to create documents or do work on the tablet.  I believe this is a good direction for a section of the tablet market to go.  As we see with the Fire’s $200 price tag is the most affordable on the market.  Amazon Prime is a great cloud based service to stream media, which will be the future of consuming media.

 

 

I believe this cheap price tag will entice consumers that are hesitant to enter the tablet market.  Most likely, these hesitant customers are going to be content with simply a media consumption device.  The Fire is also a nice bridge between e-readers and tablets.  I think this is a smart move for Amazon as likely I-Pad’s market share is firmly entrenched for the time being.  The best thing Amazon can do is differentiate itself from Apple in price and features and that’s exactly what it is.  Personally, I am more likely to buy a Fire than an I-Pad as I like to be a little more experimental in tech purchases.

Penn State and Ethics: Lesson Learned from a once ‘Happy Valley’

By now we all know the graphic details involved with Penn State tragedy.  The violation of the trust of children is absolutely despicable and deplorable.  Basic human rights were compromised for the sake of an institution.  This to me is the heart of the matter.  The fact that a prestigious institution of higher learning is the reason for this coverup.  If it wasn’t for grown adults egos protecting an institution , Jerry Sandusky would have already been caught and maybe he would have less victims.

One of the best articles I have read on the matter is from Grantland contributor Charles P. Pierce called, “Charles P. Pierce on the brutal truth on Penn State“.  I believe my feelings on the matter and how it pertains to ethics is best summed up in this quote:

 It happens because institutions lie. And today, our major institutions lie because of a culture in which loyalty to “the company,” and protection of “the brand” — that noxious business-school shibboleth that turns employees into brainlocked elements of sales and marketing campaigns — trumps conventional morality, traditional ethics, civil liberties, and even adherence to the rule of law. It is better to protect “the brand” than it is to protect free speech, the right to privacy, or even to protect children.

 

We all need to keep in mind morality when in the business world.  Today we are to easily swayed by money or the promise of power that we often overlook our basic duties as humans on this planet.  In today’s business environment that is very contingent on brand management, ethics is more important than ever.  Every company wants to become an American “institution”, but with that comes a lot of responsibility.  We cannot forget simple things we as humans need to do to have a successful society.  We cannot hide abuses of any nature and especially when these travesties happen to defenseless children. Now more than ever we need ethics to be of paramount importance.  We need to remember an organization or company is only as pious as its least moral member.  Unfortunately, Penn State did not realize this and thought that their brand was infallible, they found in the worst way possible, that all institutions, are ultimately human

Review – Hootsuite

Over the past year I have been using Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com) to manage social media for Score Philadelphia.  I have also used this tool for managing social media for a financial institution.  This website is by far the best tool I have come across for aggregating social media and for sending out tweets/facebook posts.  Hootsuite allows all of your social media accounts to be one place, under one view.  You can schedule posts in advance and also schedule posts to be posted over multiple social profiles.  Hootsuite also provides anlaytical reports on your social media accounts.

Image Credit: Hootsuite

There is a free and a “pro” version of Hootsuite.  The free version allows users to have 5 social profiles,2 rss feeds, and no ads.  The pro option, which is ideal if you are running social media for a business, includes unlimited social profiles, unlimited rss feeds, and enhanced analytics.  Using the pro version you can also add “team” members from other accounts that have access to your social profile.  This would be ideal if you are working as a team managing social media, but work in different places.  The price for the pro edition is $5.99 a month which is quite reasonable for the amount of access you have.

Image Credit: Jason Paul

The best feature of Hootsuite to me is the ability to mine data across social media.  For Twitter, you can mine data by keyword or even geography of tweets.  This is ideal if you are targeting customers who are looking for a specific service.  This feature gives you a leg-up on all other social media users as you can actually find the conversations you are looking for.

Image Credit: Hootsuite

Hootsuite totally eliminates the need to visit everyone of your social profiles online.  It is the perfect view of social media for the social media professional.  The analytics are second to none and the ability to mine data has benefited me greatly in my work with this tool.  I see Hootsuite gaining more popularity as social media gains even more traction in business.  I recommend this site to anyone who works with social media or anyone who wants a better way to organize their social presence online.

Social Media’s Role in Penn State Scandal

By now we have all heard the despicable details of the Penn State scandal involving former Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky involving the sexual abuse of over 20 children through his own charity.  If you haven’t read the Grand Jury report click here.  This story is very interesting from a social media standpoint.  A lot of reliable information, especially at the beginning of the reporting, has come through social media from people directly on the State College Campus.  Not only is information being relayed and an incredible rate, but reaction is twice as fast.  Just by going on twitter you can see what each one of your friends thinks about the scandal and what should happen with Joe Paterno.

Image Credit: Ben Jones

Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88) has been a great source of news during this scandal.  He covers Penn State football and basketball for the website, Black Shoe Diaries, and he has been on the scene reporting and taking pictures of all developments.  He was one of the first to report the rallies on campus last night and the burning of a gradute’s diploma as well.  Today he will be making a round on media across the country from Minnesota to the nationally syndicated ESPN radio show “Scott Van Pelt Show”.

Image Credit: Ben Jones

This scandal shows how powerful social media is in today’s day and age.  The details were able to be distributed quickly and effectively and by sources that were not known prior.  The reporting done by young journalists in this story is amazing and should be applauded by everyone.  It’s not often that you see solid reporting and journalism in today’s day and age.  Even the local paper from Harrisburg, The Patriot News had excellent coverage.  Social media’s potential is beginning to become fully unleashed and I think it will only help journalism as a whole.

Leave a comment below and be on the look out for more posts tomorrow.

Social Media’s role in media today

It seems you can’t turn on a TV today without seeing a # associated with your favorite show, with friendly reminders to tweet about the show as you watch it.  This is how the entertainment industry will be using social media for the foreseeable future.  It not only helps the popularity of the show by having fans tweet about it, but also provides seemingly endless opportunities in consumer research.  In the coming years, social media will act as the biggest focus group television production companies have ever had.  With millions interacting 24/7 through social media, networks and production companies now can see real time results of how their product is being received.

Image Credit: www.twitter.com

I soon expect to see video games doing the same thing.  Boot up the latest Call of Duty and scrolling screen reveals everything that people are saying over twitter about the game.  I think this is the future of media in general. There is no way these corporations will not want to mine the endless data that is available through social media.  We the consumer have to realize that when we tweet or post on facebook our thoughts on a product, someone will be watching.

Image Credit: Activision

I do not think this is a bad future.  I think the entertainment industry has been detached from an average consumer’s taste in movies and TV.  By using social media these companies can hopefully find what people will like and invest in time-wise.  What do you think the future holds in terms of social media and entertainment?  Will social media be a life saver to any dying forms of media such as radio?  Leave your comments below and keep reading for another post this week.

Random Musings and Predictions

I think I will take this week to give some predictions on where I think media and media consumption is headed.  But first, I would like to speak a little bit about what I think of recent Netflix news:

Image Credit: Netflix

It may be true that this past quarter Netflix lost 800,000 customers and their stock is not in a good position right now. I still believe that Netflix will survive and be a main player in the streaming business.  Netflix is the number one brand in streaming online, and they still have a good base of customers.  These price increases needed to happen unfortunately, Netflix is still figuring out how to price their services while remaining profitable.  There is no other option that can really compete with what Netflix does at this point.  Until studios or tv channels come out with their own services Netflix remains the best option for streaming old movies and TV shows.

 

Now on to the predictions…..

  • Movies will find footing in being released on-demand simultaneously with theaters.  I believe the price point will eventually be around $40, and mostly be popular with family and kids movies.
  • Video Games will be distributed largely online with the next generation of systems, although I am sure Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will continue to try to sell physical systems, peripherals, etc. at stores like Gamestop.
  • Digital distribution of media will be a key bargaining point for sports labor negotiations going forward, especially with the huge drop offs in season tickets sold.
  • Spotify’s model of music distribution will become the norm, with more creative advertising and better data mining, and become profitable both for services like Spotify and the music industry
  • A smartphone app will eliminate the need for tickets at sporting events, concerts, etc.
  • Network TV will either die or become digital in the next 15-20 years, not much of their programming is to expensive and they are behind on online distribution
  • More niche tv shows will be bought by carriers like Direc TV or online content providers like Netflix

 

So let me know what you think, do you agree or disagree with what I said today?

Stand Up for Stand Up

Now I don’t know about you, but I personally love standup comedy.  There is something pure and unique about one man standing on stage and pouring out frustration through comedy.  Nothing is more relaxing to me than sitting down and putting on a Chris Rock or Louis C.K. standup special.  Many stand ups have parlayed their success on stage to movies and TV, but many keep coming back to live crowds.  Even with the threat of heckling or the like, many comedians do not feel complete unless they are on a stage.

Getting into standup is not the easiest thing for performers and its only slightly better for fans of the genre.  There are so many different types of stand ups that the choice can be overwhelming.  So I am going to recommend three comedians for you to listen to/ watch and decide what kind of comedy is right for you.  If you haven’t experienced stand up live, please do, it is truly a unique art form that is not represented much into today’s flood of popular culture.

 

The Recommendations:

 

1. George Carlin-

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Image Credit: Time Magazine

 

 

To me he is the greatest stand up comedian of all time.  Political and vulgar, thought-provoking and honest, his comedy evoled from simple joke telling to becoming a new age philosopher.  No topic is taboo and no topic goes untouched.

 

 

 

2. Brian Regan-

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Image Credit: www.brianregan.com

 

Regan is a clean comedian fit for the entire family.  His jokes play out like detailed stories that everyone can relate to.  His delivery and timing is superb and he has excellent command of the stage.  Without a doubt my favorite comedian who refrains from vulgar language and taboo subjects.

 

3. Norm McDonald-

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Image Credit: www.normmcdonald.com

 

Odd, is the best word I can use to describe Norm.  His odd delivery and voice allow the viewer to be immersed into his set ups and punchlines.  His on stage personality is extremely unique and cannot be matched by any other current comedian.  You’ve proably seen him on movies and on Tv but definitely not like this.