MG Siegler’s addition to TechCrunch appears to be working out well for Michael Arrington and company. In addition to getting a few stories picked up by CNNMoney, Siegler is also leading TechCrunch in getting stories picked up on Techmeme, the tech industries online daily for the hottest tech news.
According to the final leader board for Techmeme sources for June, TechCrunch was the most often (probable) linked-to source on the aggregation site (8.34%); 4.34% more than the next most probable source. Cnet, the NYT’s, Engadget and VentureBeat round out the top five sources.
If you’re a regular visitor to our site, or maybe even a first time reader, you’ll notice the green tab on the left of the screen, courtesy of Tweetboard.
Tweetboard, launched by 140 Ware within the last week, is a new micro-forum application that allows readers like you to tweet about the content on RaceTalk with other Twitter users.
Once you click on the tab on the left and sign in (allows you to link with your twitter account), you will see tweets by me (kyledaustin) and anyone else that is commenting about RaceTalk, and content on the site. If you post via the board yourself, a short-link back to the corresponding conversation is appended to your tweet, letting your followers know that you’re discussing something here.
In the future Tweetboard hopes to provide funtionality for customized discussions around live streaming content and specific pages / posts on a Website.
I’ve reviewed the service in further detail for marketers and content providers over on Fast Company, but I hope you join the Twitter conversation here using Tweetboard, as you continue to share your feedback and comments on posts and ideas. I think it will spark some good real-time discussions.
As I’ve mentioned before: despite the digital evolution of media, a positive story in one of the incumbent business outlets (Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek, etc.) can still provide major value to companies (at least for now).
The latest findings, from the Magazine Publishers of America, noted that ad pages were down across the board for business magazines Jan – March 2009:
BusinessWeek - Down 39%
Fortune - Down 26%
Forbes - Down 15%
What does this mean to companies looking to get in the editorial pages? Less ad pages means less editorial pages for writers and editors to fill up. It also means (although no one would ever admit it) that large companies with advertising budgets are getting even more of the ear of writers and editors. Yes, there is still a wall between church and state (advertising vs. editorial), but there’s no doubt parts of it are crumbling down.
While their pages vanish, so does some of their readership. Not one of the aforementioned publications reaches over 1 million print subscribers (End of 2008 data) and their online sites compete with established online outlets and new up-and-comers.
Fortune: 831, 485 print circulation; 5.9 million UV’s per month through CNNMoney.com according to ComScore
Forbes 890, 882 print circulation; 4.6 million UV’s per month according to ComScore
How does that compare with online competitors? While ComScore actually has thestreet.com tallying more unique views than Businessweek.com per month, Compete.com has businessweek.com still outpacing thestreet.com (embedded above). Other up-and-coming sites like thebigmoney.com and businessinsider.com tally 260, 295 and 911,373 respectively in UV’s per month according to Compete.
While the disconnect in the numbers from ComScore and Compete makes it hard to validate any of this, no one will argue that free-based, online business outlets are growing in readership, while print business outlets are being forced to shift their content online to a similar-sized audience.
So what does this mean to PR folk pitching client business stories? Do your research and educate your clients on today’s business media landscape. While the big name publications from the early 1900′s still carry clout, they don’t necessarily have the impact / reach that they used to have. The biggest upside in landing a story there may be that other journalists (excluding generation Y’ers) still look up to them; and may be inclined to follow their lead with future stories / follow-ups.
This ad embedded above, is something you’d expect from a big house ad agency like Omnicom, but in fact it was created by Hiroki Ono, a 23-year-old film student from Yokohama, Japan. Ono was the winner of a contest put on by Mofilm, a pioneer of short films for mobile and on-line distribution.
Spike Lee, the award-winning filmmaker who served as a judge for the contest sees the user created approach as part of the global innovation shift, which he noted to the Financial Times:
“I watched the final 12 films, the quality is amazing,” he said. “I think that this demonstrates that you can’t dictate where talent is. The same way I feel you don’t have to go to film school to be a filmmaker, you don’t have to be an employee of an advertising agency to make advertising also.”
User created ads and contests have become popular tools for brands and agencies in recent years, given the viral impact they create pre and post-spot, along with the production savings they provide. Doritos, for example, has been extremely successful in using user created ads for the Super Bowl. The transition has also opened the door to advertising focused social networks – like AdHack, which have become open markets for user created ideas and unpolished videos.
However, this move towards consumer friendly, viral videos may not be bad news for all agencies (especially if they have insight in new media). Nokia, itself, recently used London-based enterThe7thChamber, a viral marketing (and seeding) agency, to create this spot below.
This is the second part of a two-part series focusing on the Enterprise 2.0 Conference. The first part can be seen here.
Despite the scourge of rain that has descended on Massachusetts in the last two weeks, a healthy number of folks made their way to the Westin Hotel at the Waterfront in Boston for Enterprise 2.0 Conference. Described by the organizers as a culmination of the “who’s who of the people defining, strategizing and putting Enterprise 2.0 into practice today,” the conference lived up to its billing as a top tier venue for understanding the tangible components of new workplace technologies.
What is Enterprise 2.0?
“Technologies and business practices that liberate the workforce from the constraints of legacy communication and productivity tools like email. It provides business managers with access to the right information at the right time through a web of inter-connected applications, services and devices. Enterprise 2.0 makes accessible the collective intelligence of many, translating to a huge competitive advantage in the form of increased innovation, productivity and agility.”
The vibe at the show reflected a new generation of companies like SocialText, Yakabod and Joyent that look at the current state of enterprise technologies as a hindrance to workforce productivity. But they’re not willing to sit on the sidelines and be constrained by traditional tech tools; they’ve taken steps to leverage new tools as the foundation for a new set of high impact, high productivity technologies for today’s businesses. As Yakabod puts it, “In search of more meaningful work, [the company] decided to shake up the atrophied world of enterprise software—specifically, the catchall category labeled “knowledge management.” Socialtext and Yakabod are all about speed. SocialText’s technology enables faster collaboration, decision making and on the fly course corrections while Yakabod is all about making people more productive at their jobs.
There were a number of other companies exhibiting with similar visions about what’s next in the enterprise. It will be interesting to follow these organizations to see what meaningful technologies bubble to the surface and those that wither against Goliath – the legacy systems.
A friend chuckled to me the other day that ads on Facebook were going for 60 cent CPM’s. He hadn’t heard that they were actually going for far lower than that in some cases.
Yes, Facebook continues to struggle with providing value and ROI with ad sales on the site; even though they are reaching some of the right folks with targeted ads.
However, as I’ve noted in some recent entries on Channeling Media and here, they are making very steady progress in appealing to marketers on other fronts. Fan and brand pages, check. Vanity URL’s, check.
Yesterday, Facebook took another huge step in appealing to marketers by bringing live video and real-time chat features to its 200 million+ users. To do so, it is launching the Facebook Live Stream Box: a feature that any Website or developer can use to enable Facebook users to connect, share, and post updates in real-time as they watch live streaming events and video. For the time being, the most important place where it can be used? On Facebook.
Ustream which has teamed up in the past with Facebook to support streaming presentations, including a series of recent Jonas Brothers Webcasts (example above) on their Facebook Fan Page, is the first developer to offer (the extension of) their services to artists and brands under this new feature.
They’ll likely have people lining-up to take advantage of it, if the Jonas Brothers trial can be replicated in any way. According to Facebook, the live following of the Jonas brothers Webcasts led to 1.5 million updates – averaging 23,000 posts per minute – and more than 100,000 viewers.
In fact, given the demand they expect and the limited customized players they can build / support at once, Ustream has created an application process for brands and artists. Those that are chosen will have the options of: 1) A free ad-supported version – Partners Only 2) A white-label version, not supported by ads, that will cost $15,000 to develop.
While this may sound like a lot at first (especially for some artists), it’s really a small price for marketers that are used to spending 10′s of millions of dollars on television advertising. Despite some misperceptions, the highly sought after teen to twenty demographic is still watching a lot of TV, and tapping new strategies to reach them within this hybrid of a social network-based, TV experience will continue to grow in importance.
As for Facebook. It has only been able to turn analog dollars into digital dimes to date, but post-analog riches could lie ahead, if this is a sign of things to come.
This week RaceTalk attended the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston to hear from business and IT professionals who want challenge the statusquo and lead the charge to Enterprise 2.0. There were some great panel sessions throughout the conference and below is a summary of the discussions that took place.
1. Applying the Social Dimension to the Lockheed Martin Mission
Lockheed Martin (LM) is using social media in order to facilitate collaboration among engineers who tend to work on very narrowly focused products. They said that social media has to bubble up from grassroots and cannot be imposed from top down management. In fact, LM said that the company’s HR department was afraid of social media and wanted to control internal employee communities. Final words of wisdom for the audience were: 1) don’t be afraid of social media and 2) you need to put social media in the context of your company’s mission-critical challenges. When #2 happens, senior executives will support social media adoption. Also, why it’s the 20-somethings who are the digital natives, it’s the 40-somethings who have the deep business experience. You have to put the two together to get the winning combination.
2. The Future of Social Messaging in the Enterprise
This panel included the traditional unified messaging players (Alcatel-Lucent, IBM) and up-start social messaging companies such as Socialcast. The conclusion was that it’s not an either or situation and that UCS and Social Messaging are different technologies that are converging. Unified messaging is about transactions and connectivity. Social messaging is about relationships and engagement.
There was a really interesting discussion about governance and social media policy. There are two extremes. In one corner are the organizations that want to control and lock down everything. In the other corner are the advocates of sharing is great and we want to share everything. Conclusion: there are no easy answers. It depends on the company culture. Although you want to and should trust employees, it’s risky and total control is impossible. Education is part of the answer.
3. Does Social Media and Marketing Matter?
Great panel including companies that are doing terrific things with social media. All agreed that social media really does matter and is having significant impact on customer service, new product development, sales, corporate reputation, market research, and more. Allstate showed new community that is designed to raise awareness of Allstate brand, increase sales by providing content and stay in touch with customers who had canceled their policies.
JetBlue is a great example as the company has 730,000 followers on Twitter and uses Twitter for real-time monitoring, responding and engaging with customers, pushing out info (e.g., weather alerts) and to humanize JetBlue. This was also the same company that put its CEO on YouTube after delays caused by an ice storm.
One final thought: Its amazing how Enterprise 2.0, which used to be all about gorpy big technologies, is now about all things social media.
Make sure to check back for part two of our look-back at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference.
When I woke up last Saturday and picked up the Weekend Journal, I knew the WSJ had a scoop on its hand. The leading story on page 1 by Yukari Iwatani Kane and Joann S. Lublin, broke the news of a liver transplant that Apple CEO Steve Jobs received in Tennessee nearly two months ago.
Turns out the scoop had actually hit WSJ.com Friday night (when they usually put up stories to be included in print the next day) and already circulated buzz across the Internet.
What wasn’t yet clear was how exclusive the Journal’s scoop was. That has only come into clarity in recent days as the Silicon Valley press core has erupted with a wave of follow-ups, which have struggled to get anyone on record expanding on the Journal’s piece. Only on late Tuesday did the Methodist University Hospital acknowledge hat it had performed a liver transplant on Mr. Jobs.
Although Barry Meier, a health and medical device reporter, for the New York Times reported on that story, speculation continues to buzz around how the Times’ tech department got “out-sourced” by the Journal on the LiverGate scoop.
John Gruber over at Daring Fireball nicely chronicles how the Times has reacted to being scooped by the Journal, along with how they’ve failed to deliver information from sources in their follow up stories:
“So, note that the Times still does not have a first-hand source for the news regarding Jobs’s purported liver transplant. Read the sourcing carefully: according to people briefed on the matter by current and former board members. That’s second-hand information — ‘people’ who were told about it by board members who know about it.
And then this: Even senior officials at Apple fear crossing Mr. Jobs. One official, who is normally more open, when asked for a deep-background briefing about Mr. Jobs’s health after the news of the transplant had become public, replied: ‘Just can’t do it. Too sensitive.’
Translated into plain English, this is the Times’s acknowledgement that they couldn’t get anyone to talk to them about Jobs, even on “deep background”, which term Wikipedia describes thusly:
‘Deep background’ This term is used in the U.S., though not consistently. Most journalists would understand ‘deep background’ to mean that the information may not be included in the article but is used by the journalist to enhance his or her view of the subject matter, or to act as a guide to other leads or sources. Most deep background information is confirmed elsewhere before being reported.”
“Fact is, what’s really going on is the Times is pissed that they got scooped on LiverGate by their big rivals at theWall Street Journal. According to the person we’ve got embedded at their Silicon Valley bureau, their boss Damon Darlin has been going &*%$! ever since the Journal liver story broke on Friday at midnight. Now they’re desperate to break some kind of second-day news on this. For what it’s worth, you want to know what Brad Stone was doing last week when the Journal was busy digging up the liver story? He was calling around to fellow hacks asking if they had galleys to some forthcoming Ben Mezrich novel about Facebook. According to Brad, Fortune had locked up some exclusive deal to run an excerpt of the novel — and Brad wanted to pee on their shoes and ruin their exclusive by obtaining the galleys and running excerpts first. In other words: Classy.”
Finally, Gawker did a good job bringing some additional light to this arguement, by illustrating the “spin” and “flackery” which is going on behind the scenes. Apple and Jobs didn’t take take the aforementioned Nocera column last July lightly, and has been content with feeding information to the Journal ever since.
Nocera, not surprisingly, hasn’t received any unsolicited phone calls from Jobs this time around, quoting the Journal as well:
“According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Jobs has been keeping certain key board members, presumably his closest allies, up to date on his health.”
The AIM app is now new, and it’s actually been available for some time now. However, the iPhone now allows you to “push” AIM messages, making them almost identical to receiving a text message – the first step in what could be major changes to text messaging.
AOL’s new AIM app for the iPhone — available now in free, ad-supported, and $2.99, no-ad flavors — is the start. It’s the first major IM app for the iPhone’s new 3.0 software that includes push notifications.
What does that mean? It means that when you receive an IM, no matter what you’re doing, the iPhone pops up an alert message and a cue to open the AIM app to reply. Just the way text messages show up on the iPhone.
So what are the possible outcomes from this?
1. If people begin using AIM or other apps to communicate via text, it will create a much less expensive way to talk and force phone carriers to change the way they charge for text messaging.
2. Companies that market via text message could turn to IM instead. It would create a much less expensive way to communicate and spread the world about new offers, discounts and news. It also would allow them to post information through some type of “away message” to share information with consumers 24/7 without bombarding them with text messages.