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14 posts from January 2009

01/09/2009 Interactive TV on the Way?


A little noticed news item popped up this week as Adobe and Intel announced that they’re working to make Flash work on TVs.  The two companies state that the focus is on better Web based videos via TV but what it ultimately should do is to bring interactivity to the broadcast medium.

With TV going digital and most of our boxes hooked up to high-speed connections, the only thing that missing is the interactive screen in our living room. This push, hopefully, will start fulfilling the promise of on-demand advertising, non-linear storytelling and maybe even direct user generated content on live shows.

Or will it? The question is whether we want to watch from a distance on one box (the TV) while interacting with something closer (our laptop) at the same time.

It’ll be interesting to see how this develops and which broadcast network tries to get out in front of this. Or whether they’ll test it primarily on Hulu and Joost.

01/07/2009 Armano Raises $9K on Twitter


Last night, online guru David Armani raised $9,000 for a Romanian family through Twitter. You can see the action here. Armano used his blog and a donation widget called ChipIn to raise the money so the family could find some place to live.

Now David Armano has over 8,000 followers on Twitter and his blog, Logic + Emotion is one of the best. He showed the power in harnessing his followers through micro interactions, on Twitter and ChipIn. What’s most interesting is that rather than just talk and write about it, which he does, he actually did it.

And if you missed the news last week, Israel held a press conference about Gaza on Twitter. Short form, aimed at a lot of skeptical people and they answered questions from supporters and foes alike.

It’s a smart realization that if that’s where the people you want to hang out, find a way to engage with them, in small ways, rather than grandiose ways.

Marketers, take note.

01/05/2009 IBM Advertises NYT Content


I saw an interesting online ad on the New York Times over the holiday break. While the buzz today is about how the Times is now running display ads on the front page of the paper, IBM has run advertising on the Times’ site promoting Web content from the Times itself. I had to look at the ad a couple of times before I realized it was a paid placement. What it did was to link to four Thomas Friedman articles that spoke about IBM’s technical solutions, such as how Stockholm uses IBM to reduce inner city traffic.

What a great idea! Use content, from the pub itself, as advertising for the company described in the articles. We’ve all seen that technique used as third party PR, but this was the first time I’ve seen it done this way.

I ended up reading three stories about IBM’s technology from a source I frequent by advertising on that source. Too bad I’m not in the market for the technology, because that was the best online advertising I’ve seen in a long time.

Click here for a full view of the page with the ad in context.

IBM built its ads on trusted and valuable content placed in a setting that would maximize that trust. I hope we see more of that.

Well done, Big Blue!NYTSponsorshipSmall

Post Holiday Thoughts


December is always a busy time for us at home. We fill the entire month with celebration, starting with Swedish Lucia in early December, through Hanukkah, Swedish Christmas and New Years.

It’s a time where light fills the dark month. I’d never celebrated Christmas before I went off to live in Sweden in my twenties. The traditions there are more people friendly and less commercial than we typically see here in the states.  One thing I loved was the amount of music people sang and played throughout the month. Beautiful choirs singing beautiful arrangements.

The song that became my favorite was Hosianna. The Lucia choir, walking through our apartment yard in Helgagatan 36 in Stockholm, sang this as one of the beautiful Lucia songs, echoing through the morning.

It wasn’t until far later, when I was putting together my iTunes list for a December celebration that I realized that the song comes originally from Handel’s Judas Maccabeus. The Christmas song I loved was actually a song about Hanukkah! It became the symbol of the perfect blend of the holidays my family now celebrates.

And that’s my prediction for 2009. When the struggle between traditional and digital softens so people realize they’re singing the same song, in different ways, in celebration of the clients business. More choir, less battle of the bands.

Happy New Year!

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