Tag Archives: Skype

Are Social Media Anti-Social?

Fascinating article in yesterday’s New York Times about the growing number of young people who are turning off Facebook.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...


When I started reading it I thought it might have to do with privacy concerns or with cyber stalking. Instead, the focus was on something near and dear to my heart and which I think is applicable to any of us in business. We’ve discussed it before and I think it’s worth discussing again.
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Filed under digital media, Helpful Hints, Reality checks

Less Is More

I attended the local tech meet-up last evening and the topic was being lean.  No, not how to lose weight unless you’re counting the weight of excessive costs.   Or as it said in the event description:

Lean and Agile are two related approaches that use startup mentality and an iterative approach to deliver results and new possibilities. We’ll take an overview of Lean, its opportunities and pitfalls and some broad approaches to adopt Lean thinking for you and your organization.

Great presentation (thanks, Dan), and it stimulated more thinking on yesterday’s topic, Facebook and its new set of features. So at the risk of beating a dead horse… Continue reading

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Filed under digital media, Helpful Hints

Whose Brand Is It Anyway

Her’s a question to start the day:  Does a brand belong to the company or to the customer?  Before you give me a knee-jerk reaction, think about it for a second.  Does “New Coke” ring a bell?  The company put out what it believed to be a better product and customers demanded that they restore the product to its former state.  That’s the best example in my mind but I’m sure you can think of others.

The reason I bring it up this morning is a video I watched from Shore Communications in which John Blossom and Peter Propp discuss the Microsoft acquisition of Skype and how it might affect both brands.  I’ve embedded the video below and you might want to spend 10 minutes to watch.  In the interim, here’s my take. Continue reading

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Filed under What's Going On

Random Thoughts

I know – where I have been all day?  In NYC for meetings, thanks. But the train ride gives me a chance to catch up on reading and here are two things which stood out today.
According to the IAB Ad Revenue report, online advertising is up only 11%. The rate of growth is half of last year’s. Despite this, the industry is paralyzed. VC’s won’t fund ad-based business models. I don’t get it other than it’s the usual incredibly high standard to which media businesses have always been held.  Anyone know of any other business up that much? Let’s also recognize that with falling CPM‘s that amount of investment bought way more real estate than it did a year ago.  I get that a ton of the investment was in search marketing, but that is still a commitment to both advertising and to digital. While I’d still be wary about relying too heavily on a robust ad marketplace to drive my business, as has been the case in other, lesser downturns, a bad year in media is still an OK year elsewhere. Don’t you think Detroit would kill for 11% growth?

Skype coming to iPhones, and eventually to Blackberrys and other WiFi enabled devices is the sound of another walled garden coming down. While Apple has done some things to protect AT&T, eventually you know that those restrictions will ease and the carrier networks will become immaterial in some ways.  By the way, I see American Airlines is putting WiFi on more flights but not cell service so we won’t have to delight in the sounds of “oh baby I miss you” at 35,000 feet.  Except with the aforementioned Skype on WiFi, well, maybe that isn’t quite true either. Maybe if they block access to Skype somehow but …

The history of media has been that of walled gardens being built and then having the walls knocked down.  The broadcasters’ walled system of affiliate distribution was broken by cable.  Cable’s walls were broken by the Internet.  Walled AOL became web AOL.  Carrier nets will go too.  Not today, but the cracks are there.

More, less random, thinking tomorrow!

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Filed under Consulting, Thinking Aloud

<3, Granny

Image representing Gmail as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Another tidbit from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.  It’s not really that surprising but the biggest increase in internet use since 2005 is the 70-75 year-old age group.   I love growth statistics.  Start with a smallish base, increase the tiny base a small amount – voila!  Big growth rate (growing something by half is way easier when it’s small than when it’s big, unless we’re talking about my waistline).  Continue reading

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Filed under digital media, Thinking Aloud


The latest bit from the respected Pew/Internet study is out.  It’s long (138 pages) but contains some interesting nuggets:

  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020.  I still don’t know why we think of mobile devices as phones that compute.  They’re really little computers that have voice capability, as does your PC if you have a mic and Skype.
  • The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.  More on this below.
  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the Internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.  Umm – maybe even by 2010?  Seen that new iPhone thing, folks?
  • Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing “arms race,” with the “crackers” who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.  I’ve been on the “enforcer” side and it’s a losing battle, believe me.  All the music industry did for 10 years was destroy itself and the fact that they finally have a digital business model of sorts isn’t helping.  We need to think about better models, not imposing old ones.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who’s connected, and the results will be mixed in terms of social relations.

Sadly, 55% disagreed with the following:

Social tolerance has advanced significantly due in great part to the Internet.
In 2020, people are more tolerant than they are today, thanks to wider exposure to others and their views that has been brought about by the Internet and other information and communication technologies. The greater tolerance shows up in several metrics, including declining levels of violence, lower levels of sectarian strife, and reduced incidence of overt acts of bigotry and hate crimes.

Not a very optimistic point of view and I, for one, think that the next few years here will change “the experts'” thinking on this.   Not only is it good when people have differing points of view but also that they express them.  I’m not so Pollyanna-ish to believe that everyone will meet in the middle one day but I do think people can learn to coexist peacefully even if they don’t agree with their neighbors on everything.

What do you think?  Before you answer, think BACK 10 years to the digital world.  Would you have believed we’d be where we are today?

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