Archive for August, 2008

My wife is not nearly the kind of geek I am … though she was blogging over 4 years ago. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by the way she told me she was pregnant…

(this pic was sent via a text message while I was out of town)

This major development has obviously thrown us into a spiral of doctor’s visits, sonograms, ultrasounds and the dreaded registries. I cannot believe all of the stuff that is required of parents (this will be our first, and no, we are not finding out the gender of the baby).

With all of the strollers, prams, travel systems, and car seats we have to look into, I’m astonished and intimidated. On the other hand, professionally, I can totally understand the importance and influence of ‘Mommy Bloggers.’ HELP!!!

For the men and women who speak online about certain products, whether it is a review on Amazon or a video on YouTube (which KiddieCare is terrific at (though they don’t ship to the U.S.)). Bloggers are also incredibly influential for many reasons … most importantly are the comment and conversation aspect as well as the google juice effect. I am more inclined to believe and place import in a conversation on a blog than reviews on a particular retailers website (then again, if there are 10 reviews and all are 5 out of 5, that says something).

For the registry, I considered building a website that would serve as a registry so we could add items from numerous sites. We also found out about Amazon’s WishList Bookmarklet around the same time but because it wouldn’t advise the owner of the list nor the other friends looking to buy things of the purchases it became impractical… Anyhow … It looks like the Stokke Xplory and Orbit Infant System are out of the question. Over $1,000 on a stroller! We are looking at a few Silver Cross prams from an English retailer (depending on the shipping costs)…

Anyhow. My wife and I are very excited and we wanted all of our friends out in the webosphere to know … we’re expecting December 9th.

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It was a very emotional evening for fans of history and the Kennedy’s (at least, the sons of Joe). Though he wasn’t as vigorous as he was in some of the video they showed during the tribute, the content and words were exacting.

I urge you to read the transcript.

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Though I only get slightly creeped out by the prompt on my iPhone asking me if I’d like to share my location, it is not as invasive as dodgeball or BrightKite. Dodgeball, though purchased by Google, never took off despite the initial shiny factor. BrightKite isn’t taking off because the service doesn’t make much sense. What’s the purpose of these programs? Stalker enablers? I completely understand that they’re “opt-in,” I just don’t want to get that involved … it also speaks to my feelings about Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, etc. (ask me over a drink, I dare you).

Anyhow, enter Garmin … Garmin partnered with uLocate “to add friend-finding capabilities to select current and future Garmin GPS devices.”

The Alley Insider thinks that location-based services might be a $3.3 Billion market in 5 years. I’m no expert in the futures market of LBS, I just think that this fervor is misdirected.

Location-based Advertising is going to be a prevalent disruption, this is for sure.

Let’s use Apple’s iPhone as an example (shocker). Imagine if the (newly, much improved) Google Maps application pulls local and relevant advertising just as quick as it can find an address. Imagine if that advertising included Yelp reviews. Imagine of positive reviews that resulted in OpenTable reservations resulted in revenue for that Yelp reviewer? As a foodie, I think this could be the biggest opportunity. Unfortunately, it seems restaurants (conglomerates or local mom and pops) have very low PR budgets.

Location based services are not going to be that big unless they include advertising in the forecast. I don’t think they did and that’s why I think that report was way off… Agree?

Speaking of low PR budgets, and due out very soon on this shelf, “Why Advertising and Marketing Need to Share.”

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To Stumble Or To Digg … Is It Even A Question?

One of the things that puts me in a tricky position as a consultant for PR Newswire is counseling (is that ironic or what?). As an Editor (I was an Editor and Senior Editor from 2002 – 2005), we were not able to counsel clients on what was or was not material to a news announcement. This had to be determined by the client and their legal team. More recently, as the Manager of Emerging Media and a Senior Account Supervisor, I am responsible for counseling clients on rules in Social Media. I’m not exactly sure yet, but this may be a lot trickier.

Much of my presentations focus on social media, social bookmarking and social networking (YES, there is a VERY big distinction between the three (or four)). I contend that the former consists of sites like Wikipedia, Citizendium, Digg, SocialMedian, Newsvine, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Marketwatch and even Reuters Buzz and TD Ameritrade. Social Bookmarking consists of sites like Delicious, Magnolia and Furl. Social Networking consists of sites like Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, Bebo and newcomers like Corkd, Ning, and SocialGo. Maybe even there’s room for a distinction between social media sites and social aggregators like FriendFeed, SocialThing, and others.

There is a very big difference between these four. Social Media relies on the wisdom of crowds and policing of its constituents. The users and community determine the story, definition, accuracy, popularity and trend of the data and/or information. Social Bookmarking sites allows users to store, organize, search, and manage information with other users. Social Networking consists of sites that allow its users to congregate, conversate and organize friends, events and information. Social Aggregators, which is still somewhat of a new term, allow users to stream their online lives and peer into the lives of others.

As far as PR, Marketing and Advertising is concerned, using many of these sites is off-limits. I don’t necessarily mean abusing . Digg, StumbleUpon, Reuters Buzz, Yahoo Message Boards, Wikipedia, and many other of these kinds of sites should NOT be used to promote your product, company or blog post. As I say in all of my presentations, doing this is the same thing as patting yourself on the back on video. I don’t even think that proactively requesting Diggs is appropriate. Most of these functions are supposed to be reactions by the community at large. The results are supposed to be organic… not contrived. While everyone agrees that the A-List consists of, and requires, shameless self-promotion, it should be done with the utmost integrity.

For the corporate bloggers and shareholders out there … be aware that you are not an A-List blogger. They can get away with this … you can’t. The problem is their immunity, not their community.

(Photo Credit)

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It’s true and it doesn’t only hold true for media, the web and the New York Rangers. I also LOVE gadgets. I have always been into mobile phones, cameras, console wars, etc.

I’ve recently capitulated and determined that I finally NEED to purchase a camcorder (more on that some other time). After doing extensive research on sites from CNET and Amazon to blog reviews and B&H, I decided on the aforelinked DCR-SR85. I’m hoping it arrives when I return from Vegas on Wednesday morning …

I’ve also decided, after recent difficulties finding what seemed to be simple locations, I’m in desperate (sic) need of a GPS device. Though the iPhone’s turn-by-turn directions are very impressive and useful, it is not a viable or safe solution. I cannot decide between Garmin and TomTom and am confused as to how prices on older devices haven’t dropped enough … the low range still is in the $150 – $200 area and has been for a VERY long time. Anyhow. I have yet to find out which one I will get because I’ve only used Garmin’s in rental cars and have never tried a TomTom. Have you?

There is a lot of debate about HD and iLife and even the length of time it would take for any computer to compress, edit, process, etc. HD video. I’m always the first one to get the best of breed or top model, but in this case I just didn’t see how HD for a consumer who wants to edit video is feasible … Have you heard or experienced otherwise?

Anyhow … it’s bedtime.

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I know I know … everything’s the new next thing … but this feature looks like it could steal a lot of FriendFeed’s thunder. What do you think?

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