Speaking of a lack of ethics.......

I was indeed aware of the fact search engines used paid advertisements. However, I was not quite aware of the extent to which they did so, nor the tricks used in accomplishing this feat.

But I don't see anything wrong with having sponsors show up, provided their sponsorship in being advertisers which may be relevant to the search results, but not included therein, is made clear to all. It's really a matter of disclosure.

Casey (Tominack) made a great point this week in differentiating between paid inclusion and paid placement. The latter is what I see no issue with at all, and entails disclosure, with paid "results" being placed apart from actual relevant search results. Inclusion is really a matter of trickery, placing both paid results and relevant search results into combined form, even with (or usually with) paid sponsors being placed at the top of "search results" (have to break out the quotations here, for calling that a result of a genuine and honest search), often in descending order from the sponsor paying the most to the one paying the least.

But, how are search engines to make money, if they don't offer some form of paid advertisement at all? They aren't publicly-funded ventures or something, where taxpayers might have some expectations of not being marketed to. And even if they were, I still wouldn't necessarily oppose some paid placement (not inclusion) to mitigate costs. If it could fund itself, like the post office does (sort of.... in theory), without being inappropriate with a deluge of advertising, I'd give it a trial run.

But these are private entities, and they must make money somehow to stay in business and keep allowing us access to these very useful services. I can't really think of too many other evolutions in internet usage that have been more beneficial or practical than a search engine. There probably isn't a day I'm online that I don't use them, either.

I think I'm more than happy to help "pay" for those by being counted for advertising purposes by using them, and occasionally clicking on a paid link.

I'm just not happy to be duped into doing so. That's why i switched to, and stuck with a company like Google a long time ago. They're a pretty decent company all around, but I'm not under the illusion that they're not gaming me in some way......... I remain skeptical. But until I know better, I'll take the devil I know, rather than the one I don't.


To Professor Ramos, and anyone else who just happened by at anytime,

Must We Be So Ethical?

If only we all were.......

But, that's not the case. And it can weigh on you even further, when you see those eschewing such considerations rising faster to the top - particularly if you're mired in the mud, unable to secure mobility (or is that quicksand?).

A long-term strategy needs affixed to any matter. And long-term ethical considerations are of paramount importance - in some industries more than others.

This week's lesson began with an interesting commentary on "advertorials," which seem to get overlooked a lot in these types of discussions. The quotation given expounded on the phenomenon thusly:

"Not too many years ago, news was news, ads were ads, and the two met only where the news hole ended and the ad stack began. Our journalism school professors and newsroom mentors preached the importance of separating news and ads. They told us that our credibility was on the line, that advertising should never influence or mix with news, that readers had to be able to distinguish between unbiased information and paid content...Then came advertorials."

- Scott Angus, editor of The Janesville (WI) Gazette & president of the Wisconsin Associated Press editors group

Yes..... and then came advertorials. You see these in magazines frequently, and, it can be difficult to discern them from regular features. Magazines, of course, should stick to basic journalistic integrity in print, but even more distressing is seeing this trend in daily newspapers, which really should be the torch-bearers for following journalistic ethical standards. The ones I've noticed aren't quite as bad as the ones I typically see in magazines, whose deception is top-rank, but the fact that they're creeping into newspapers in the first place, in any form, is disturbing enough.

I know at the newspaper I work for, mixing marketing overtures and news content is regarded carefully. Sometimes companies will send notices or releases which are overly glowing and full of fluff regarding their operations, serving basically as free advertising spots in the guise of informing the community of something or other "newsworthy." We watch for it and take it out, in part or sometimes in whole.

Really, it often just depends on the editor. Nowadays, though, more practical considerations, such as financial concerns squeezing the life out of daily rags across the country, may come more into play, unfortunately.

We must remember that, though we're marketers, we're in the journalism school for a reason, and we should be mindful to be bound by journalistic standards of ethics and integrity.

It would serve us all well.

Ramos, J. (2008). "Lesson 9:Walking the Line: Ethics in New Media IMC." IMC 619. West
. Retr'd Dec. 20, 2008.


I ran across this cartoon the right, and thought it appropriate to the lesson here........ Not as worded, mind you. But, what I changed it to slightly in mind.

Check it out and, in doing so, replace the "Vietnam" in the the center with "web site." (that's very clever, isn't it? I thought so anyway). Change "Asia" to "the web" (again in keeping with the 'clever' theme), and then alter "getting out" to "getting around," and you're set (I think).

Sorry to make you use your imagination. But I just thought, with a little maneuvering, this cartoon has even greater possibility in being updated for the modern era.

Some of the more interesting discussions points and comments I ran across from the class following this week's posts:

Brian Whelan discussed an interface style guide. He had the following input from his article: "The article discusses the importance of creating concrete guidelines that protect a company’s brand, through the creation of a style guide that covers":

• Site Layout and Composition
• Typography
• Types of images used
• The site’s color palette
• Overall brand guidelines
• Programming languages

This is very much an IMC type of consideration.

Maureen Ater's article dealt with writing content that works. Many times, this kind of thing is overlooked and too little effort and attention are given it. But for some (including myself), there's nothing that can sink a site quicker than poorly written and thought-out content. It's almost as if either someone is not writing for their audience, aiming too far above them, or sometimes, a little below them. (That's not to say anything about poorly formulated thoughts, misspellings, syntax problems and errors in grammar, etc.).

The suggestions she found pretty well mirrored the way I've learned to do things at the newspaper: Use jargon when appropriate (sometimes it's unavoidable, but it's not always necessary, and you have to remember the audience you're writing for); avoid the use of vague words (which is a huge pet peeve of mine, mainly in life, when people don't consider information from *your* perspective); and be direct and simple. Trim the fat, leave the meat.

Very, very simple. Very straightforward. Very much commonsense solutions and considerations, as I mentioned in the last posting.



That's what I got out of week 8's lesson, in part, which was explained to us pretty well, but became jargon-laden if I tried to go outside of it and explore further the concepts (as happened with the article I analyzed).

Nevertheless, there were many important considerations therein. And, really, they were really just common sense, practical solutions for making web sites the best they can be.

The AST Scale (attitude toward the site, which should be "ats," shouldn't it?) was interesting. They it as follows:

  • Entertainment (i.e., Fun, Exciting, Cool, Imaginative, Entertaining, Flashy)
  • Informativeness (i.e., Informative, Intelligent, Knowledgeable, Resourceful, Useful, Helpful)
  • Organization (i.e., not Messy, Cumbersome, Confusing or Irritating)

Good enough. But I had a different idea to expand upon the concept, changing the 'I' from "Informativeness" to "Interactivity," and adding a 'U' to cover the informativeness part (either "Understanding" or "Usefulness," take your pick). Now we just need an 'A.' Unfortunately, I couldn't think of one. But I do think the concept of interactivity with a site is important to the attitude formed regarding it.

Informing us that first impressions matter is another common sensical consideration. However, I did not realize that users often made conclusions about a site within "as little as 50 milliseconds." (Ramos, Lesson 8). That's a lot of pressure for web sites to perform, with that kind of instantaneous judgment.

We're told in life that first impressions always matter, and they do, whether they're fair or not. You may have the best web site in the world, but if you can't gain someone's attention immediately, they may have no purpose in sticking around (or so they think). Happens that sometimes people don't get to know you beyond their initial impression of meeting you in some capacity either. It's just the way it is, so people just kind of have to anticipate and plan for it.

Simplicity is really undervalued these days. So is navigability. Basically what these boil down to when it comes to web sites is not overburdening a view unnecessarily, and making things as straightforward and unfrustrating (think I made up a word there) as possible.

It doesn't mean you can't make your site flashy and "complicated," including myriad links, pages, animations and so forth. You just have to make it fall within the grasp of your intended audience.

Ramos, J. (2008). "Lesson 8: Creative considerations in
emerging media." IMC 619. West Virginia University.
Retr'd Dec. 12, 2008.

The Minority Report

Marketing to minorities:

Pandering, or pragmatic?

How 'bout we just call it pragmatic pandering and be done with it........ since that's basically what it is.

"Pandering" is not just a description of the activities of giant bears in China. No...... however, it does kind of have some negative connotations in certain contexts, this being one of them. But it's not necessarily negative, per se. In fact, when I stated it was indeed pandering, I intended it as "pandering" in the general form marketing takes, no different from aiming efforts at the youth, financially well-off, or female demographics (among others).

Companies have simply noted a market segment they believe can be targeted. Business as usual really.

I don't see anything wrong with it in general, and I often find it kind of ignorant when people assume these efforts are something akin to "politically correct" movements for entities to ingratiate themselves with the diversity crowd.

The fact is, though, these minority target audiences are really no different than targeting other audiences; if segmenting Asians is wrong, then so is doing the same for men aged 25-39. There are reasons these things are done, and it's really all about the bottom line. That's really the primary consideration.

If companies were really interested in merely looking good and appearances in general, instead of targeting the larger market segments they believe they can effectively reach and win over, there would be a lot more categories of groups you would be seeing as well. But typically, most sites, if they even had any special sections for minorities, mainly had either Hispanic sections (and that's for language considerations basically), or ones for blacks. I didn't happen to notice any for Asians.

If anyone is still laboring under the idea that companies just do this kind of thing for appearances and good pr, instead of what's central to their business interests, I challenge you to go find me a national company's web site with a special section for American Indians.

The only one I could think of, let alone find (marginally anyway), is from the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company's Natural American Spirit Tobacco.

And really, that's regarding what they do to give back to native people and organizations. Why do they do it? Well...... aside from (mis)appropriating tobacco from native people and profiting from it in the first place, they also go heavy on the native imagery, to profit from that as well. I would imagine that doing a little good work behind the scenes for the affected population might go a long way in deflecting any criticisms.

Just something to think about.

"Youth" and New Media

I put that in quotations, because....... what is "youth" anyway? I don't mean philosophically (I'm past that). I mean, where's the actual cutoff? Does it have to necessarily be at the magical age of 18 or, can it extend a little ways beyond that?

I'm leaning more toward the latter, at least for purposes of defining it for a media-based discussion.

A lot of those outside of that typical 18-under demographic nonetheless grew up similarly, if not from before age ten then certainly after it. The lesson tells us, for instance, that:

"About a quarter (26%) of the time young people are using one medium, they’re doing something else media-related at the same time (e.g., listening to music while using the computer, watching TV while reading a magazine)." (Ramos, Lesson 7)

Really, I think this is most prominent in the younger demographics, because these two generations really are the first to have experienced having so many options at their disposal. I know personally, even though I'm a good bit outside the 8-18-year-old range referenced in our lesson, I'm very rarely just using one medium at home. I usually always have the tv on along with the internet, and maybe some music here and there. I find as well that at places such as work, I usually have to have at least one option available. If something isn't, things just seem a little too "quiet."

Having none just seems, i don't know...... Amish. And I think I just need to pacify my attention deficit issues.........

Today's youth certainly is "growing up wired." But it's also the 20- and 30-somethings, and I can see it creeping upward into the rest of the populace as well. Not sure it's entirely a good thing (maybe you don't need wireless access for your laptop on your camping trip, ok?), but it's the new reality.

Ramos, J. (2008). "Lesson 7: The Young and the REST but not LESS: Targeting Youth and Multicultural Audiences with Emerging Media." IMC 619. West Virginia University.
Dec. 10, 2008.


BMW....... films?


For the discussion, I ended up watching one of BMW Films' "The Hire" series, starring Clive Owen as the hired driver (of a Beemer, of course) in each.

What I watched initially was a Guy Ritchie/Madonna film, entitled "Star." In it, Madonna really outdid herself, with the worst acting job of her career. But, this "overacting" (or maybe "underacting," depending on your perspective) did seem to have a purpose by the end of the film, which really redeemed the entire 10-minute or so presentation. It was pretty funny in the end, which I wasn't expecting.

I haven't watched the entire series, but every time I finish one, it's something I say I gotta do. However, I did watch another one, called "Ambush."

This film (seemingly the shortest of the series, at 6 minutes) featured "the driver" and a passenger, traveling along a road at night, and immediately "ambushed" by some masked criminals in a van that pulled up beside them. Giving the driver the frequency for their hand-held radios, he instructed him to slow down at the end of a count of 10 seconds, as they wanted the $2 million in diamonds his passenger had.

The passenger then informed the driver that he'd swallowed them, and they'd kill him to get at them. So, the driver decides to be a humanitarian and risk his life getting away from those in the van, and a Hollyw00d-worthy chase ensues.

I won't ruin this film by giving away the end, other than to say that it ends the same as the other - only, just being kind of funny. You actually want to see the passenger kind of get it in the end.

But this is a wholly watchable series, and I'll stick to doing as I keep telling myself I should and watch the whole thing sometime.

Well done BMW, well done.

(Make sure to check the video bar on the side for the clip.)

Are we 2/3 there yet?

It's the start of week 6, so, yes, almost........

This week's lesson introduced some interesting concepts, and, some others which didn't seem quite so interesting at first but then grabbed my attention. Short films are perhaps chief among them. As well, they were first to be discussed, so let's just take this in order.........

I have to admit, I wasn't really sold on the idea of short films. But I liked the ones I watched so well, I know right now what my second post for week 6 is going to consist of.

Definitionally, a "short film" can be 45 minutes. That doesn't seem so "short" to me, really. I think I'd chop 10 or 15 minutes off to be placed in that category for consideration. Either way,I have to admit that I was a bit down on the prospects of short films. But after watching the series I watched, I can see some promise. I can even, as I mentioned in the postings, see some potential for television action with these short films. They're very well done, though, nobody's going to the theater to watch them. Some of them, which are essentially series, could make the move to tv pretty cleanly, I'd imagine. It'd be pretty groundbreaking.

Moving on (or else I'll talk about this forever).......

We've all heard of podcasts, but, I can't recall hearing about Vlogs, or video blogs (which I can't help but pronounce "vee logs" for some reason).

I can see the potential here. But, I can also see everyone's vlogs getting lost in the barrage of online vlogs sure to pop up (because everyone's opinion matters....... but not really, and mostly, no one cares).

Moving on (or else I'll bore even myself)........

We'll finish up with streaming media. This is a great revolution of evolution, allowing a medium available before, but underutilized for the heavy downloads incurred. I see a lot of definite potential with streaming video.

Admittedly, I don't use it that much. But it's amazing to see that over 70% of internet users have.

Makes me feel like I'm not doing enough with my internet.


Mobile Marketing?

Why not?

Lots of reason potentially, but this is just one area both marketers and consumers are going to have to wade through and figure out, and then *re*figure when newer technologies arise to take advantage of the newer opportunities that present themselves for your attention.

The lure of a high response rate, the convenience of catching you wherever you go (imagine marketers drooling over a mobile television audience), and the simplicity of it all....... it's too much for a marketer to pass up.

This is, however, a highly personal medium, as was pointed out in the lesson. Invasions of one's mobile phone are taken much harder than similar efforts through landlines. Somehow, the mobile phone not only seems more personal, but private.

My idea (which I still kind of think I liked best among options) worked in the interest of full disclosure, and mutual benefit. I tend to think that sometimes things work best when everything is laid out on the table for both parties to see and agree to.

The idea? Simple: free service for allowing mobile marketing. A certain number of ads, text messages, responses....... those kinds of considerations........ gets you free minutes and/or texting, and certain marketing efforts (and your response to them) gets you free long distance minutes as well (all in minor, superficial detail, of course).

Back to the opening refrain......... Why not?

More and more people are switching to cell phones entirely, and more and more people are doing so for practical reasons (re: financial concerns). If they could get free service, or, even some free service, in exchange for being exposed to advertising (or asked to participate in a campaign where they must take pictures of their local McDonald's with their phone, something like that, but more thought out than that - you get the idea), I think a sizable number of people would go for it. We're already used to being exposed to ads and other marketing efforts in exchange for being able to enjoy things like TV and radio.

Think maybe I'd even give it a shot myself.

Why not?

Ritz makes a good cracker.......

But did you know they made games?

Well, sort of...........

In the spirit of week 5's lessons, I ran across a site filled with links to various advergaming sites. Advergaming is, or can be, a number of things (within the concept of providing entertainment that also serves a dual purpose of marketing a product, of course), and Ritz' games seem to have tried to attempt them all.

And I have to comment, somewhat successfully.

They insisted you click on the white crackers for the games. I'm not sure what purpose this served, but it continued to place the Ritz cracker front and center in the gamer's mind (though, why wasn't it one of the yellow crackers instead?). This advergaming venture stuck out somewhat to me for what Ritz did with it, along with the fact that Ritz doesn't really have a fun association for me with it. But I spent longer at this site checking out the games, and even anxious to quit those and see what else they had, than most other sites really.

They had a cool feature where they made a kaleidoscope out of Ritz cracker images. Surprisingly, you can spend quite a while moving your mouse over it and changing the image up and enjoy it without being high (although a decent trip might make the Ritz cracker kaleidoscope last a good while longer).

They also had personality tests, trivial facts, and some game that basically ripped "Pong" off, presenting itself as "Ritz Tennis," (with a big cracker as the paddle) that I was kind of bored with and then got interested in as the cracker opposite mine found a way to come back.

The message is, I was genuinely entertained by the site. It's probably not going to cause me to go back, but, it was still pretty well done. I suppose perhaps that my thinking might change on guessing which brands/products would have better advergaming. It might just make more sense that those which wouldn't be expected to might have to work harder to dispell those notions, and bring folks in.

Maybe I'll explore this a little more..........



Continuing on......

To expand upon the previous discussion a little, there is something I wanted to point out. The lesson plan states the following:

"Why is e-mail such an attractive interactive method for advertisers? Four reasons: cost, customization, response and control.

  1. Cost. E-mail marketing is relatively inexpensive. For instance, a $20,000 postal mail campaign will cost around $1,000 using e-mail."

That is, of course, true. Direct mail is so expensive, as to be cost prohibitive for many ventures and companies. The best they can do sometimes is hope to package multiple offers and send them as one package, if the mailings aren't really targeted.

However, other considerations than cost need to be made as well. Such as, not pissing people off, for instance. We have come to accept a certain level of "junk" in our mailboxes at home. It almost feels as if they are a public domain, of sorts. But, our e-mail addresses feel much more personal. And when they are invaded as such (even by companies we've allowed in beforehand for those "great deals and offers"), it can begin to feel, well........ like an invasion. And invading a personal space is not great strategy for a company to engage in.

This kind of thing has to be done with at least some regard for respect and limitations. That's really tied up in its success, for serious companies, and not just ones trying to sell you pills and hoping one fish a million will bite.

I have to say, "forward-to-a-friend" marketing is brilliant. It kind of undercuts any real animosity the consumer may have for the company over the very thing I was just stating could help foster it. It takes responsibility out of the company's hands really, and puts it back on your "friends."

Maybe they'll thank you.

If not, it's their fault. Can't really get mad at the company...... even though they were complete enablers here.

Week 4....... not quite midway yet.

In our week four lessons, the issue of e-mail marketing came up.

Now, what do we all think of when we hear that?


But, not so fast....... e-mail marketing of course involves that under its umbrella, but also, as the lesson pointed out, it can actually be tailored to certain audiences, with specific tastes. It's not simply "junk e-mail," unsolicited and unwanted.

Most of it however? Yeah, pretty much...... the bulk of what actually ends up in your mailbox anyway (like your real mailbox at home). Occasionally though, good deals come your way, from companies you've ordered through before and actually checked the box saying you wanted them to send you 'great deals and offers' through e-mail (what were you thinking?).

Example: This week, I received a notice from Eurosport (a soccer catalog) offering 20% off certain jerseys. I love jerseys, too, but, damn........ they're expensive. I get a little extra off for being in their Goal Club, which I've been in since I was 14 or something. It's actually one of the better such programs I've seen. They cut 10% of the purchase price typically *and* let you accrue points for free items for later. And it's only a one-time fee; I have it for the rest of my life. I've been to other places that offer similar loyalty programs, and they actually make you pay annually for something you're unlikely to get the value of back through purchases in that year. Makes no sense.

And more to the point, it continues to make me look extra hard at e-mail offers I receive like this, knowing there's a little extra incentive.

Even with junk mail there's the occasional bright spot. So it is, too, with e-mail marketing.

(Even though I won't be buying any jerseys this time around.)

www. Eurosport.com


Raise your hand if.......

you've ever heard of crowdsourcing.


Oh no....... you were just stretching........

Well, I had to do a little extra reading on the matter to feel like I had a better understanding of just what this "crowdsourcing" encompassed exactly. Did i fully achieve that? NO. But I have at least a working understanding of it, which, it seems to me is all anyone else really has either.

And that's because the term is so new (2006), it's really just settling in. The concept, however, is far from new. It's just that now it seems to be reaching a crescendo. Wikipedia (which I'm glad I can reference in an informal setting, if not a more academic one, and get away with it) noted that the Oxford English Dictionary was put together by a form of crowdsourcing by soliciting volunteer definitions of thousands of words on pieces of paper - in the 1800s.

What's confusing about defining crowdsourcing is figuring out what qualifies, and why. It's not mere volunteerism, as it appears. And even that could lead to some form of compensation, depending on the arrangement. Neither does it preclude upfront compensation (though I'm sure that's rare; it certainly limits the scope of the net you could cast).

Whatever it is, i'm certain we'll be seeing more of it, particularly as companies are crunched for resources, and the access to "human capital" has never been greater. It's just smart really.

There are certainly some ethical and moral concerns, along with more practical ones for the entities concerned, as sometimes these attempts backfire and end up costing them more than they otherwise would've had they simply hired qualified individuals to oversee and carry out a particular task.

Speaking of Wikipedia (since we can, freely, in this type of setup), I can think, immediately, of no greater success in "crowdsourcing" (Can I stop putting that in quotations? I feel like I still should, for some reason). And yet, their founder, Jimmy Wales (cousin of Sarah Barracuda) is averse to the term.

Here's the exchange:

Q: Do you worry people will suddenly decide they don't want to contribute for free and demand to be paid?

A: We haven't seen anything remotely like that ... because it's fun. One of my rants is against the term "crowdsourcing," which I think is a vile, vile way of looking at that world. This idea that a good business model is to get the public to do your work for free - that's just crazy. It disrespects the people. It's like you're trying to trick them into doing work for free.

What you're really in the business of is providing a nice place for people to come and do what they want to do. We're going to use advertising to build this social place, and people will come only if we provide them with tools and the social environment they need to have fun. If the by-product of that is some amazing work, that's great, too.

Wow captain bullshit! You've really convinced me.........

Anyone else?

Thank-you, Reader's Digest

For this wonderful bit on marketing, to help folks sort it all out:

"If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying 'Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday,' that's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk him into town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flowerbed, that's publicity. If you can get the mayor to laugh about it, that's public relations. And if you planned the elephant's walk, that's marketing."

In keeping with our lesson in this week, I might add this:

"And if you filmed the elephant doing all of the above, and posted it on youtube.com, that would be viral marketing."

Viral marketing is interesting in a number of ways, perhaps most of all, for the fact that many times, people don't even seem to realize they're being marketed to when they are. And yet, the desired effect is still attained. Many times these campaigns fail. But what is "failure" really? Is it not becoming a youtube phenomenon? Not having your "advergames" become the next great success?

Those expectations are perhaps too lofty, though they should be aspired to all the same. But the real measure of success can be found in things like checking hits, frequency, and so forth. The other intriguing thing about viral marketing (which makes it intriguing on the marketers' end as well), is it's relatively low cost. With that in mind, it puts "failure" further into perspective. Where else could an advertiser spend so little with such great potential to turn that small investment into something bigger than superbowl commercials?

Speaking of commercials, our lesson focused on the viral campaign Burger King developed, and showed through commercials, of people "freaking out."

Now, I realize that there was some manner of success indicated with these commercials (as noted in our lesson), but, I personally thought they were crap. It neither made me interested in Whoppers, Burger King, or sitting through another one for 30 seconds I'd never see again. I'm not sure if these were the best "freakouts" they got from telling people they'd discontinued the Whopper, but they were, overall, pretty lame. And so really, they just came off looking fake (particularly considering that I recognized one of the "Burger King employees" as a comedic actor).

It could've worked though really; if they'd had some better freakouts. I'd have rather seen some manufactured ones, than the allegedly real ones they showed instead. I feel nauseous again trying to dissect how Burger King thought they were being so "edgy" with this campaign, and how they didn't even really get close enough to the edge to look over.

of week 2 - 2

More interesting ideas from week two, about the demise of traditional media........

Though we already mentioned radio, we need to go a little further into this. Someone pointed out that though radio will survive, in some format, that local broadcasts may be seeing their time coming to a close.

I can see that. Radio is suffering right now and, with the advent of satellite and internet radio, and greater ease of access to each (including on the go), with all the specialty programming that comes along with them, local radio just doesn't seem to have much of a chance.

But how local is "local" radio anyway? A lot of radio in local markets is actually corporately owned, and thus, in many markets, the programming is virtually the same. There are still some local elements which are important, but the "local radio" we know is largely a format that wouldn't be familiar to many of those in previous eras.

The Yellow Pages piqued my interest in this discussion, because I'd forgotten to even consider them.

But of all "traditional" mediums, their time may perhaps may be coming to a close sooner than any of the others.

At least, again, in their current format. While radio can essentially be "radio" in any of its formats, paper formats just don't seem to be the same beast once they've gone intangible. The Yellow Pages demise is greatly exaggerated: They will survive.

Just maybe not for much longer as actual pages.

I commented that I thought there would still be some smaller version thereof. In Morgantown, we already have that, along with the larger books, for quick reference. It may simply just morph into a phone book for business and perhaps government services and that sort of thing. Is there any reason really though that we need most everyone's phone number for reference though?

Not in an age where we can just as easily hop online and check out the same thing (and also where many simply have cell phones now, and not land lines; cell phone numbers they often keep private anyway). It's the same for businesses of course, but that's where the phone book, in a paper format, could still make some money with a smaller reference book, and survive.

For a while anyway.

of week 2

What did week two bring us?

[Un]timely news of the demise of certain traditional mediums.

As a newspaper man (sort of, I like to read them), I believed that newspapers, in their paper format, would eventually go.

It's difficult to forecast such things really. The demise of radio has long been predicted, but it just seems to dust itself off after each falloff, and kind of reinvent itself. Newspapers will do the same, transferring to a digital format, including one which will be off our computer screens and on a more paperlike portable screen which doesn't cause as much eye strain and mimics reading an actual paper as best it can.

I'll never prefer this mode of operations with a newspaper. At least, I doubt it. But I have to believe that kids growing up entirely in a digital/internet age, may even come to prefer it. We're all accustomed now to checking online for news, and I do it myself. Sometimes I prefer it over reading it out of a paper or magazine, but just for quick reference. But I'm accustomed to both ways and, as one might expect, just prefer the one I knew first and grew up with. Kids even now don't have to rely on the paper format; they can get whatever they want, in most instances (some online versions of papers aren't free though), right online. And I have to believe this will likely be the new way.

Though I don't believe major papers will follow suit for a long, long while, the Christian Science Monitor has recently announced that they're going entirely digital. I can understand that as it's more a nationwide publication, and not a local one, per se. So I don't think that's the first domino to fall. But it does look like it might be a sign of things to come.


Top ideas in new media?

One of the more interesting - if not thorough - posts on "new" (quotations there for being relative) media in my Integrated Marketing Communications course, which convinced me of its deserved status as being a top idea (perhaps not *the* top idea though), was a post regarding podcasts.

I hadn't given them much credit for where they were now, but I had remarked upon their potential, mainly for being something useful for a captive audience which would in fact be appreciative of them much of the time (as opposed to many mediums which can be considered intrusive and a nuisance). This post worked off that idea and expounded upon in it ways that made me reconsider the efficacy of podcasts *now*, placing them on a much higher rung of the latter.

One of the more interesting facts about podcasts is its usage; 18.5 million in 2007, we were informed. And by 2012, this will more than *triple*, with 25 million of those tuning in at least once a week. I think podcasts' only limitations now have to deal with technology, and not their usefulness. As products get better and more affordable, and people get more acclimated to them, the use of this medium and its frequency will grow exponentially. That's tremendous potential.

And, of course, if we're talking about top ideas in "new media," web sites have to be it. To a significant extent, many people seemed to agree.

One of the more telling signs was that it was not considered to be among the least effective tools in new media by anyone, while there were a few examples of some top ideas being considered the least effective among some respondents.

Web sites simply allow, at this point, for the most versatility and interactivity. They And, they're established enough to be considered an equal among more traditional media. Web sites can also integrate the various types of new media, while the converse can not really be said.

In short, the limits of web sites as a marketing communication tool are only in what one's budget may be, or in the level of skill and imagination in their creators. Nothing really competes, yet, among new types of media.

An introduction

Hi, I'm Justin! And I'm very enthusiastic about being Justin, as you can see by the exclamation point.

I'm sort of a professional student, with a job (or two) on the side. Keeps me busy, but not necessarily in ways that I like.

I'm from West Virginia, and I won't look down on you if you aren't. I'm very progressive in that way, but I do like it here and enjoy everything WVU- and Morgantown-related. So, I've decided to stick around both for an extended stay.......... which has, in a circuitous manner, led me to blogging here.

Stop by anytime.