The Re-Branding of America: Swine Flu, Souter, Spiderwebs, Scratches, Game Sevens – The Week in ‘S’

Politics, Pop Culture, re:brand, Soundtrek

Quick in-and-out recap post. The only thing more prevalent this week than the Swine Flu was the letter S …

Starting with — as it was primarily due to — the Swine flu

swine

and followed up by what is actually afflicting half of the reported cases: Sinuses

sinuswine

Amplify: Digital Media Goes Dutch

re:brand, TK:@socialtech, TK:DC, TrapperKeeper

Amplify: it’s bringing clogs back harder than Birkenstock; this could be the biggest digi-Dutch tandem since cybercafés digitized the coffee shop

amplifycover

Okay, but who are the these amplifiers you might ask …

abamp

That’s all well and good, but what if you’ve got a few questions about exactly what clogging is …whatsaclog

or, you wonder, what with all of the Facebooks, Blogspots, Twitters, and Typepads out there, why clog?

whyclog2

I say with the recession the way it is, ditch the ticket to Amsterdam and head to Amplify for the freshest clogs around.

Tip another one up to Digital Media Integration. Amplify keeps the creative content base of blogs; while adding the incredibly user-friendly clipping tool for seamless organization and clean presentation. What sets clogging apart from blogging, Tweeting, or Facebooking, per se, is Amplify’s core integrated approach; Clogs can stand alone as an introductory foray into blogging for beginners, but can better yet enhance any digital guru’s online presence by pinging Clogs to synced de.li.cio.us, Facebook, RSS feeds, and Twitter accounts. The site is still in the Beta release stage, so it’s as good a time as any to check it out. I’m just getting aquainted myself, but the intuitive layout makes for an easy transition.

Watch this space: Clip, comment, and Clog — it’s that easy. Clogging could be a great digital niche for disaffected former bloggers — the ones for whom the honeymoon with blogging is over, and “updating posts” stays somewhere between ‘fixing the cabinet’ and ‘buying life insurance’ on the “To Should Do List.”  Most noteworthy of all: it’s integrated and independent, comprehensive and concise — and, of course, digital and Dutch … digi-Dutch.

Added bonus: it’s free; so, no worries on splitting the bill

Daily News in the Digital Domain

Uncategorized

Welcome to the corner-wide web

hyperlocal

If your local newspaper shuts down, what will take the place of its coverage? Perhaps a package of information about your neighborhood, or even your block, assembled by a computer.

A number of Web start-up companies are creating so-called hyperlocal news sites that let people zoom in on what is happening closest to them, often without involving traditional journalists.

“Hyperlocal” news upstarts present a clear opportunity for a print partnership in the digital sphere. It is a semi-well known fact that most news consumers trust their local news over regional and national outlets. This endeavor shifts that trust — and the trusting readership — online.

However, traditional media continues to interact with new media as a threat and foe — considering content control and regulation in order to leverage lost profits. These next-gen journalists have no qualms about venturing ahead without print.

But many hyperlocal entrepreneurs say they are counting on a proliferation of blogs and small local journalism start-ups to keep providing content.

“In many cities, the local blog scene is so rich and deep that even if a newspaper goes away, there would be still be plenty of stuff for us to publish,” said Mr. Holovaty of EveryBlock.

Watch this space: this is where the seeds of cyber-based news as a signpost medium are being planted … this will set the stage for the transition of traditional media into the digital space — or the end of corporate print-based media as we know it

Easter just got cyber-serious

Uncategorized

You want to go on an Easter Egg Hunt but you don’t want the hassle of getting up? Yeah — that’s lazy. Luckily for you though, you can have your Cadbury and eat it too …

Interactive Easter Egg Hunt via YouTube — but really, you can’t eat the treats

hint: check on the couch

Watch this space: Happy Easter!

Salt Lake City Scavenger Hunt

Pop Culture

And a-gain. This time: tweet-for-tix

lilslc

So the Lil one is at it again with the Tweets.

For her U.S. Tour, Lily Allen hosts a treasure hunt at each stop the day of the show via Twitter. A few hours before showtime Lily hides tickets to her gig at various places in each city. She tweets clues about the hiding spot

scav

and waits for the lucky — or logical — follower to “show them what they’ve won!”

Another unparalleled use of the Tweet Machine, count it — it’s twitterific.

watch this space: i told you so. digital pr, i’m telling you: watch this one.

Twitter, you’re a lifesaver! — Literally.

Pop Culture

So now it saves lives too …


and that’s why Google and the Times are paranoid

Don’t discount the power of people who follow stars on Twitter.

A woman who used the micro-blogging network to announce her plans to commit suicide by tweeting actress Demi Moore was later found by authorities and taken in for evaluation after followers of the actress reported the incident to police, who said this is an unprecedented use of the network.

Watch this space: especially if you are a paramedic – and as if you’re not already.

(News)paper Chase: From downsizing to digitizing

Uncategorized

The ongoing saga of how to sell the story — resuscitate the ad revenue lifeline for print media — is more often than not becoming the story itself.

NYTMADS
While the newsprint and newsroom personnel downsize …

“In 2009 and 2010, all the two-newspaper markets will become one-newspaper markets, and you will start to see one-newspaper markets become no-newspaper markets,” said Mike Simonton, a senior director at Fitch Ratings, who analyzes the industry.

[…]

Nearly every large paper in the country prints fewer pages and fewer articles, and many have eliminated entire sections. Bureaus in foreign capitals and even Washington have closed, and papers have jettisoned film criticism, book reviews and coverage of local news outside their home markets.

[…]

The steady trickle of downsizing that sapped American papers for almost a decade has become a flood in the last few years. The Los Angeles Times still has one of the largest news staffs in the country, about 600 people, but it was twice as big in the late 1990s. The Washington Post had a newsroom of more than 900 six years ago, and has fewer than 700 now. The Gannett Company, the largest newspaper publisher in the country, eliminated more than 8,300 jobs in 2007 and 2008, or 22 percent of the total.

online expansion is a window of opportunity for companies looking to transition in the technological age – to adjust and adapt to, instead of avoid, the digital domain …

 

The death of a newspaper should result in an explosion of much smaller news sources online, producing at least as much coverage as the paper did, says Jeff Jarvis, director of interactive journalism at the City University of New York’s graduate journalism school. Those sources might be less polished, Mr. Jarvis said, but they would be competitive, ending the monopolies many newspapers have long enjoyed.

though it may not be greeted with the warmest welcome …

Many critics and competitors of newspapers — including online start-ups that have been hailed as the future of journalism — say that no one should welcome their demise.

“It would be a terrible thing for any city for the dominant paper to go under, because that’s who does the bulk of the serious reporting,” said Joel Kramer, former editor and publisher of The Star Tribune and now the editor and chief executive of MinnPost .com, an online news organization in Minneapolis.

“Places like us would spring up,” he said, “but they wouldn’t be nearly as big. We can tweak the papers and compete with them, but we can’t replace them.”

 

the transition is seen as an inevitability

A number of money-losing papers should “have the guts to shut down print and go online,” he said. “It will have to be a much smaller product, but that’s where we’re headed anyway.”

Industry executives who once scoffed at the idea of an Internet-only product now concede that they are probably headed in that direction, but the consensus is that newspapers going all digital would become drastically smaller news sources for the foreseeable future.

Again, the print media needs to break down the barriers between itself and online news media. Print needs to start from the ground up in the digital sphere, and that begins with interacting with online journalists — and yes, bloggers — to get acclimated to the new world of online news journalism.

Even Howard Zinn can attest to early Pilgrims’ alliance with Natives in the U.S. That collaboration was integral to the settlers survival — much like an alliance on behalf of the print media with the online news media community is integral to the newspaper’s survival.

Naturally, as the settlers gained manpower, capital, a manifesto, and regained enough sanity to remember why they ventured here in the first place, they went from friends to forefathers of a new nation built on the backs of Nativ– I mean morals and ideals of true Patriots. I see print doing the same; I see print’s future relying on a collaboration with bloggers, online journalists, etc., to gain the basic grasp of this new medium. More importantly, I see that as the “cut losses” in time and revenue before rebranding and rebuilding the corporate print news empire online.

Print media needs to start from the ground up. Many companies — obviously the increasingly paranoid, but rightfully so, New York Times — take the fear-of-the-unknown route and choose to valiantly play on the sinking ship. There’s nothing wrong with humbling yourself and starting from square one; for the print media, they’ve got nothing — and so nothing to lose.

NYTBDBD
Watch this space: especially you advertisers, it’s for sale — still

Call me Casper the Friendly Ghost-Tweeter

Pop Culture, re:brand, TrapperKeeper

I could say it better myself — but not just yet

What’s the solution? These people all need professional help. But since they’re unlikely to spend the time they need on the psychiatrist’s couch, they’ll doubtless end up hiring assistants adept in social media. Ghostwritten Twitters are the hot new Hollywood must-have.

Every tweet will be media-coached. Every blog will be relentlessly edited — and then have typos inserted for authenticity. (Is that why someone pretending to be Rachael Ray consistently misspelled the cooking-show personality’s name on a Yahoo blog?) The kids who are pretending to be celebrities on Twitter today will no doubt get paid to do it in the future.

Watch this space: never underestimate the substance beneath the stylish smoke and mirrors, there’s jobs to be saved – and plenty more to be made – in this digital age …

Distriction: Springing back from cy-bernating slumber

Politics, Pop Culture, TK:DC, TrapperKeeper

This weekend welcomed the Cherry Blossom Festival, DC’s cultural introduction to Spring — and the perfect way to wake from a late winter hibernation from the digital domain.


A brief greeting after my semi-extended stint away from the blogosphere. I took some time to rest and refuel my creative reserves — similar to a bear’s hibernation for the digital age, more tech and less time.


So, I’m back now: like Bipartisanship a la Britney

black

babies …


Bush (W.)a la Barack


the sound of dot-com bubbles bursting …


and dot-com bubbles broadening …

Scientology a la Palin‘s people …


bracketology


and those beautiful cherry blossoms.


A week (end) in review — in case you missed it

The Quarter: Title Mag

re:brand, TrapperKeeper

The kid’s alright … Title Magazine Editor-in-Chief Catherine Bui stopped by the Motel to let us in on her latest work:


The Quarter is a fourth of a dollar and the Fourth Estate went from promoting public opinion to profiting the private sector – but a quarter is still a fourth and it’s always a pleasant surprise to see the vanity press resurfacing. Now, the point, over at MdM a visitor sent a link to their magazine – and I had to pass it along. So, here is an introduction to Title Magazine

At it’s core, Title Magazine is an independent culture magazine on the upstart. For it’s first issue, I was blown away at the clean design, and diversity of artwork and editorials. If only I had this kind of get-up-and-go as a teenager – or a young adult at that.

Catherine Bui has her finger on the pulse. For a junior in high school this is an excellent example of how to present oneself as an asset to the cultural online media community. Title is a portfolio of visual and editorial pieces. Moreover, it displays a strong grasp of the digital sphere to produce an original online magazine of this caliber. Beyond the personal positioning though, Title is just a great publication for the culture and arts crowds.


I anticipate great things from Catherine & Co. A personal favorite within the inaugural issue was this foray into “Underexposed Photographer,” Nick Asokan‘s work.


In my day, we had school newspapers; obviously, times have changed. It’s great to see pockets of passion within the next generation of journalists and future media figures.


Title Magazine is an example of positive perpetuation: Bui’s initiative is the kind that makes you, too, want to “Follow your dream.”


Watch this space