Twitter is dead

April 30, 2009

3291616685_9a9bf42b3b1Well, maybe not, but it sure ain’t sticky and it’s not looking like it has legs. According to this article, called “Twitter users not sticking around”, more than 60 percent of Twitter users stop using the service a month after joining. That eqautes to a 40 percent retention rate. At a similar stage, says the article, Facebook’s retention rate was twice as high. Same with MySpace. I have to say that I am one of those people who went Twitter-crazy for a month and then got tired of the limited functionality and never-ending glitchiness of the site and returned full-time to the wicked but loving arms of Facebook.

While it has some legitimate applications, on a macro level Twitter has all the makings of a fad that we’ll all laugh about fondly in a decade. Celebrity and newscaster tweeting has already become rote fodder for TV comedians. TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley, never one to pull punches, even implied the service was pointless and annoying during an in-show commercial Tuesday promoting TNT’s Twitter accounts. Back in the day, we’d have said Twitter has jumped the shark.

From a PR and marketing perspective, that doesn’t mean we need to abandon Twitter. Quite the contrary. We need to exploit its capabilities as much as we can. But we also need to keep in mind that its influence may very well have peaked.

From my view, Facebook is a much more effective play for all but customer service applications.

Posted by Joe Paone

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ESPN.com, Worldwide Leader in Homepage Clutter

April 29, 2009

Interesting rant on a CriticalMass.com subsite called ExperienceMatters.com lamenting the ubiquitous sports network’s underpopulation of headlines on their home page in favor of flashing banner ads for mortgaging a home or summering in Europe.

As a diehard sports fan in need of instant gratification, I see author Scott Shamberg’s point in his post entitled, “The Bastardization of the Customer Experience.”

As loyal ESPN.com user, I’m pissed. They have continually bastardized their site in an effort to make more room for ads and thus drive more ad sales. I keep coming back because even because the content they have is second to none. This last move, however, is a tough pill to swallow….For today’s consumer, nothing is more important than the experience.  Regardless of where it happens, they have to really enjoy how they get their information and entertainment because if they don’t there are hundreds, literally, of other places they can get it… The point here is that I know ESPN wants to drive ad revenue and I understand and appreciate that.  But if they continue to make decisions based on ad revenue and not the customer, eventually it won’t matter.”

Mr. Samberg is right on about the experience factor and the fact that you can go to other sports sites and easily navigate without all the clutter.  Even though ESPN has the added clout of being a global entertainment and publishing entity, they are not impervious to the laments of social media influencers and non-traditional media, so they better watch their Back, Back, Back, Back, Back, Back, Back or they might be Goooooone!. (Impossible)

 And since we are on the topic, my biggest issue with ESPN is the fact that they constantly take credit for stories that were broken elsewhere (ususally online) by simply saying, “ESPN has learned,” or presenting some story on Sportscenter I read on the internet yesterday as “BREAKING NEWS.”

If they get a tip from some other non-traditional outlet, they should still be giving credit and then doing some additional investigative digging with the unmatched resources they have to form the “exclusive.” Don’t re-hash something stale and call it your own just because all those other worldwide sports networks haven’t broken the story yet.

Clearly a boycott would be punishing ME more than the network so that’s not an option but I hope the feedback reaches their higher-ups and order is restored.  Now, I wonder where I would go to find out what astute analyst Tim Legler thinks of the Rajon Rondo foul on Brad Miller from last night’s playoff game.

Posted by: Nick


Why Runco is Reaffirming its Commitment to Flat Panels

April 28, 2009

In recent months we’ve heard from a number of “big name”, who will remain unnamed, manufacturers announcing significant changes within their flat panel product portfolios and even abandoning plasma displays altogether.

These big-brand names are jumping ship which has (at varying levels) led consumers and retailers to wonder if plasma is dead, because of lack of demand for their products. There has been speculation that plasma TVs are too expensive and questions if there is even a difference in video quality and performance versus LCD.

Runco is a leading manufacturer of luxury video display solutions. The products are sold and installed by Runco’s network of trained and authorized custom installation professionals who provide world-class expertise and service…Yes, they cost a pretty penny. Why? Premium products and service and solutions.  Runco plasma and LCD displays are customized to provide the best, most accurate, high-fidelity, cinematic-quality video possible; each for  different rooms and applications. They boast different technology, different price points, and offer different solutions for customers who demand the best. That’s what “custom” is all about!

Today, Runco reaffirms its committment to flat panel technology by providing the widest range of plasma and LCD displays that offer the most advanced video technology for any viewing environment, including:

  • A refreshed portfolio of plasmas from 50 to 103 inches that boasts Runco’s signature processing and technology enhancements for the most accurate colorimetry available – perfect for low-lit rooms and theaters;
  • A full-line of 1080p Crystal Series LCDs for rooms of distinction with high levels of ambient light.  Screen sizes range from 32 to 70-inches;
  • And, the only LCDs and plasmas available with Runco’s exclusive OPAL (Optical Path ALignment) technology. When applied to LCDs, OPAL preserves the integrity of the video content in high ambient light that competes with and degrades the images. When applied to plasma, OPAL thrives in darker rooms by enhancing black levels, detail and clarity of the image. And, when applied to Runco’s Climate Portfolio WP-OPAL42 (weather-proof) LCD, you get pool-side outdoor entertainment like no other TV!

Check out Runco’s full line of premium flat panel displays and projectors at www.runco.com. To experience a Runco-quality home entertainment for yourself, locate the Runco dealer nearest to you and make an appointment to demo products in their showroom.

Posted by: Katie


Cracking the Green Code

April 28, 2009

One of the greatest struggles those of us in the environmental movement face is effectively messaging our positions to reach a wide range of audiences, not just those in the movement.  All too often, the mediums we use to communicate our platforms are ones largely populated by those of us in the community.  The truth is, we don’t need help convincing each other that there is a serious need to change the way we consume and use resources on this planet.  But for those not quite convinced – or those who may express a desire to be more environmentally conscious but whose words may not translate into action – there is a gap.  A “green gap,” if you will, one that exists between the expressed desire to change and the actual behavior exhibited. 

That’s why EcoAlign, a marketing firm, has offered a white paper on using psychology to understand behavior and mind set of different segments of the population called “Cracking the Green Code.” 

The abstract:

This paper has been written by psychologist John Marshall Roberts to help provoke insight and shift thinking regarding the causes and consequences of effective communications in the energy and environmental space. In it, John challenges the depth and sufficiency of existing marketing ideologies and outlines a clear, scientifically validated values-based messaging framework based upon the work of late developmental psychologist Clare W. Graves. This simple, resilient, and highly actionable framework can be easily applied to a variety of marketing and communication contexts, helping environmentally-minded professionals create messages that strategically overcome mental resistance and inspire sustainable behavior change. Several real world examples and applied research results are outlined, along with a list of concrete, short-term opportunities for professionals who wish to apply this framework within their own work-life sphere.

The piece I found most interesting was a very basic and seemingly self-evident one.  The green value proposition isn’t going to work the same on everyone.   In an ideal world, all persons would have the same committment to preserving the environment and take whatever steps necessary to do so.  But this is not an ideal world and we as communicators and marketers in the green space can’t ignore consumer bias and behavior and hope that everyone adopts our viewpoint. 

“Cracking the Green Code” provides a unique framework for looking at communications and marketing – well worth the read!

Posted by: Ashley / follow me on Twitter


Power from the People

April 27, 2009

fm-420human20car1In this great article from Popular Science, “Power from the People” delves into the world of inventors doing their part for the environment all the while coming up with some pretty interesting concepts. The basis of the article is to use human energy and convert it into useable power. Very interesting stuff.

Take the FM-4 for example. This “car” looks like a cross between a street luge and an old push rail car. Powered by its passengers, (including the “power-monkey” in the back) this car can reach speeds of 30 mph all by human power. It has even been clocked pushing 60 mph downhill.

That’s it – sign me up! I’ll never have to go to the gym again!

There are many human powered hybrids being invented every day. Scientists are even working to collect the power that a person exhumes every day and figure out how to harness the energy towards something useful. The Green Microgym in Portland, Oregon uses its stationary bikes to supply electricity to help run the place.

A Gethehumangeneratorsmall1orgia Tech computer scientist discovered that there are 390 megajoules of energy stored in the body of fat of the average person (the equivilant of 93,150 calories – about the amount in 283 jelly donuts). If a portion of that power could be harnessed and store it, the sky would be the limit.

The article has a great diagram (pictured here) that shows what we could power if people were to capture the energy put off from their everyday movements. The methods, albeit it incredibly absurd, offer some great statistics on the levels of power our bodies could produce. They figured out that one person could ultimately tap 151 watts of energy from their body, enough to power 75 BlackBerry phones, or 7 Nintendo Wiis, or 1 desktop computer, or 1 32-inch HD TV!

 

Posted by: Lauren


New power strip gives YOU the power to plug in whatever you want

April 25, 2009

 

Genius! I would just like all of us to take a moment and remember the time you wanted to hook up a lamp and a pencil sharpener on your computer desk but even though the power strip had empty sockets they were blocked by the bigger power adaptors and you ended up writing with a dull pencil in the dark. Okay so maybe that’s too specific, but we’ve all been there in one way or the other. Solution: The Ideatives Socket Sense power strip has angled outlets and the strip extends to fit any size power adaptor you can plug at it. It’s features also consist of 2160 Joules of surge protection, a six foot power cord, power switch with 15A breaker, surge and ground LED’s, cable management channels, metal oxide varistor components, AND you can even mount it on the freakin wall! Some of you may have read that plugging power guzzlers like entertainment systems, computers, and little things like lamps and cell phone chargers into power strips then turning flicking off the power strip when youre not using them helps save a lot on the electric bill. And perhaps you have tried to plug all of your phone chargers, camera chargers, and battery chargers onto a single power strip…NOPE. Not gonna happen with your typical surge protector. If we could just combine the Socket Sense with the Smart strip we could have the perfect energy saving setup.ss_yesno

Posted by: Ashley (intern)


Install a Projection Screen in Seconds… Okay, Minutes…

April 24, 2009

Installing a home theater projection screen has always been easy, right? Wrong! Custom installers have tooled (no pun intended) around with screen providers’ solutions for years; cutting screen fabric on-site, rigging it with “ingenious” solutions to maintain a taut screen, and wasting time and money because, well, there was just no quick way to do quickly and properly attach the screen fabric to the frame during an install.

Now there is. Today, Screen Research announced the shipping of the company’s new Supreme 2 fixed frame.  The new frame is available for the company’s standard 1.78:1 and widescreen 2.35:1 screen solutions and is compatible with its SolidPix and ClearPix (acoustically transparent) screen fabrics.

Supreme 2 frames have a rigid new design and also features the company’s patented new FastGrip fabric attachment system enabling Screen Research dealers to affix the screen material to the screen in minutes – REALLY!!  Check out the FastGrip video below. For a full-screen version with step-by-step instructions  click here).

For more information, view the Supreme 2 social media release. To download images the press release, visit Screen Research’s press page at www.castercomm.com/screenresearch.

(Note: Admittedly, there are minor editing breaks that may skew the actual run-time, but you get the gist – it’s QUICK!)

Posted by: Katie | follow me on Twitter