Emerging Trend - Short Fuse Department
The commodification of viral videos continues throughout the various networks. The old warhorse of them all -- America's Funniest Home Videos -- even gets its props in the NY Times. The outlook is for a short life span vis a vis media hype. But ... and this is an important caveat ... the prognosis for consumer generated content overall is quite good. In fact, it's out and out sunny.

Online game provider adopts token payment system
Wild Tangent adopts "WildCoins" worth 25¢ each for consumers to pay for those ever-popular time-waster games like Bejeweled. Now that it's factually established that 35+YO adults are glued to playing these little games, gamemakers are looking to monetize the market.

Sony to Launch Online Service with Playstation 3
This is the birth of a new medium. Synoposis: "Sony laid out plans for a new online gaming service that will debut alongside its PlayStation 3 console in early November.

The basic level of the new service, called the PlayStation Network Platform, will be free to those who purchase a PS3, with small monthly subscription charges for certain games and other premium content. Gamers can meet online to chat, compete, and even buy games, a move that represents a major departure for the video game giant that will likely anger retailers.

The retail strategy is more like Apple's iTunes as Sony also plans to make its music and film libraries downloadable via the network too, with networking elements reminiscent of MySpace.

The online gaming community also represents a major opportunity for advertisers, as the service enables Sony to capture demographic data and serve dynamic in-game ads across its network. Said Sony Computer Entertainment President Phil Harrison, "This can provide a tremendous revenue stream for our industry."

Harrison added that the network will enable Sony to release games in an episodic manner reminiscent of TV. ""I believe that games can have the same social currency of a great television program," he said."

TV Advertising is Less Effective: Survey
"Some 78% of advertisers said TV advertising has become less effective over the last two years, according to a study released Wednesday by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research. Nearly 70% of advertisers think that DVRs and video-on-demand will reduce or destroy the effectiveness of traditional 30-second spots, forcing marketers to search out new technologies to help boost their advertising spend, the study said."

Google Tests New Image Ads In Google Local
"Google Local is testing another form of PPC ads in Google Local. Reportedly, if you search on booksellers nyc at Google Local, and if you look at the map you will notice some results have little coffee icons. If you click on the coffee icon within the map, as an example, you should notice a AJAX pop up floats up. This pop up contains a header named 'Sponsored Link' and with local information and a large Barnes and Noble logo."
B&N Google Ad Zoom
"Congoo lets users search premium or restricted content from trade magazines, newspapers and other publications.

Congoo users download a browser toolbar, the Congoo NetPass, and register once to access limited, premium content. The idea is to provide only a few articles to whet consumers' appetites and fuel more subscriptions for publishers"

Nike, Google Kick Off Social-Networking Site: "ONE GOAL. is a free network where members will be able to create Web sites and send e-mail, photos, and video clips, as well as access Nike content related to its sponsored athletes such as Brazilian superstar Ronaldino or U.S. soccer prodigy Freddy Adu, according to Nike officials who confirmed the new initiative."

First Time (Shifting), Now Space (Shifting), TV Encounters 'Place-Shifting'
"Sounds a bit like a description from one of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick's amazingly prophetic novels, doesn't it? Maybe. But the future is definitely here. It's a far cry from the old world of retail media, known for point-of-purchase display cards, hang tags, and end-aisle displays."

The Boardroom Connection - A forum for leadership through technology innovation
An exclusive destination for senior executives, the Boardroom Connection is a Web site dedicated to exploring the intersection of technology innovation as it applies to business strategy. The Boardroom Connection contains rich-media interviews with high-level executives supported by featurestories, related news, executive perspectives, technology briefs and an "e-mail a colleague" feature that encourages peer-to-peer dialogue.

Coca Cola - Swimming Race with Bears - SIA Interactive
Click to enlarge Click to see video
See video

Another way to say 'charge it' in U.S.
Mobile Payment via Cell Phones in Atlanta
"For years, consumers in many Asian and European countries have bought everything from convenience store trinkets to subway tickets using their cellphones. But the idea has largely been a gadget geek's fantasy in the United States.

Only recently have American banks and wireless companies begun developing mobile payment products. The next wave of technology could wash ashore in the United States within two years." - E-Coupons
Kraft food&family

Video Killed The HTML Star
This is a hilarious take on CRM and newsletters. Not essential. Made me laugh. Not for everyone.

Startup to wed mobile games, live TV shows
"AirPlay Network Inc. said it will introduce a lineup of cell phone games tied to live television broadcasts. While watching TV, subscribers could use their cell phones to compete against others in 'real time' by predicting plays in sports, choosing winners on reality TV shows or picking answers on game shows.

The first product, 'AirPlay Sports,' is due for release in the fall to coincide with the start of the professional football season. An NFL-related AirPlay game, for instance, would ask cell phone quarterbacks to predict the offense's next moves -- a pass or a run -- as the real game unfolds live on television."

:: ECAST NETWORK :: Press :: In The News

Heineken Trades in Street Teams for Jukeboxes

Advertising Age Magazine—Jan. 24 2006—Heineken chose bars to tout its Grammy sponsorship this week using Ecast jukeboxes in bars and restaurants.

The beer maker kicks off a targeted “Go Totally Live” promotion offering viewers a chance to win a trip to the Feb. 8 show in Los Angeles.

The Ecast jukebox network serves as the local interactive connection with its 5,000 bars and restaurants in the U.S., a number that may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that globally Starbucks only has 8,000 locations. Consumers can also enter the contest through several Web sites, including Yahoo.

... cont'd ...

IAB Standards and Guidelines
These Guidelines are intended to further supplement the Ad Campaign Measurement and Audit Guidelines released in 2004, which details the standard for counting an online ad impression. Specifically, broadband video commercial measurement guidelines will determine at what point a broadband video commercial is counted. A ?Broadband Video Commercial? is defined as a commercial that may appear before, during, and after a variety of content including streaming video, animation, gaming, and music video content in a player environment. This definition includes Broadband Video Commercials that appear in live, archived, and downloadable streaming content.

NBC To Offer Original 'Office' Webisodes
NBC ON THURSDAY SAID THAT it has quietly filmed 10 Webisodes of "The Office" for release this summer on its Web site, While NBC has made other TV shows available online, the network has never before created video programs exclusively for the Web.

reBlog by Eyebeam R&D
What is a reBlog?
A reBlog facilitates the process of filtering and republishing relevant content from many RSS feeds. reBloggers subscribe to their favorite feeds, preview the content, and select their favorite posts. These posts are automatically published through their favorite blogging software.

Trailers - Monster House
The upcoming summer '06 animated movie from Amblin Entertainment (that's Speilberg's production company), Monster House offers five ways to view the trailer: Low, Medium, High ... iPod Video and HD

Mobile phone options must be coming soon!

Jacob Nielsen's Eyetracking Study Considers AdSense Blindness
Great photo shows the area of a Web page that people view as red blotches. And you should know who Jacob Nielsen is. He's the genius of web usability. Here's more detail from the Nielsen/Norman Group.

Hill | Holliday
As seen in AdRants, the Boston agency Hill|Holiday (formerly Hill Holiday Connors Cosmopoulus) at has ditched its "web site" in favor of a Blog. Brilliant!

As Internet TV Aims at Niche Audiences, the Slivercast Is Born - New York Times: "In the last six months, major media companies have received much attention for starting to move their own programming online, whether downloads for video iPods or streaming programs that can be watched over high-speed Internet connections.

Perhaps more interesting — and, arguably, more important — are the thousands of producers whose programming would never make it into prime time but who have very dedicated small audiences. It's a phenomenon that could be called slivercasting."

Column: The New Next -- Digital Swarms
User generated content 101 ... skype, wikipedia, and flickr explained ... briefly!

Nielsen: Seven in 10 Connect Via Broadband
"ALMOST 96 MILLION U.S. WEB users--68 percent--now access the Internet on high-speed lines, up from 74 million one year ago, Nielsen//NetRatings reported Tuesday.

Broadband's rapid proliferation is fueling the popularity of video sharing sites. MSN Video, in particular, garnered 9.3 million unique visitors in Feb. 2006--growing 44 percent over the previous year to makeup 9.3 million uniques, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

YouTube, the hugely popular video sharing upstart, trailed MSN just slightly in Feb. with a unique audience of 9 million. Google Video, which launched last year, drew 6.2 million unique visitors.

While both Yahoo's video search site and Viacom's IFilm saw triple-digit yearly growth--148 percent and 102 percent, respectively--each drew about half of MSN's audience last month. Specifically, iFilm saw 4.3 million uniques in February, and Yahoo saw 3.8 million.

The rate of broadband adoption among consumers appears to be increasing incrementally, Nielsen//NetRatings reports. Consumption grew 13 percentage point from Feb. 2005 to last month; 10 percentage points from February 2004 to February 2005; and 12 percentage points--from 33 percent to 45 percent--from February 2003 to February 2004.

Overall Internet penetration in the United States has stabilized over the past few years, reaching 74 percent at home last month, according to Nielsen//NetRatings."

Cnet Adds RSS Ad Units: "NEW YORK Cnet Networks has started running banner ads embedded with Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, allowing advertisers to pipe real-time information into Web ad units.

E! Entertainment television is the first advertiser to use the tool, which Cnet plans to make available across 15 of the Web sites in its network and for all Interactive Advertising Bureau ad units.

'It enables them to experiment creatively and optimize their campaign at much lower production costs,' said Laura Froelich, vice president of marketing innovation at San Francisco-based Cnet.

The E! campaign, which began on Friday, promotes its nightly 'E! News' Hollywood coverage on Cnet site The ad copy reads, 'What do you want to know about Hollywood?' while headlines scroll on a ticker at the bottom of the placement. Clicking on the headline opens a new window with the story from E! Online.

Froelich said she expects more marketers will use the tool to promote their RSS feeds, which are used by publishers and marketers to distribute content.

'A food manufacturer might use this to highlight a different recipe every day,' she said. 'An apparel maker might use it to highlight fashion seasonally. It's really only bound by your imagination.'

Cnet's RSS ad units follow a similar effort by Reuters, which created ad units for Diet Coke with live Reuters' news headlines, as part of Diet Coke's 'Lighter Side' push. It also created a campaign with Nasdaq, using finance and business headlines.

Some Web agencies, including Omnicom Group's, have used RSS feeds to dynamically update ad units. used RSS for British Airways to keep banner-ad flight offers fresh and pushed's broadband service with updated video information."

Television Is Not Just for TV Anymore
USA TODAY charts the many, many ways you can "watch" TV online, a mobile phone and more. It's a simple-yet-comprehensive overview.

AOL's big TV-to-Web venture goes liveThe logo for AOL's new In2TV service.
Classic reruns find a new-media niche Wednesday as America Online launches In2TV (, which will stream free episodes of more than 100 series such as Maverick, Welcome Back Kotter, Wonder Woman and Lois & Clark.

AOL's move adds to the frantic pace of Net-TV developments:

iTunes, which has sold more than 15 million video downloads at $1.99 each since October, will offer condensed versions of NCAA men's basketball tournament games the day after broadcast on CBS ($1.99, $19.99 for a season pass). Apple's service recently began selling $9.99 monthly subscriptions to Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. sells downloadable episodes of Survivor for $1.99 the same day they're broadcast. CSI can be found on Google's video service ( the day after it airs, for $1.99. and NCAA also are streaming free live video of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, starting Thursday.

• Later this month, Cartoon Network will begin streaming full-length episodes of its adult-targeted cartoons on demand at Currently, premiere episodes of shows such as The Boondocks and Aqua Teen Hunger Force can be seen online free two days before broadcast.

We're witnessing "the democratization of television," says Lee Rainie of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. "As we are able to store and play back TV shows, music and other content, programmers are in less control, and I am in more control of my playlist and of my own time."

Driving the migration of TV to the Net is the increase in broadband use at home: the number of home broadband users grew to 95.5 million in February, compared with 74.3 million 12 months ago, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. - Web-savvy news 'dinosaurs' take a page from history
"Now, a study released today by the Project for Excellence in Journalism finds that in 2005, mainstream news media began moving significant resources to online journalism, in some cases merging traditional and online operations.

That contrasts with 2004, when 'not only was there not a lot of visible innovation on (mainstream media) websites, but cutbacks on website staffing because they were a drag on revenue,' says project author Tom Rosenstiel.

'We are seeing a recognition that the Internet is not simply a place to repurpose what you are already doing,' he says. 'It's a new environment where you can produce more and where the potential, theoretically, is richer.'"

GoMonkey - Minority Report Like User Interface without Gloves!: "GoMonkey - Minority Report Like User Interface without Gloves! Technology News, Electronics Buy Guide and Gadget Review Austrian GoMonkey revealed their gesture based interaction platform at the CeBIT 2006.

You sure remember Tom Cruise standing in front of a huge screen and move elements around with gestures in the movie Minority Report. He wore gloves, which is already totally outdated.

The GoMonkey system uses two cameras to capture the gestures of users in 3D. Applications for GoMonkey are in presentation/collaboration rooms, interactive advertisement and events.

You can see a GoMonkey in action in the 3Sat Neues TV show video stream (click Web-TV thumb on the right, the segment showing GoMonkey start at 20:50min.). More details on the GoMonkey site."

GoMonkey - Minority Report Like User Interface without Gloves! Technology News, Electronics Buy Guide and Gadget Review

E61 - BenQ-Siemens Mobile Phones Portal
"E61 – Your mobile entertainer
Music is in the air! With this attractive multimedia phone, you can add the matching soundtrack to your life. Designated music-player keys on top of the phone give you instant access to your favorite tunes."

Samsungs’s SPH-B5200 Gaming Phone

New phone (not yet released) features gaming pads and a DMB receiver for TV.

Juice Wireless Aims To Protect Kids is an e-networking application with a concept that is similar to MySpace, and that has committed to trying to protect minors. runs on the Juicecaster Network, a collection of interconnected and independent Web sites, and also offers integration with cell phones. Users can make their own "juicecasts," which include various types of digital content, like text, pictures, audio and video files, that are published online for other users to view.

'Adapt to new technology or die,'
Murdoch tells newspapers

"'A new generation of media consumers has risen demanding content delivered when they want it, how they want it, and very much as they want it.'"

The newspaper industry needs to embrace the technological revolution of the Internet, MP3 players, laptops and mobile phones or face extinction, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, pictured January 2006, said.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Evan Agostini)

And he sure don't look like he's kiddin' aroun'!

Individual's to Appear on 'Person of the Year' Times Square Board


Time Magazine is promoting its Person of the Year issue on the Reuters board in New York's Times Square. As part of the promotion, developed by Fallon, the first 50,000 people who submit their photo will, after review, be shown on the 45 foot tall electronic display at 43rd Street and 7th Avenue. There will also be photographers, who will beam photos of selected people to the board, roaming Times Square from 12 Noon until 3PM each day until December 8. Each headshot will be framed in Time Magazine's Iconic red border on a mock Time Person of the Year cover.

People don't have to actually be in Times Square to see their headshots displayed - a digital camera will snap photos of each new image as it is displayed, and will place these photos in a searchable database online at Photos can be emailed, printed and shared with friends and family. 50,000 headshots will rotate through the display along with real Person of the Year candidates such as Lance Armstrong, Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Bono and J.K. Rowling. The display will ask passersby who they would choose to be Time's 2005 Person of the Year.

The promotion, presented by Chrysler, will run for a total of 6,000 minutes from Dec. 1 - Dec. 19 on The Reuters Sign in Times Square. We submitted our photo. You should too.

IMAX To Explore Strategic Alternatives

MARCH 10, 2006 -- Entertainment technology company IMAX Corp., Toronto, announced yesterday that its board of directors has decided to begin a process to explore strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including the possible sale or merger of the business with another entity. 'In order to fully realize the growth potential inherent in both the IMAX brand and the business we have built to date, we are evaluating strategic alternatives in order to expand our scale and maximize value for our shareholders. We have recently received several unsolicited inquiries, and believe this preliminary interest shows that there is awareness of the strength and attractive qualities of our business. We think this interest, coupled with our solid fiscal 2005 results and compelling growth opportunities, makes this an ideal time to explore our options,' said IMAX co-chairmen and co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. The company has retained Allen & Company and UBS Investment Bank as financial advisors in this process. "

'Real World' Producer Focuses On Digital World, Platforms Too

BUNIM/MURRAY, THE PRODUCTION COMPANY BEHIND hits "The Real World" and "The Simple Life," has launched a unit to develop content specifically for emerging platforms such as cell phones, PDAs, and the Web.

[ Link to Bunim/Murray here ]

Called M Theory Entertainment, one of the group's first projects is an online talent competition at If successful, the company envisions using the initiative as a basis for a television show.

As consumers grow more comfortable with viewing video on mobile phones, PDAs, and iPods, content creators are taking steps to produce material explicitly for those platforms. Former WB CEO Jordan Levin and partners launched a firm last month with one of its missions to create content for broadband and mobile devices.

Other M Theory projects include two reality series--one about a BMX rider and the other a competition to find a new best friend for stars of "Real World/Road Rules Challenge"--produced solely for mobile outlets Amp'd Mobile and Proteus.

M Theory will also repurpose television content for new media devices, including 36 "mobisodes" for "The Simple Life" available to Verizon V-Cast subscribers.

The company is also working on Web sites with user-generated content that could also become television series.

M Theory will be led by Joachim "JB" Blunck, who will also retain his role as Bunim/Murray's senior vice president, digital content.

Attack of the APIs

Over the past few months, we've seen some compelling uses of these APIs for marketing-related mashups. ClickZ columnist Ian Schafer's agency put together a mash-up with Google Maps that let fans of HBO's The Sopranos re-visit some of the places and events in the gangster show's past seasons. Nike put together a Google Maps app to plot running routes for its Run London community. And more recently, General Mills' Nature Valley granola bar brand asked nature-lovers "Where's Yours?" on a site that uses a mapping interface similar to Google's.

On Monday, AOL took the wraps off its "open AIM" strategy. It lets people create sites and services that tap into the instant messaging client's functionality and its 63 million active worldwide user base. The next day, the company continued its streak by releasing an API for its MapQuest property. Not to be outdone, Yahoo! Tuesday announced plans to deliver four new APIs in the coming months that will allow developers, and the marketers that work with them, to tap into Yahoo! Photos, Calendar, MyWeb and Shopping. This on top of the company's existing APIs, including those for its Web 2.0 properties Flickr,, Webjay and Boosts Video Virals
The peacock network plays copy cat after YouTube steals its viral video thunder. Looks like a "play catch up" ploy, not a permanent business model. Little videos want to roam free; my guess is viral video remains a promotional tool without an income stream.

Web Surpasses TV In Britain
IN A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE FOR the Internet, Web users in Britain are now spending more time online than watching TV, according to a new study by TNS and commissioned by Google. The study, based on a February survey of 1030 British residents between the ages of 16 and 64, found that the average Web user spends 164 minutes--or almost three hours--each day online, compared to just 148 minutes watching TV. Additionally, the study found that 66 percent of Web users in Britain increased their online time in the last year.

What About The USA?
In the United States, Web users spend about the same amount of time--14 hours a week--online and watching TV, according to a Jupiter Research report released in January.

JetBlue Card from American Express

Share The Love may be the first in-flight reality show. It's being produced to promote the new jetBlue/Amex affinity card. Flyers can watch on jetBlue flights and vote for a winner.

"The service that expertly connects podcasters and podcast listenters-and-viewers with advertisers."

Yahoo! News Reporter Kevin Sites to Receive Daniel Pearl Award
Kevin Sites, war correspondent for Yahoo! News' 'Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone', has been chosen to receive the 2006 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism from The Los Angeles Press Club. (Yahoo! Inc.)
Kevin Sites, who provides dispatches from armed conflicts around the world for Yahoo! News, will receive this year's Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism.

Sites is traveling alone to cover every major global conflict within one year for Yahoo's "Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone" feature. Sites records, photographs, writes, edits and transmits his multimedia reports for the Web portal.

RSS Advertising May Work Around Spam Issues
"Retailers are also aware that many consumers are getting fed up with commercial e-mail. Jon Nordmark, the chief executive of eBags, a firm that uses RSS at its Web site, said in the New York Times that 'I don't know how many e-mails you get a day, but I can't keep up. Rather than delivering a slightly relevant message to a person's mailbox, RSS allows us to get customers very detailed information directly.'

The procedure is pretty straightforward. Using eBags an an example, the company places RSS icons near the site's products with messages offering users regular updates on those products. Once a user has indicated a product preference, the user then clicks on the icon telling the company to send the alerts to his personalized page (such as MyYahoo). eBags will then send an alert only when it has new information or a promotion relevant to the specific product. Mr. Nordmark sums up the advantages of this new arrangement by noting that '[RSS is] a way to basically position highly relevant microsites in front of consumers.'"

Verizon Wireless To Turn Mobile Phone Into TiVo Remote - Yahoo! News

"Starting this summer, Verizon will offer an application that turns certain mobile phones into a kind of TiVo remote control for scheduling recordings of TV shows."

No comment on watching TiVo content on your mobile phone ... yet.

Lala - Music CD Swap Site Goes Public in July:

You pay $1 to trade a CD you no longer want for one you do. What about copyright? It's all within the "First Sale Doctrine codified in the U.S. Copyright Act." However ... "While there is no obligation to do so, 'la la' is setting aside 20% of trading revenues for musicians." The site founders want to re-create the "social hub" vibe of the "local independent music store" acting as "the social hub where music fans gathered to hear, discuss and buy music."

Google eyes new ad venues: Old media

Tue Feb 28, 8:09 AM ET

Google revolutionized advertising when it popularized online ads that run near Web search results. For the first time, advertisers had to pay only if someone viewed an ad. Now, Google wants to bring its targeted-advertising system to old media: radio, magazines and newspapers, even TV.

Colbert Report, Daily Show in iTunes
New pricing model -- "The sale of these shows is being handled a bit differently. You can buy a 'multi-pass' for both The Colbert Report and The Daily Show for $9.99US. This gets you the current episode, and sets up iTunes to automatically download future episodes as they become available (up to 16 episodes). Think of it as a paid podcast."

Top News Sites
(millions of unique visitors per month)

1. Yahoo News 15.3
2. MSNBC 12.7
3. CNN 12.6
4. AOL News 9.8
5. Internet Broadcasting 5.8
6. 5.7
7. Tribune Newspapers 4.7
8. Gannett Newspapers 4.6
9. Google News 4.2
10. 4.0"

How technology allows little guy to beat Big Media
This Phila Inquirer article reviews the book An Army Of Davids by Glenn Reynolds, founder of the blog. Sure it's academic-ish, but it's probably a great read.

MOST CONSUMERS WOULD WATCH AD FOR FREE TV DOWNLOAD: "Among those actually planning to purchase a video iPod, 72% said they would be more likely to download a TV program in exchange for watching an ad. The Magid study surveyed 798 iPod owners between the ages of 12 and 55. "

[Metrics Schmetrics! Make It FUN!]
AOL Promotes 'Sopranos' With Horoscope Site - 03/08/2006: "TIME WARNER'S AOL TODAY WILL launch a horoscope site promoting the new season of HBO's 'The Sopranos.' For the initiative, AOL Horoscopes partnered with and worked with numerologist Hans Decoz to create an in-depth analysis of the characters, depending on the letters of their names. The site offers visitors analyses of main characters on the Time Warner-owned show: Tony Soprano, Corrado 'Junior' Soprano, Christopher Moltisanti, Silvio Dante, and Peter Paul Gaultieri (also known as 'Pauli Walnuts'). Heath Alva, senior manager at AOL Horoscopes, added that AOL might also do numerology charts for the upcoming James Bond movie, 'Casino Royale.' --Kristin Sidorak"

Reuters: AOL To Sell TV Content
Due to launch this summer. Promises to be a "secure place in the market for video-on-demand over the Internet." Will compete with iTunes. Price per video to be $1.99.

AOL will introduce In2TV this month, a site to carry 4,800 free vintage TV shows, mostly from the Warner Bros. archive.

Last December, AOL acquired Truveo, a video search engine that uses "visual crawling" to locate video files that text-based search engines miss.

AOL continues to evolve past its old subscription business model. It has 19.5MM subscribers, down from 26MM in 2002.

An RFID solution to rush hour headaches? | CNET
Big Blue (aka IBM) becomes "big brother" traffic cop in Stockholm by using RFID transponders (just like your I-PASS) in cars to charge fees for driving in certain areas during peak day parts. Result -- congestion reduced 25% in the first month!

Cingular launches new mobile TV service | CNET
Yes there's V-Cast from Verizon, but Cingular (soon to be re-re-branded as AT&T Wireless ...) ups the ante with HBO content like "The Sopranos," "Entourage" and more.

"The Web generates about 15 percent of the time consumers spend with media, but only about 4 percent of the budgets advertisers spend on media." Jack Klues, chairman of Publicis Groupe Media

Blinkx Launches Automatic Search Toolbar - 03/07/2006
Hey look ... it's another free downloadable toolbar that only works on Windows PCs! Seriously folks ... Blinkx advocates the use of the "semantic Web, or the idea that metadata can be used to identify and track hidden connections among content silos on the Web." In plain language, the search engine goes out and finds results based on your personal usage, habits and preferences.

Read the press release here

Today Wal-Mart launched "an original performance series created to give you a chance to go behind the scenes with some of your favorite artists." It offers you current CDs, Soundcheck exclusive downloads and Music Downloads (at Wal-Mart's rollback price of 88¢ ... take that Apple!).

JCPenney : it's all inside.
The perennial also-ran department store brand launched a bevy of emerging platformsy initiatives in '06 (and it's still only March!). This rich media microsite lets you "shop our commercials" in which you pick and choose from the items worn in the spots that debuted on the Academy Awards show last night. (The remake of the classic T Rex glam rock anthem "Bang a Gong" turns out to be performed by Jakob Dylan ... that would be Bob's boy for all you boomers out there). The other big idea Penney's has launched is a pop up retail concept in Times Square that appeared on this blog a week or so back.

AOL opens AIM service to external developers
Note: AIM is AOL Instant Messenger, the number one instant messaging service on the Internet.

This is AOL's initiative to make AIM the de facto standard for instant messaging. By opening the application to external developers, AOL is looking for AIM to be extended, synthesized and customized with other online apps. It's also hoping to see AIM spread far and wide across the Net beyond its current base of 63 million users.

Big In Japan > Available In America

You can take a camera phone photo of a barcode and get info sent back to your phone about it.
Press release about a year ago announcing our partnership with NeoMedia and the Paperclick mobile technology:
CNet article:
Company info:

Behavioral Targeting 2006: The Future Is Here

Behavioral Targeting: Beyond Online

Five Things You Need to Know About Behavioral Targeting

Tying the Knot With Behavioral Targeting

Really good article from this month's Wired on branded cellphones (ESPN Mobile, Amp'd, Helio, etc.)
Interesting play to tie cellphone service preference with exclusive content.
Overview of the current players:

Enlighten::be experienced
Let's look at behavioral targeting and how it affects creative versioning in advertising campaigns via emeging platforms channels ... as opposed to direct marketing, database marketing or promotions marketing.

Reuters Summit-New advertising age has execs experimenting?
Sir Martin Sorrell has been speaking publicly (a lot) about the new media landscape and, for better or worse, the "challenges" agencies face as a result. The "media" is spinning it toward the downside. Let's see how this plays out ... stay tuned.

Shows on Web Have Been More Miss Than Hit - Los Angeles Times
This convergence thing is very exciting but let's not lose track of the fact that even the big boys are struggling for success stories. (Aren't we all?)

The Acts29 Network
Here's a different interface. Designed and built in Flash. Probably making Jakob Neilsen's eyes melt. Usability types would scoff. Clients wouldn't want to pay the freight to update. But it's brilliant!

Rebels With a Cross - New York Times
This is an incredibly important trend that's been percolating for the past decade. It's taken off with real socio-cultural momentum after 9/11. And it's been supercharged by blogs, podcasts and, according to this article, the "indie rock" scene. As I've traced the rise of Godbloggers and Godcasters, it occurred to me some time ago that if you want to see the future of "emerging platforms" look no further than your local house of worship. The religious communities in the US are particularly attunded to using media and technology in novel, innovative ways to connect, gather, nurture and sustain themselves. Brand marketers can learn a lot from them.

The Original WHOPPERETTES™ - Have It Your Way?
I love a couple of things about this site. First, it's a "DVD on demand" visual interface metaphor (all the way down to the details like the curtain reveals between sections). Second is the fact that in the BONUS MATERIAL section, then inside the MUSIC sub-section, there's a GARAGEBAND download (a mere 81 megabytes mind you) that lets us young, savvy Macintosh-lovin' creative types completely remix the music eight ways to Sunday (Garageband is Apple's amateur music recording and mixing software). A disappointing convergence feature is in the MOBILE sub-section for SPRINT TV; the problem being you can't dynamically initiate the mobile phone content via this interface. That's too bad. Just printing instructions on a Web page is kind of disappointing in this day and age. I got the RING TONE and it's pretty awful. (Tin eared sound quality, actually.) Of course, I'm waxing poetic about this site's amazing greatness; but you still can't pay me to chomp down one of those sandwiches.

Most successful advergames in Turkey
We are not catching up here in the USA. Let's do something about that, aight?

PointRoll - Online Advertising Rich Media Provider
It never occured to me that some folks still don't know who and/or what PointRoll is. The company started out in the late 90s with a proprietary online technology that transformed a Web user's mouse pointer (the little arrow thing that becomes a little finger when you hover it over hypertext links) into a branded icon. (That was the 90s. Proprietary technologies were "kewl" back then.) Now PointRoll is a leading provider of rich media advertising products that include banners with special features and "better" multimedia capabilities and back-end data collection functions as well.

PR Newswire
P&G Launches "Daytime Dollars" Integrated Campaign
It's probably safe to call this a promotion. But it's a big leap forward in how simple on the outside and smart under the hood these kinds of programs can be. Developed by Arc Worldwide for P&G. Featured in the NY Times today in Stuart Elliot's column.

'Desperate Housewives' Actress Stars In Dove Webisodes offers three original webisodes directed by Penny Marshall (!!!) and starring Felicity Huffman (!!!).

Quote: "... we've moved way beyond the day when streaming a repurposed TV ad on the Web sufficed."

Online Ad Spending Soars 30%
Feels like Y2K ... but with bigger and bigger budgets. Welcome to Y2KVI!

National, World and Business News |

Viacom To Enter Social Networking Market in 2006
Since Newscorp bought MySpace, it looks like everybody wants in on the latest trend. Feels like 1999. Think I'll wear purple pants to work tomorrow.

MediaPost Publications - King Of Beers Becomes King Of Content, Uses Super Bowl To Launch Direct-To-Consumer Channel - 02/02/2006

Podcast search engine PodZinger lets you search podcasts as if they were text files, allowing you to see what's inside the podcast.

When PODZINGER returns results on your ZING IT query it provides snippets where it found matches in the podcast. You can click on any point in those snippets and the audio will begin to play from that point forward. If you want to listen from the beginning, just click on the play button in the control bar that is displayed next to each result.