Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ChromeCast Worth Watching

ChromeCast may not be a watershed idea, but does that mean it will not be disruptive? Just like some start-ups that take 10 years to be overnight success stories, disruption percolates. I theorize a small device (and associated licensing deals) like ChromeCast could raise the water level in the tub just high enough that it finally spills over for the TV industry. What intrigues me about CC is that it is ubiquitous in support (iOS and Android), dirt cheap ($39), easy/plug-and-play, turns the TV on/off and is offered by a trusted brand, Google. So, it significantly lowers the barrier for all Americans to experiment with and discover the option of “unplugging” and “mirroring” from the device to enjoy content. Article about ChromeCast on Forbes --

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Helping is the new selling

Favorite excerpt: "tell me your story. Helping is the new selling, Help me have a better day in every way that touches my family. When there is a clear benefit to the story of the brand, it is more likely to stand the test of time in our household."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Snippets Present a New Threat to Traditional Media?

Jonathan Mendez's Blog post about snippets Provides an interesting take on a "new" threat to portals with undifferentiated content. In particular, he points to the "everyday" weather portal such as the Weather Channel, AccuWeather and maybe local media sites. He suggests they must offer something more that the table stakes to avoid further commoditization by the snippet. TWC has such a strong brand that maybe it transcends this issue at times. Do local media companies win or lose in this situation? I think that many stations and broadcast mets probably need to do more. There are probably too many mets just collecting a paycheck for delivering a 7-day forecast and some severe weather coverage. They need to provide new value to elevate above the wide array of sources for weather data including the snippet. That value could be superior forecasting, superior explanations of what is happening and what to do (decision support). It seems to me this is a critical issue for local media in general. What can I get at 6p that I can't get somewhere else? I think -- not much. What new value can local TV bring and weather is a critical place to start.

Monday, March 12, 2012

RainAware App

I am giving a new rain prediction app a test run. The app claims to predict the weather better because of an algorithm that combines inputs from several sources to model out the likelihood and timing of rain for a lat/lon.

The interesting thing about an app like this is that if it works a the first time a user will probably keep it and test it some more. However, if someone uses it the first time and it misses by to wide a margin or is "wrong", the app will get one star and be deleted, without an acknowledgement that what the developers are trying to do is actually very complex. It will be difficult to grade an app like this because there are very few out there to compare it against.

First thing I will note is the UI need attention from a professional designer. It looks like the work of a developer. Time will tell if it will deliver on its promise.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weather #2 in Latest ComScore Data

Great presentation from ComScore captures the rise of the tablet. It also shows weather #2 most consumed content on mobile. Weather consistently appears in the top three each year.

Monday, September 12, 2011

QR Codes NOT Going Mainstream

Reposting this excerpt from StoreFrontBalkTalk...

I often thought QR codes were just for geeks. Then I started seeing them all over America, not just in The Bay area, Mountain View and New York City. So, I thought they were going mainstream. Maybe not.

Survey: 83 Percent Of Young Shoppers Can’t Handle QR Codes

Written by Evan Schuman

August 17th, 2011

A recent credible survey, however, found that not only are most younger consumers oblivious to what QR codes are, but the many who do know what they are can’t get them to function. In short, 83 percent of the 1,300 14- to 24-year-olds surveyed couldn’t access a QR code regardless of how good the offer was. Looks like some people skipped an important step in product rollout.

That news is pretty bad, given the strong mobile interest—or general high-tech and experimentation comfort level—of that demographic. If they’re confused or apathetic, the numbers won’t likely get better as surveys examine consumers in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. This particular survey was conducted between May 20 and May 30 by Youth Pulse (a.k.a., YPulse), which tracks marketing trends among the 14- to-24-year-old segment.

The survey breakdowns also hold little optimism. Some 64 percent said they had no idea what a QR code was, even when shown a picture of it. That picture part negates the possibility that they knew what QR codes were and had to use them but simply didn’t recognize the name.

Monday, February 07, 2011 and DataSphere Revisited, Briefly

I haven't posted anything for a long time. I have been far to busy in my new job, however, I spotted this video from Borrell and Associates in preparation for their conference in New York and had to post it. In it, Mark Josephson, CEO of, discusses the company's local media strategy. A year ago, DataSphere made a big splash at Borrell's Local Online Advertising conference. This year, is poised to get a lot of that attention. And their pitch sounds kinda familiar --

"The local advertising universe is incredibly fragmented. And our core competency since day one has been organizing fragmented sources of content and information by location. So, we spent the first part of our life doing that around content..... And we build hyper-local and neighborhood focused sections for lots of publishers across the country and we are now starting to do the same thing for local advertisers by bringing all of the disparate channels together in a way that makes conversion and success happen for those advertisers. "

The local space has gotten VERY crowded in that just the past year but that hasn't stopped or DataSphere from continuing to forge ahead encroaching on the same space from slightly different directions.