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No Justice October 31, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Fox cancels “King of the Hill” and keeps “American Dad?” Best family sitcom for some time now, even though it’s animated and the brainchild of Beavis & Butthead. Hank Hill will be missed.

How Not to Make the Silicon Alley 100 October 31, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Sigh. A bad, bad year. I didn’t make the Silicon Alley Insider 100 this year. (I did, mysteriously, in 2007.) And here I thought being kinder to Henry Blodget was a surefire guarantee. Well, the heck with that.

Blind Leading the Blind
Blodget on Martha Concludes
Is Henry Blodget Still a Moron?
But Is Henry Blodget Any More Rational?
Where Technology Really Comes From

Geek “Cred” Gag October 28, 2008

Posted by David Card in Microsoft.
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Gee, am I the only one making “Azure, I knew Big Blue, and you’re no Big Blue” gags? (search comments). Where are the other geezer commentators?

Rating the Ratings October 28, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Oh come now, you’re telling me SNL and Mad Men are not on the most talked about list on social networks? Mad Men might be an insider thing, but there must be a slip if Saturday Night Live’s Ms. Maverick clips aren’t rating.

TechCrunch bit on Networked Insights’ “nielsens” for social network buzz.

JupTakes on Surviving the Downturn October 24, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Some Jupiter research relevant to thriving during economic turmoil. Not sure why we’ve linked to my link to a Cramer rant. Must be the algorithm…

And there’s more to come, so check back shortly.

Expose Facebook Apps Now! October 22, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Alleyinsider continues to bemoan Facebook’s redesign that makes it much harder to find apps. Its solution is bookmarking. Here’s a better one, that my colleague Emily Riley proposed over a year ago. Why is there no app marketplace with a keyword bidding system a la paid search? Sure, that’s “payola,” but payola in a liquid, transparent marketplace (especially with some relevance policing)is a good thing. And Facebook could even make a little money!

Cute slotMusic Player: Nice Gift; Won’t Save Industry October 22, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I’m still not sold on microSD cards as the next-gen physical medium for music that will save physical retailers — there won’t be a next-gen physical medium — but I’ve got SanDisk’s slotMusic player in hand, and it’s a cute little device.

slot_music_player.jpg

With a suggested retail price of $20 (with no memory card, ouch) you can configure a 2GB model for less than half the price of a comparable iPod Shuffle. And it’s still cheaper than the entry model Shuffle. Artist-branded models come with an album of DRM-free MP3s plus extra goodies on a 1GB card and a USB sleeve so you can get your music off and on even old PCs, for $35.

The player puts out great sound and has a solid feel (it’s a little hefty). It’s easy to use, though I miss shuffle mode — a lot — and I had no problems dragging my own MP3s onto it, in contrast to a lot of cell phones I’ve seen in the past. The packaging is attractive and you can even get album liner notes. Wal-Mart and BestBuy should be stocking them by now.

One of SanDisk’s target audiences is the “surprisingly high number” of people who use a portable music player, but don’t program it. In fact, our latest music survey shows that 30% of online adults regularly use an MP3 player, yet only 23% say they maintain a digital music collection on their PC. SanDisk thinks slotMusic will play with tech-averse grownups, while appealing to savvier kids due to microSD compatibility with cell phones.

I don’t think the slotMusic player will be a huge hit among the exercise crowd, but it’s a no-brainer gift at the low end, and the branded models should be fun gifts for fans. Worst case, they keep the music and the microSD card.

Lala Innovates with Latest Digital Music Offering October 21, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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This is, what, business model version three or four? Enough obligatory snark. Lala‘s latest offering is a new twist on the jukebox in the sky, with some aggressive and attractive price points. For 10 cents, you can “own” any single for streaming forever; $1 for most albums. If you want to take that song or album with you, you can apply your online only payment towards a DRM-free MP3 purchase.

Some observations:

– Lala’s signed the four major labels and a lot of indies, so, eventually, its catalog should be good.
– Lala’s paying something close to webcast royalties for the streaming rights, so its model depends a little on “breakage” (you know, like a gym membership some customers don’t use much) and a lot on digital retail upsells.
– There’s very little margin in digital music retail, but Lala makes you prepay, so at least it minimized the damage of individual flat-rate per transaction credit card fees.
– Presumably it can support this model till licensing makes sense and the industry figures out what works.
– You can upload your own collection and have it streamed back to you. That process takes a painfully long time in my brief experience with the service, but in theory it offers convenience and will train users to embrace the streaming jukebox.

Lala says it’s not aiming for the niche aficionado Rhapsody or Napster customer, but if its catalog improves it’s something of a threat. I wish Lala had more to say about social media, money to spend on marketing, and a supplementary advertising revenue angle, but the product offers a consumer pitch with a real sit-up-and-take-notice price. A great way to try before you buy.

TechCrunch likes.

News Corp. on New Media October 16, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Some good bits in Paidcontent’s summary of News Corp. COO Peter Chernin’s comments at TV Week’s Innovation 360 conference.

We dont look at Hulu as a replacement for TV. We look at it as a replacement for reruns. We dont rerun most of our reality shows

Chernin also compares MySpace’s more media-like approach with what he thinks Facebook is doing. (I tend to agree.) Jupiter report on Internet TV cannibalism, and an oldie but goodie on social networks as media (more to come shortly on that topic).

Sleeping with the “Enemy”? October 9, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Am I nuts? Or just ridiculously old-fashioned? This bugs the heck out of me. Is it really a good idea for so many journos to acknowledge that they vacation with people they write about on a regular basis?

Cyprus Lip Dub – Don’t Stop Believing from Brittany Bohnet on Vimeo.