I've certainly been gone for a while.
After a great bloodletting at the agency I was working for, I'm now out on my own - and spending most of my time trying to get a new business going.
While it's still not really ready for public viewing, a small site is up - and I've committed to get back in here and post some more cool stuff for marketers.
MediaOnTwitter's mission is simple: It's a geographically organized list of
"Journalists, Bloggers & Media Outlets on Twitter"
Another list, referenced at MediaOnTwitter:
And another: http://www.twellow.com/category_users/cat_id/50
These sites could be gold for anyone attempting to create a 21st-century online press center. Obviously any PR department should be following all the relevant journalists - now, how about a tool to aggregate their tweets, organized by relevance to your agenda? Sort of like LinkedIn's "Company Buzz" application (discussed here) but more focused on professional journalists...
Would someone get on that please?
Here's a link to Virtual Greats, with a blurb about the company:
Virtual goods represent a $1.5 billion global market. Virtual Greats is the first company to create a platform to bring high-value, copyrighted material into virtual worlds and social networks. We are the world's leading virtual goods sales and distribution system, connecting celebrities, artists and content creators with a new generation of fans through the online trade of likenesses, fashion, catchphrases, and other virtual representations of real-world talent.
These folks came to my attention because of a post on the Millions Of Us blog. I'm quoting this extensively because the link from my reader is returning a 404:
Virtual Greats launches Snoop Dogg/ Tila Tequila Virtual Goods with Rockyou’s Super Pets in Myspace and Facebook
from Millions of Us by Reuben
I am so excited about this news from our sister company Virtual Greats for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is the first time we’ve extended premium virtual goods into virtual worlds running within the world’s largest social networks.
For those of you not up to speed, Super Pets is a virtual pet experience that allows you to adopt a pet, train it and battle it against your friends’ pets. Within Facebook, Super Pets has 417, 000 monthly Active Users and within Myspace, it has 4.5 million monthly Active Users. One of the challenges brands had in being sucessful in Second Life was that while the monthly active population was large (and the time per user, enormous), there was no good way to get in front of all those users. Well, in Facebook with Superpets we’re now in front of an audience half as large as Second Life, and in Myspace, in front of one 4.5 times bigger than Second Life.
As for what we’re selling, we’re starting simple with items like winter hoodies for your pet that say Snoop’s cathcphrase, “Drop It Like it’s Hot” (you can see one on my avatar below, styled as a raccoon as a nod of the hat to my man Loic LeMeur and his Seesmic Logo.
So now I'm wondering - is Millions of Us moving away from being a mostly Second Life oriented shop?
Here's a convenient little app from LinkedIn - it watches Twitter and catches tweets referencing keywords associated with your profile (companies, schools, etc.)
Company Buzz is an application that allows you to see what people are saying about companies and topics you care about. Company Buzz uses information from your profile such as companies and schools to find relevant discussions on twitter. Company buzz also shows you how frequently your company or topic has been mentioned and the top words associated with your company and the topic. You may add new topics and customize existing topics with new search terms to get just the results you are interested in.
(Marginally) more info here.
Over at Social CMS Buzz, there's an intriguing list of sites built on Drupal - some of which I wouldn't have guessed (Mission Metallica? Looks like custom Flash all the way to my eyes).
Social CMS Buzz article
Here's a link to Drupal founder Dries Buytaert's more extensive - and more informative - list.
MIT Advertising Lab has interesting commentary on Burger King's use of video games. Here's a quote:
Burger King ... made the decision to sell the games at $3.99, an extremely low price for disc-based (as opposed to downloadable) Xbox games but, as it turned out, a potentially much better price than “free.”
By choosing to charge even a small sum, Burger King seems to have sent a message to consumers that its games had real value, unlike other advergames they might have played and been disappointed by in the past. Burger King further supported the games with a strong marketing campaign that included advertisements shown during Saturday Night Live and during NFL games. All this sent a very clear message to consumers: “There is something of value waiting for you at Burger King.”
This is actually one of a series of articles abstracting the book Changing the Game: How Video Games Are Transforming the Future of Business
MIT AdLab article Part 1
Here's a post on Flash banner ads that hijack your clipboard, and won't let go until you've restarted your browser (or your OS, depending on who's talking...): http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=1733
And here's the thread on Apple's support boards - seems the first user to publicize this was on a Mac:
The folks at Yahoo - who own Flickr - have asked a few of their Flickr users for permission to turn their kitty photos into emoticons for the Yahoo Messenger.
Here's a link to some of the results: Yahoo Messenger blog
Here's a reaction from one of the photographers (I have reason to know she's thrilled):
Tunie is Famous!! "Talk to the Paw" Emoticat™ Icon released today!
This is an interesting twist on CGM - pull consumer-generated media from your user base (it helps if your user base is photographers :-) rather than waiting for it to be pushed to you, and meet the consumer half-way (in this case by providing illustration talent). Wonder if they did this with any other classes of photo, or is it just cat pix?
Apparently this is to support a chat environment called Emoticats - more here.
Here's where to get the Yahoo chat client.
Thanks to Rob Webber for this one:
CNN has this AP writeup on the growth of online ordering for the pizza business - focusing on Papa John's, but also mentioning Domino's and Pizza Hut.
Amazingly, Papa John's has made $1 Billion in sales online:
The nation's third-largest pizza delivery chain trumpeted the $1 billion milestone Wednesday, noting that its U.S. online sales have been growing at an average clip of more than 50 percent per year. In 2001, the chain's online sales totaled $20.4 million. Last year, its online sales approached $400 million.
"It took us seven years to reach our first billion in online sales, and at our current pace and growth rate it will take us less than three years to hit our next billion," said Jim Ensign, vice president of marketing communications at Papa John's.
Pizza Hut, the nation's biggest pizza chain, also allows customers to order via text messaging and mobile Web. The unit of Yum Brands Inc. soon will unveil a new method for ordering pizzas, dubbed "Pizza Hut Shortcut," that it says will be the fastest in the industry. Customers will be able to download a "widget" onto their computers that will let them place their favorite pizza orders with just one click.