Monthly Archives: March 2010Blog

Cablevision-ABC Standoff Result of Shifting Audiences

The recent blackout of ABC’s programming in the New York area can be chalked up to a shifting of audiences from broadcast to Internet, a trend that’s been underway for several years. “As the broadcast networks are less able to get advertising revenue, they’re turning to the cable guys to make up for that shortfall,” states Todd Mitchell, an analyst with Kaufman Brothers Lp, as quoted in a recent Newsday article. Ad dollars are in short supply because TV audiences have found other options for their time, especially growing Internet use.

It’s the same trend that has hurt the print industry, record sales, DVD sales and other businesses that offer physical products that can also be delivered digitally. Consumers have shown they prefer their entertainment, information and connections to be digital. Even telecoms will have to face the fact that Internet telephony is a preferred option for many consumers. TV programmers must eventually follow suit as well.

But in the meantime, according to the Newsday article, we can expect more of these inconveniences as yet another business, built on an outdated model, tries to defy reality and force its market to stand still. Do these companies really believe they can continue holding customers hostage? Consumers, who vote with their dollars, will have the final say — something that the  iTunes store has already proven when it comes to digital goods.

Read full article: http://bit.ly/dgb94E [subscription required]

Web Video Is Still a Mess

It looks like no one can agree on what is the best way to deliver video over the web. Why is this important? Because with ubiquitous fast connections and processors, video is the preferred medium online for entertainment and in many cases, information. If a picture is worth a thousand words, and a sound is worth a thousand pictures, then video is … well, you  get the idea. If this weren’t so, TV and movies would not be at the center of the entertainment universe. And because these media can be delivered digitally, the Internet is the natural means of bringing them to consumers (which equates to big business).

So what do those who have the  power to establish the standards that will enable everyone to benefit from video online do? Fight with each other, of course, since it’s much more important to own the  whole pie than to create a level field for all to compete on. So the battle continues.

First, it was Real vs. QuickTime vs. Windows Media. Then Flash stepped in and, by virtue of YouTube’s adoption and the ubiquity of the Flash plug-in, became the de facto web video standard. Today, it’s Flash vs. H.264 (which plays without plug-ins in browsers via HTML 5). So what’s the problem? In brief, Adobe wants to own the world of web video and Apple doesn’t like this. Nor does Microsoft, which has it’s own designs on web media domination with its Silverlight technology. H.264 is owned by several patent holders who can’t agree on anything, especially royalties, and the Firefox and Opera browsers support a format that few have heard of (Ogg Theora – ugh).

We can only hope  that this all resolves quickly, as the format war between Blu-Ray Disc and HD-DVD did in recent years. But according to this article from Webmonkey, that doesn’t appear to be likely. So in the meantime, keep that Flash plug-in handy (but not if you own anything made by Apple …)

Full article: http://bit.ly/cgxcSu

Twitter: Is It For Posters or Followers?

Interesting: according to this CNNMoney report, upwards of 73% of Twitter users have posted less than 10 times! It’s hard to include this site in the social phenomenon when the majority of its 50MM users are not contributing.

But there is tremendous interest in following on Twitter, and speculation is that the site is evolving into more of a news feed than a social platform. Of course, if everyone you’re interested in hearing from is posting on Twitter that’s reason enough to have an account. But does this mean that the site will soon become just another broadcast medium for the media elite?

Full article: http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/10/technology/twitter_users_active/index.htm

The Three Most Important SEO Factors

In the current economy, SEO (search engine optimization) and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and the like) are all the rage. Justifiably so. But for the most part, people are interested for the wrong reasons, ie: many tend to think it’s a free or cheap way to making big money on the Internet. Yes, it’s far cheaper than most traditional marketing methods, but  it’s far from free! In fact, a solid commitment of time and financial resources is required for success in these venues, just as it is in any other worthwhile arena.

Still, there are many things that a website owner can do to improve their search rankings — if not become “number one on Google,” as the spam pitches promise. And some of the easiest to implement can also begin providing marked results. That’s the point of this article from ClickZ.com, which shares three simple but effective SEO tips that you can put to use right away.

1: Use Your Key Phrase in Your Title

2: Use the Target Key Phrase in the Body Copy

3: Cross Link Your Pages Using the Target Key Phrases

Sound interesting? Check out the entire article for details, try the techniques and then see how your site does in Google over the next several weeks.

Full article: http://www.clickz.com/3636405