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Feb 16 2006
Video Launch Roundup
Here is yet another roundup of broadband video channel launches.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Mike Boland at  17:41 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 16 2006
Will The Olympics Go the Way of Live 8?
This USA Today piece explains that Olympics video content is perfect for online distribution. Much like the Live 8 event that AOL covered online to much acclaim, the Olympic games are filled with simultaneous events that happen sometimes on the other side of the globe. Some events only appeal to niche audiences � like the biathlon � and some viewers want to watch entire events rather than chopped-up retrospectives of each day�s events interspersed with montages, inspirational segments and Bob Costas.

So with the recent explosion in demand and media coverage of Web-delivered video, why don't we have all the Olympic events streamed Live 8 style to our desktops? (Some clips and highlights are currently available on nbcolympics.com, and live streaming video is available only in France and the U.K.) Well, NBC's broadcast rights compel the network to protect its television advertising. Remember, Live 8 rights were divided between AOL and MTV. And AOL had no conflict or worry of cannibalizing an offline channel or business model � only that of MTV, which of course belongs to a different media empire.

As an aside, CBS has made an interesting move along these lines by announcing it will webcast NCAA tournament games (perfect content for Internet distribution because of simultaneous games and all the other reasons stated above), despite the fact that it is the very network that will carry (and always has) the television rights. We blogged about it here.

Back to the Olympics: Comprehensive online coverage would have to happen with either NBC deciding the benefits will outweigh the loss in television viewers/ad dollars (fear of cannibalization) or the rights being restructured to include online and offline channels � a la Live 8. The latter is more likely, as it could bring the Olympics more money in rights distribution, but it won't happen until 2012 when NBC's current contract expires.

When that day comes, all the curling and biathlon fans out there can look forward to watching their events in their entirety and on demand. The pull aspect to this kind of viewing will also allow for better targeting and local advertising opportunities than is available from an NBC broadcast.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Mike Boland at  16:51 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 16 2006
Yahoo! Search Marketing Event
Search Engine Journal covers the upcoming Yahoo Search Marketing Searchlight Awards in N.Y. The program is highlighting the innovative work of agencies that have combined traditional campaigns with search marketing.

I'll be racing from the Newspaper Association of America show in Orlando to N.Y. to be one of the "industry expert panelists" at the Yahoo! event. I was somewhat surprised and flattered to be asked to be on the panel. It promises to be interesting and fun.

YSM's Ron Belanger, the organizer, likened the format of the event to "American Idol," though I'm sure it won't be as acerbic.



Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  14:00 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 16 2006
Office Live to Offer Free SME Sites
Like Yahoo! before it, Microsoft is now offering free basic Web sites to local/small businesses.

I haven't set one up so I don't know how "robust" it is compared with what Yahoo! offers. It's pretty clearly a kind of "foot in the door" strategy to get SMEs on board.

I've long believed that free Web sites could be an effective channel or way to get small businesses into paid search and other online marketing. It has to be both simple to set up and professional looking. Once the site is established, then there's a potential upsell opportunity.

Web hosting is quickly becoming a commodity business, although switching is painful and inertia (especially at the SME level) probably means there isn't a lot of churn.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  13:31 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 16 2006
Podcasting and Local Music
SiliconBeat blogs about Podbop, a site that combines podcasting and local. It allows you to hear podcasts of bands that are playing in the local market. One can search by artist or location. The site links to Eventful.com, which provides the venue information.

Local events are a relatively still undeveloped area online � probably a feature or RSS-based feed rather than a stand-alone application or destination in my view. Along those lines Yahoo! not long ago acquired Upcoming.org. And IAC's Evite has pushed into local events as well.

Jambase is another local music events and community site.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  10:47 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 16 2006
MySpace Launches MVNO
MySpace, the supersite for teens, has announced the launch of its own branded "mobile virtual network operator" network. The service and phones will be powered/provided by Helio LLC, which is a joint venture of Earthlink Inc. and South Korean carrier SK Telecom Co. The service will reportedly use the networks of Sprint and Verizon. No specific launch date has been set.

The idea is that teens and others on MySpace can use the phones to access their personal pages and other content on the go.

Like the integration of Google or Yahoo! into forthcoming Motorola handsets, this has the potential to do some very interesting things. If successful (let's wait and see) it could help determine what the effective mobile ad models will be. It could also spur the launch of a 1,001 of these MVNOs, many of which are already in the works. It will also reveal the impact of social networks on mobile devices and could generate an entire range of new, similar applications or at least accelerate their development and deployment.

MySpace is smartly leveraging its hot brand to expand to other areas now, before it has a chance to cool or falter. There's a growing MySpace backlash because of the concern about sexual predators using the site to target teens and young people. This danger, if real, would be considerably exacerbated by a mobile MySpace.

Parents' growing concern/dislike for MySpace is only likely to boost its popularity in the near term, however. It is hard to imagine that MySpace will be as big three or five years from now. But it is possible the site will have "morphed" into something else with greater stability and staying power.



Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  10:05 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 16 2006
Judy's Book Redesigns, Adds 'Structured Blogging'
I'm restraining myself from using the term "Web2.0," which really is on the cusp of cliche status. But Judy's Book has done some very interesting things to its site that if I were comfortable using that term ... might describe some of what they've done.

First, they've redesigned the site in a much more graphically dynamic way. That may disorient some users but it creates a very distinctive look for the site (maps are prominent) and takes it farther away from the realm of directory sites than before. It also differentiates the site from its closest cousin online, InsiderPages.

You can search for dentists or restaurants or hair salons as usual. But the site has also added a significant personalization component, "MyBook." MyBook is a personalized "home page" within JudysBook where users can see their questions, others' questions and recommendations in their area as well as a personal "directory" of local information, including local business contact information. It's the start page when I log in � essentially a blog. I can also upload photos and invite friends, etc. (similar in many respects to Yelp, Tribe or Yahoo! 360).

This change subtly and not so subtly shifts the emphasis of the site from one that is more "utilitarian," where I go to find a plumber or Ethiopian restaurant to something more like an online community where I might be inclined to spend more time and interact more extensively with people regarding things to do, places to go, etc., in my area.

But the clever folks at Judy's Book are mindful that some people already have blogs and so they've adopted an export, structured blogging feature that amounts to a kind of syndication strategy. From the press release:

Recognizing that many online authors already have a traditional blog, Judy�s Book has also made it easy for members to take their Judy�s Book content with them via a new �post to my blog� feature. This optional feature automatically formats Judy�s Book reviews in the hReview microformat, an emerging standard for online reviews, and reposts them to the member�s existing TypePad, LiveJournal, Blogger, or WordPress blog.

That "syndication" approach (also the "interoperability" with all the major blogging platforms) is also reflective of "Web2.0" trends. Syndication has been around forever, but there's an emerging understanding that the decentralized nature of online behavior requires new ways and strategies to reach people where they are rather than always trying to get them to show up at your door or trying to erect so-called "walled gardens," whether visible or invisible, to their use of other systems.

I tell people that every time I expect things to calm down in local, they just keep speeding up. One of the very interesting trends is the marriage of social/community and local, which is a natural of course (online word of mouth). And all the new attention, energy and competition in the space can only lead to consolidation in the near term.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  08:48 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [1]










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