Archive for Nevada

New Media 101

Here’s the link to my presentation from the Nevada Interactive Media Summit today. Thanks for all of you who attended – please let me know how you liked it. I hope you learned a lot.

New Media 101

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More Advertising, Please

I am SO sick of companies thinking that if they give you a taste of content that they’re entitled to blast you with tons of worthless, one-way advertising. Disgusting.

A few times a week, I have to endure receiving the “Neighborhoods” version of the Reno Gazette-Journal in the mail. There are a lot of problems with this publication, despite it not delivering on its promise of news in my area of town. This publication is nothing more than a shell for advertising. In this latest issue, it contained 3 pages of content/articles (and 2 of those three pages contained some advertising), and 214 pages of advertising. I’ll repeat those stats – 3 pages of articles, 214 pages of advertising!!! That’s almost 99% advertising. I know, you’re wondering how the hell that’s possible. I must have my numbers wrong. Nope – I counted three times (I’m careful, plus I often waste my time if I can make a point).

RGJ Neighborhoods

RGJ Neighborhoods

99% Ads

99% Ads

Of the flood of ads I received in my newspaper, how many were relevant to me? Who knows? I don’t. I typically throw this whole package away because I know that I am not getting any relevant content in that publication. Advertisers – you are wasting your money! 

It’s no surprise to see that consumers are growing increasingly weary of this kind of “interruption advertising” and turn to communication channels in which they can better control the interaction. Yes, I’m talking about everybody’s favorite hot topic – social media. Sadly, advertisers are already in full stride toward the gold rush that is social media, and treating it the same way they’ve abused mass media. This parasitic behavior makes me ill and angry all at once. Some advertisers are  slithering their way into the established communities in different social media channels, and treating it like their own “Neighborhoods.” Are they giving members of their communities valuable content, meaningful conversation or a symbiotic relationship? Nope. They treat it as a new place to put their ads (and advertisements take many forms). I am warning advertisers again, that you should treat social media like this only if you want to fail. 

You think you’re participating in social media? Re-examine that notion – because if you’re not “playing by the new rules,” you will fail. Have you created a blog and are simply posting your press releases there? Fail. Maybe you created a Facebook page – but is there any community interaction other than you blasting out promotional messages? Fail. Maybe you have a Twitter account so that you can syndicate your blog entries of your press releases. Fail. Are your YouTube videos nothing more than advertisements (be honest)? Fail. I encourage diversification of your presence in social media – but you have to think differently in this arena. It’s not another advertising platform. It’s a community-based form of communication. If I invited you over to my house for dinner, and all you talked about was how Cinnamon Toast Crunch was $2.95, or that your new pickup truck had 250 horsepower or some other way I should come spend money with you… I would never invite you over ever again. Please understand the analogy here.

So – anybody who is putting out content – be it in publications or in social media – evaluate your communications. How much of it is promotional? Don’t let it be 99%. Not even close.

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This is Why You’re Fat

Corndog Pizza (thisiswhyyourefat.com via flickr)

Corndog Pizza (thisiswhyyourefat.com via flickr)

I came across this outstanding blog called This is Why You’re Fat, which asks people to submit photos of food they find that is just blatantly unhealthy. I’ll admit, some of the food on this blog made me really hungry (like the 60-pound Rice Krispy Treat, or the Corndog Pizza). Most of the foods included bacon (Wolfy, there’s a lot of new recipes for you to try).

But, after getting through six pages of fat-laden foods, it really made me think about the people eating these foods. Now, I’ve never counted calories in my entire life, but it can be pretty obvious which foods are healthy, and which aren’t. Americans are among the most obese people in the world. Part of the reason for this is sedentary lifestyle, part of it is diet. It’s kind of scary. I tapped into some research – some of the visual results are below. One is a chart of the U.S. that breaks out the percentage of obese adults in each state. The other is an animated gif that shows the progression of obesity in the U.S. since 1985 (you may have to click the image to get it to the animated version). 

I’ll keep checking the blog to marvel at the kinds of things that people are eating. But, jeez – something’s gotta change if we’re ever going to reverse this obesity epidemic in the United States.

Fattest States 2008 (calorielab.com)

Fattest States 2008 (calorielab.com)

Obesity in US 1985-2006 (Wikipedia)

Obesity in US 1985-2006 (Wikipedia)

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