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28 posts from July 2006

Adult Entertainment Leads the Way, as Usual

Well, there they go. And if you want to see pictures you can go to (They don't need a link from my site.)

Revolution: Maxim plans to expand readership with Mobizine Launch, 2006-Jul-20, by Danielle Long

Maxim, which is published by Dennis Publishing, has teamed up with Refresh Mobile to develop the Mobizine edition, which allows its 186,000 readers to view a "snack-sized" version of the magazine on their mobile phones.

WebComics Explode Barriers

Em_10 Advertising in comic books used to be pretty limited, but a new generation of cartoonists are working in Web Comics, using the low barriers to enter a mind-boggling number of spaces. On Wired News, Randy Dotinga interviews comics historian Scott McCloud and they do an excellent job of surveying today's landscape and speculating about what could come.

McCloud is concerned that if mobile phone carriers start distributing comics they could confine the format and subject matter, but I think comics are ideal for the cell phone screen and I don't know why there wouldn't be mainstream cell phone comics like what we see in the newspapers today and the wild adventurous territory of the internet for exploring new ideas.

060724a Wired News: Mr. Comics Talks Comics, by 2006-Jul-21, by Randy Dotinga

Wired News: What's next for comics?

McCloud: Hopefully many, many things. This trend of diversification, balkanization, mutation, the creation of new genres and new markets -- I hope it will continue. If it does, comics will take their place alongside other popular media as a form capable of presenting virtually any idea in any style to any audience.

Valuable and Underemployed Journalists

Em_9 If the idea of a "corporate blog" makes your stomach ache (and if you understand the obligations, it ought to), then maybe you want to serve your customers a different way. Underemployed journalists are looking for projects and more and more of them are establishing their own online publications, like Om Malik, Rafat Ali, and Nina Munk. These ventures don't require much start up capital, especially if you want to be sole sponsor. You'll need to negotiate who holds the copyright in advance.

060724 NY Times: A Sideline That Competes With a Byline, 2006-Jul-24, by David Carr

Content may or may not be king, but it’s mighty valuable. Journalists, who know a thing or two about its creation, are beginning to build sites that help them maintain custody of the content and, if all goes well, reap the rewards.

Hewlett-Packard's Three Pillars of Holistic Service

Ce_9 In their effort to strengthen customer relationships, Hewlett-Packard reorganized everyone who contacts the customer into the same part of the company to achieve three goals

  • Engage the customer leveraging the full strength and knowledge of the organization
  • Make the customer experience integrated and consistent throughout the cycle from awareness to disposal and repurchase
  • Create clear accountability and operational transparency over who is responsible to the customer.

060720a 1to1 Magazine: The Three Pillars of Holistic Service, 2006-May/June, by Eric Krell

Two years ago we reinvented the way the company organized all the corporate functions that interface with customers and resale partners. The effort created the e-business, customer, and sales operations (ECO) organization, which consolidates Internet and marketing services, volume direct operations, sales operations, channel replenishment operations and order management, customer knowledge management and analytics, and content and product data management under one umbrella to provide a holistic view of the customer.

Janet Jackson Relinquishes Control to Fans

Cb_7 Impressed by artwork posted by her fans, Janet Jackson has announced a contest for designing the cover of her upcoming album. Four winners will be chosen and their designs printed for the first million copies (250,000 each?). Once their proposal has been submitted, fans are encouraged to invite their friends to come and see the contest. Sounds like fun to me.

060719c News on Yahoo! Music: Janet Jackson Wants Fans to Design New Album Cover, 20006-Jul-18, by Billy Johnson Jr

Janet does not give participants any parameters for their designs. She wants them to be uninhibited and to "go for it." "That's what it's really about," Janet says, "for them to manipulate it and get creative, and go wherever their images takes them." To enter the contest, contestants should visit:

Leveraging Communities to Reduce Risk

Cb_6 What fascinates me about the new movie studio Fox Atomic (a venture of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which also bought MySpace) is the way they are trying to connect with their audience in a broad variety of ways, reducing the risk and opening up for many inexpensive experiments. They are targeting 17- to 24-year-olds. They have transferred over Peter Rice (Napoleon Dynamite) to run the division. They are buidling a web site with a broad variety of content. They are publishing graphic novels. And you can expect them to use their web audience to find and test ideas for movies.

060719 Fox Atomic Aims to Be Web Crash Pad, 2006-Jul-19, by Kate Kelly

"The more someone feels that a film is for them, the more likely they are to go," says Jim Gianopulos, co-chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment. "So Fox Atomic is designed, in a manner parallel to Searchlight, to find a different kind of specialized film, and market it in a specialized manner."

Customer Advisory Boards Work

Companies often drag their heels when they know they need to establish a customer advisory board or brand community. Here's some statistics that can help the medicine go down.

Inside 1to1: Pfizer, British Airways Personalize Loyalty, 2006-Jul-17, by Christoper Helm

Some companies are starting to make inroads to a deeper customer connection. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, for example, built up a 50,000-member community of "Advocates" and "Super Advocates" to engage influencers and generate customer dialog. Members take part in interactive online insight/discovery sessions and they receive early product announcements, newsletters, and coupons tailored to their preferences. Pfizer found that consumers in the Advocate community purchase 20 percent more products and recommend Pfizer three times more than general consumers.