Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why scary stories have universal appeal

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

This article in the Financial Times looks at the timeless appeal of scary stories. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

NEW Myspace …quite a place for transmedia entertainment and cross-media marketers

Myspace relaunched this week as an entertainment platform that now puts content, not people, center stage. Facebook, with its half billion registered users, may have won the race for social network dominance, but judging by this video tour of Myspace's new format, the site could reemerge as an online entertainment powerhouse.

Myspace's new multimedia platform is especially timely considering developments in transmedia entertainment, which breaks storylines into parts and artfully delivers them across multiple media channels. Viewers enjoy a rich and immersive experience when these channels converge, say on a dedicated website ... like the new Myspace. Mobile applications make it possible to view mashed up content on iPad and smartphones. 

NBC's hit TV series Heroes is a model for transmedia storytelling, the central TV story made richer with sub-story lines streamed out using video/film, animation/graphic novels, games, music, twitter and forums, etc. –  for convergence on the show’s website. MTV’s latest teen-thriller Savage County works much the same way. 

If NBC and MTV can host transmedia on their own websites, can’t Myspace serve as a destination aggregator of transmedia productions and cross-media entertainment? It's an exciting thought. 
Will commercial sponsors warm up to the new Myspace? Great content and a cleaner, safer social environment will surely help. So does the fact that Myspace still has 122 million registered users worldwide – plus, deep roots in Generation Y who are digitally adept and voracious consumers of entertainment and branded goods. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wi-Fi Direct – Rise in consumer connectivity could be a boon for viral marketing

The Wi-Fi Alliance, which oversees the specifications for Wi-Fi tech applications, has set the stage for greater device-to-device connectivity by certifying products such as, laptops, video game consoles, MP3 players, smartphones, printers, and other peripherals, as Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct.  

Why is this important?  With portable content like photos, videos and music taking center stage in the digital consumer experience, Wi-Fi Direct devices meet an important consumer need: directly and easily connecting devices for content-sharing, syncing, printing, and gaming, anywhere without running wires or connecting to another Wi-Fi network.

Many manufacturers are now shipping models equipped with Wi-Fi Direct, which interfaces with other technologies like Bluetooth. Wi-Fi Direct can also be added to older Wi-Fi radios via a firmware upgrade.

This short video shows why Wi-Fi connectivity is ready for the consumer mainstream - and great for viral marketing. The proliferation of Wi-Fi enabled devices will create a massive audience for original, quasi-commercial content that’s meant to be shared. Branded content can take many forms: music, artwork, narratives, video clips, games, coupons, advocacy/affiliation campaigns, and much more.

The Wi-Fi Alliance cites these compelling trends in consumer connectivity: 

- Consumers are quickly incorporating new technologies into their life.  Wi-Fi will enable ordinary people to integrate their digital tools in sophisticated, seamless ways 

- Wi-Fi makes content-sharing personal, dynamic and instantaneous. An estimated 82 million Wi-Fi enabled portable consumer electronics and 216 million Wi-Fi enabled handsets will come on to the market this year, with annual growth projected at 26 percent through 2014. Wi-Fi apps for portable devices will grow at a 50 percent annual rate

- Wi-Fi connectivity is inherently social. In the United States, 64 percent of young people report that Wi-Fi  connectivity helps them maintain relationships with their friends. Moreover, young Americans also report they often gather around devices for entertainment, with about 90 percent of people reporting they have gathered around a portable device to look at pictures, videos, or video games.

- Content is being amassed and it's increasingly portable. It's estimated that American youth now carry about 1,100 songs, 50 videos, and 1,200 photos on digital devices
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