Archive for the 'Media' Category

The Ignorance Of The Crowds: IMDB Gets Dark Knighted

Dark Knight was a great movie, But nowhere near the greatest movie of all time. (Brando v. Ledger is no contest.) That’s what Dark Knight fanboys on IMDB have rated it. They have also voted down The Godfather from its perch at #1 to move Dark Knight to the top.

Yesterday I noted new forms of crowdsourcing in the planning of a restaurant. The IMDB example shows how the “wisdom of the crowds,” a key tenet for many Web 2.0 companies, is a system that can still be gamed. The out-of-control crowd was most famously seen in the Digg-DVD code affair.

<via CNET>


Clicks to Bricks and Mortar: Crowdsourcing A Restaurant

The Washington Post has a story on a restaurant that is attempting to crowdsource a restaurant, from the interior design, to the concept, to the name.

Newspapers, radio shows, NASA projects and inventions of all kinds have been crowdsourced, so why not a restaurant? The term “crowdsourcing” was coined by Jeff Howe.

See also: Web 2.0 really.

Printcasting Offers Hybrid Web/Print Publishing (And Ad Targeting)

To follow up on yesterday’s post about a custom-targeted print ad model, Jason Preston at Eat Sleep Publish points out one fledgling example of this already in existence. He interviews Dan Pacheco of Printcasting, a service of the Bakersfield Californian.

Printcasting provides micro Web sites on hyper local or highly niche topics. So far it’s being used in neighborhood and ethnic-specific publications. Users also have the option to print out the PDF of that week’s issue. The PDF includes custom targeted ads based on interests or demographics. (Can we also hope for behavioral targeting as well that would place print ads based on each person’s Web browsing experience? That online/offline combination would be really interesting.)

Printcasting is also available for bloggers and in theory would allow bloggers, publishers and Printcasting to share in the ad revenue.

Targeted Ads in Print: A New Revenue Source For Media Companies?

The launch of Sojern today, a service for placing targeted ads on airline boarding passes, raises an interesting question. Could targeted ads be a new revenue source in newspapers, magazines, or other print journalism?

Targeted ads are most well known for online ads, where they can be placed in front of a user based on past Web sites browsed–behavioral targeting–or based on what the user is doing at the moment–contextual targeting–for example, searching for shoes brings up shoe ads. There is also demographic and geographic targeting. A variety of studies show the boost in user interest with these various forms of targeting.

However, targeted print ads are more difficult to pull off. Setting aside national print magazines or national newspapers that are large enough to run different ads for different geographic regions, most newspapers and magazines have not been able to create targeted ads. Once you set an ad in a publication and it runs in print, that’s it.

One example of successful targeted (contextual) print ads is Catalina Marketing, which provides coupons on the back of receipts at the point of sale. Based on what you buy, you get different ads. Sojern is just starting out but the idea is similar. Based on what destination you are going to, as well as your budget–e.g. economy vs. first class ticket–different ads and content appear on your boarding pass, from weather info to restaurants and events.

Could newspapers or magazines implement a similar idea? While it’s clear that newspapers are moving further into digital and there is a need for rethinking models of publishing and distribution, there are still many print publications. If one were to design a newspaper (or magazine) from scratch, what type of ads would one design? Ads targeted so that home delivery newspapers or magazines have ads targeted to that specific geography, lifestyle or demographic of that household, which would bring in much higher ad rates. I’m sure this would require an expensive (maybe impossible) rebuilding of the entire printing process. But since many newspapers have cut way back on the number of print pages, wouldn’t it make sense to make those ads that are there worth more?

Maybe this only makes sense if you are talking about a print-out-your-custom-newspaper-at-home model. It especially makes sense in that case, in the way Sojern prints targeted based on destination, newspapers could offer extremely targeted ads along with the 5 stories a person wanted to take with him or her on the subway to work.

A Virtual Newsroom?

Duke University’s Idealab has an interesting post on the future of the newsroom. Will it be a virtual newsroom, as one venture capitalist suggested to the San Jose Mercury-News’ Chris O’Brien?

With all the problems facing newspapers these days–from Google News on one side to Craigslist on the other–newspapers are clearly in the future going to be more and more on a digital platform and less and less rolled up and tossed onto someone’s lawn. So will the newsrooms that produce the stories also be distributed and connected digitally? Many growing Silicon Valley tech blogs already run remotely with writers and editors spanned across the globe, communicating over IM and email, and rarely even meeting in person.  

The journalists at Duke have an interesting discussion going. Having been at a newspaper, I’d have to agree with those who say that there’s nothing like the camaraderie of a newsroom and the buzz of electricity that runs through it when a big story hits and everyone in the room knows it and feeds off of each other, getting that night’s issue out the door.