02 12 / 2011
With ereaders on the rise, everyone’s wondering what the future holds for printed books. Barnes and Noble’s sales are declining, with their biggest drop at their college stores (this fall in college revenue could be a big threat). This article questions whether or not Barnes and Noble will survive “the coming book-pocalypse.”
There are three things that B&N will need to work on in order to make it. That’s ereaders, the love of paper books, and being able to survive the paperless tipping point that will come when books just aren’t available in paper form. They need to be great at all three of those things to make it to the next stage in the evolution of text.
B&N does have the Nook, and an online book store that rivals Amazon, so they’ve got those things going for them.
We know that our generation loves physical books, but will the next one? If not, this could harm B&N.
The big question we’re left with is: does this economic data point to the end of B&N stores in the next half decade or in the next year?
We’ve debated this topic in class, and while I think books will always be around, it’s hard to say how popular they actually will be in the future. Will they just become a fun artifact to collect?
18 11 / 2011
With the recent launch of Kindle Fire, it’s expected that there might still be some bugs to work out. Some users are reporting issues with wifi reception, and others say that the device shuts off its wireless when you turn the display off (If you’re listening to something like internet radio this is obviously a big problem).
Many commenters on Amazon’s support forums are reporting spotty connectivity, disconnections, or an inability to connect in the first place. Others report that the issue can be fixed by tweaking settings on the router.
It’s not clear how many devices are actually affected. While Amazon will probably soon be working to make this right, it’s still a pain to have these troubles at launch.
We’ve been discussing eBook readers in class, and while no one in our class actually owns one, I think with these new launches they’ll be on the rise (considering these initial problems can be fixed quickly).
11 11 / 2011
KinderTown is a newly launched app store for parents- it’s a collection of kid-friendly apps that have been deemed to have “substantial educational value” for kids three to six years old. The store’s apps are compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
In class we’ve already discussed our concerns about young kids over-using things like iPads, and how so many children these days know more about how to use iPads than real tactile things like magazines. These apps are designed for kids ages 3-6, so it doesn’t seem like this trend is slowing down. We’ve also discussed how tech-based toys that claim to be more educational can often times hinder a child’s creativity development. So I’m curious to see, down the road, if this generation of tech-rised kids are affected somehow by this.
05 11 / 2011
This article from the New York Times discusses how Google is changing their search algorithm to make results more “timely.” This is in acknowledgement that some searches were producing outdated results. It’s one of the biggest tweaks to Google’s search algorithm, affecting about 35% of all searches.
Google has recognized that services like Twitter and Facebook have trained people to expect constant updates with seconds-old news. People are using the Web more as a real-time news feed now, and Google needs to keep up with that fast pace.
Google tried once before to create real-time search, in 2009, when it introduced google.com/realtime, a service that incorporated Twitter posts that Google paid Twitter to use. But that contract expired in July and the two companies couldn’t agree on terms to renew it, so Google disabled the site.
This new algorithm improvement is designed to better understand how to differentiate between different kinds of searches (if you’re looking for year-old links, week-old, seconds-old, ect.) and the level of “freshness” you need. It uses a new Web indexing system called Caffeine, which crawls the Web more quickly, updating Google’s index of Web sites continuously instead of every couple of weeks. These revisions change how Google ranks those links now that it has them in its index.
In class we’ve discussed how Google functions, and how it uses algorithms to improve search results. I thought this was really interesting. I liked it when Google did have the real-time results, it was very useful so I’m glad they’re trying to improve the freshness of search results again.
29 10 / 2011
YouTube’s announcing that it’s lined up a bunch of new content partners who will be developing shows for the site. The shows will cover everything from sports to comedy to music. Their goal in doing this is to give people more reasons to keep coming back again and again. These shows will start online next month.
What’s interesting is the comparison being made between YouTube and cable. They’re referencing the “defining channels” that were born out of cable (like MTV, ESPN, and CNN) and it’s said that the next generation of these will emerge on YouTube.
So it might not happen right away, but this could be a defining moment in the transition from cable shows to YouTube shows. It’s definitely something to keep an eye out for.
21 10 / 2011
“For universities competing to attract top students, it’s no longer enough to have a glossy brochure and a sleek website.”
Having a strong social media campaign and web presence is essential for colleges to have these days. Many applicants have come to expect it, and the colleges that aren’t meeting expectations are loosing prospective students.
A survey found that 98% of colleges have a Facebook page and 84% have a Twitter account, though some barely update it. But just having these pages isn’t enough. Many colleges are going further and including student-produced videos and blog entries,and regularly updated Twitter feeds and Facebook posts from students and applicants.
Dean Tsouvalas has come up with a ranking system, StudentAdvisor.com’s “Top 100 Social Media Colleges,” which classifies the universities on how well they use social media. First place goes to Johns Hopkins, and among the top ten are The Ohio State University, Louisiana State University, and United States Military Academy at West Point.
“It’s not enough to be satisfied that your school is on Facebook,” Barnes said. “Students will make a judgment about the university if it is not current and responsive online. When their post doesn’t get answered, they are not interested anymore.”
“PR people should not be doing these blogs. Students have an antenna for that,” she said. “If you try to sanitize your blog, students will see right through that.”
I thought this article was really interesting. I checked out the “Top 100 Social Media College” link and while OSU made the top 4 slot, Miami University did not even make the list. Looks like we’ve got to step up our game. Our culture is changing and beginning to expect a strong web presence from these schools. It’s a whole new playing field out there now when it comes to admissions, and if a college is slow to catch on with social media, they could be losing a lot of perspective students.
16 10 / 2011
Companies still spend 38% of advertising funds on television ads and only 1% for online video, but YouTube wants to change that. “We would love YouTube to be a much larger part of brands’ advertising budget and mix in the next year and the future than it is today,” said Lucas Watson, YouTube’s vice president of online video global sales. YouTube took the step of hiring Mr. Watson from Procter & Gamble, former head of digital business strategy, who in June became YouTube’s first vice president of online video global sales. And now YouTube has acquired expertise in consumer-packaged goods, a sector that has been slow to online video advertising. Video ads for one of Procter & Gamble’s brands, Old Spice, were a viral success online last year.
YouTube is willing to experiment with new types of advertising that could never appear on television, Mr. Palmer said, like a live-streamed ad campaign that he is working on, choose-your-own-adventure videos or user-created ads.
We’re learning more about YouTube in class and have now uploaded our own videos at this point. But it’s these kind of homemade videos that might discourage companies from spending a lot of advertising money on online videos. As Mr.Palmer put it, “It’s hard to justify spending millions of dollars running a Web spot that has helicopter shots and explosions when your ad is sitting next to something shot on a two-year-old cellphone.”
But now with things like Google TV getting more popular too, advertising has the opportunity to make some innovative changes (with Google TV, television will also be able to show personalized ads). Ad agencies are only now hiring people with expertise in online video, so online video and advertising still have yet to really grow and reach it’s full potential. Will YouTube be successful in becoming the home for professional online video ads? We’ll have to wait and see.
08 10 / 2011
eMarketer’s current $2.16 billion forecast for 2011 is half of what it projected four years ago (in 2007, estimates for 2011 ranged from $4.3 billion - $10 billion). While online video is huge right now, it doesn’t seem to have met the expectations. This article outlines 9 reasons why: “This isn’t about semantics,” “It starts with YouTube domination,” “User-generated content remains a major driver of volume,” “Lack of transparency,” “Wrong metrics,” “YouTube late to pre-roll party,” “Hollywood is pulling a cobra commander,” “Mobile wild card,” and “Streamlining.” It leaves us with the question of where online video revenues will be in the future.
This article is relevant to class as we continue our video project. We touched a little on user-generated content last class and this article describes how we’re seeing more monetization around user-generated content than ever before. There was an interesting statistic in the article that said it’s estimated that 100 million people will be watching a billion pieces of video content per day!