communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.

5/29/2008

Ronewmedia live blogging 6


Last session on web 2.0

Melanie Shah: on multimedia storytelling
Today's editors' nightmare: multiple sources of information to choose from and readers choose the "best of breed" service not the same (no loyalty) --> one solution is to tell a story.

The best way to tell a story (use media according to their characteristics)
bomb goes off - send a mobile alert
more info on bomb - online
full story live from the scene - TV
all the implications - print
[all of these are interrelated and if they can work together they can create one publishing brand instead of smaller brands]

(online version of newspaper promotes the next day's print edition main story)

Case Study: The Daily Telegraph sends you at the end of articles in the print edition to their www edition to watch movies related to the story;

Page 2 multimedia summary: very popular in Scandinavia: what's on the web, latest podcasts, latest news, latest videos [at this point Twitter went down sniff sniff]
Case Study: VG Tabloid gets a picture from a reader in SE Asia; the picture is of the beginning of the Tsunami - they were the first to break the news that something was happening there
Case Study: Kleine Zeitung, small newspaper asks for pictures from readers about relevant events they miss under the slogan "Let us know what we do not know"
Case Study: 911 call published online to complement a story about someone getting trapped under a car

Audio SlideShows [running out of battery power]

Ronewmedia live blogging 5

Peter Pavic: New Media (biggest publishers in former Yugoslavia)

News is free on the Internet. Content is free on the Internet. Internet is not a new medium it's a new market (wohoooo, someone said something I like)
Advertising online: brand/image based or performance based
gohome - local real estate search engine
mojhej.com - like yahoo answers
Keyword: a multichannel network (smaller players should concentrate on)
Project based advertising: comes out of advertising agencies and very interesting because it creates content but also hard to make something sustainable
He supports network and channels and project based advertising strategies (wohhoooo, he must come from an ad agency)

Val Voicu: about TV getting transferred online (this should be interesting)
later (not)

[left for client meeting but find all necessary info - only ro - at Piticu]

Ronewmedia live blogging 4


About digital communication, yahoo and all that

Darren P. from Yahoo: yahoo.ro means more inventory for advertisers but with more relevant eyes also; creating a sense of community and engaging with players in the market through search, content (relevant UCG made in ro), personalization via YM and localization (other types of communities)

Yahoo Buzz: what is the latest hot content feeding into yahoo.ro; success story for y.ro: relevance and content from advertisers for the eyeballs but also providing insights to link closer

Behavioral targeting from yahoo: what people look at and estimate what they will be looking at next; two types: engagers (categorically defined content but sick around to take it in) and shoppers (just shop around for something they might like); fragmented audiences and how to reach them --> an exchange of selling relevant eyeballs to the advertisers; bidding on exchanges for impressions

yahoo.com mail users may switch to yahoo.ro if they want to

Later: Mihai Fanache from mediacafe, possibly saying the same thing only in Romanian. [mediacafe sells yahoo in Romania] while specific content is delivered via specific sites yahoo delivers all the content in one place (mail, messenger etc)

Ronewmedia live blogging 3

entrepreneurs talking about their products
What makes a product successful is the business like approach and the team; everyone feels that Internet in Romania is in its boom period. Investors are looking for teams and also how the company works and how it can give them exit opportunities.

[conference is also broadcast live on MoneyChannel]

Live blogging from RoNewMedia 2


Jo Groebel - The German Digital Institute

The most powerful force is the community building in Internet - young people don't bother to read newspapers (is he talking with surprise in his voice about web 2.0 :-)?)
We used to think in terms of demographics but this does not apply to online - people are focused on situational needs and moods and that is the answer: provide solutions to situational needs

People tend to overestimate short term innovation and underestimate long term innovation and this is one defining feature of the Internet: in the long term it will get so much better.

Online is about targets that follow kick, emotion, democracy, information processes - the more you can arouse them emotionally he more information they are willing to process

Verbal intelligence on the down and visual intelligence on the up - more attractive is video or images

citizen journalism will not obliterate professional journalism because professionalism will not disappear

Live blogging from RoNewMedia 1


Leon Levitt speaks about aggregation of audits for their publishing products.
We want fresh eyeballs he says when he speaks about the growth of online. Very conscious of local media and not so much of huge national media;
In the online world there is only one stream of revenue and no more because people expect free news (in the US)
Winning the game is based on having a point of view - online is a form of distribution Solely and for that we need to align the business models (huh???)
They use online to break news not the print press - but they need to think what news because the online is a different medium
The online is an integration of the utility and the content because online needs to be helpful
Behavioural targeting is the key to making money but the solution is to treat all publishing audience as the audience of online and to attract them to online while keeping them hooked offline also
The challenges are the "in beta" status: people don't move fast enough within companies
A lot of the page views are single page view and there's a science in making every page a homepage for a lot of other useful information

5/27/2008

Can you say "viral"?

Simple idea: man jumps over car


Follow-up questions:
- is it fake? (tens of shows on American TV attempted to answer this, thousands of youtube users tried to prove it was fake)
- can I do it? (tens of teenagers tried it despite Kobe saying you should not try it at home)



- can another VIP do it? (tens of responses to the video from other players)

- can he jump something even more dangerous? (Kobe jumps over snakes)



and then the story continues:
- did he really do THAT?
- can I do it?
- what else can he jump over?

That's the story of a viral pure and simple. For Nike.
Plus, in one of the TV shows the crew is heard discussing how they had gone and bought the sneakers the next day :-)

5/26/2008

I heart this image




via
[yes, it's that Kevin Roberts of LoveMarks]

twitter useful

if like me you find twitter to be noise, here's an article about some twitts you will want to follow as they offer useful content

"branding in whispers"

Faith Popcorn [I know, cool name huh?] is a futurologist and trend spotter and has been doing extensive work with her company BrainReserve on mapping the 'brain waves' of new generations of Americans mostly. She's recently done an interesting interview with AdAge in which she refers to something called "branding in whispers" meaning that companies should stop yelling out their products' advantages and simply help out people. The argument seems to go that companies should focus most of their activities on adding improvements to their products and the manner in which their consumers interact with them. Interestingly she nominates Nike among the companies which are not doing enough [?]

I think this may be just another way of talking about branded utility and maybe, in the US at least, it will be turning into a trend offline as much as it is a viable theory online.

Read full article here

Accidentally talented


I got a parcel today from a great friend of mine in Brussels who is somewhat of an artist. I thought he was a musician-artist but it turns out he is also a designer-artist as he fully and manually designed the covers and inside of his two CDs which I got as a limited release :-).

I thought they were wonderful so I am posting some pics here [yes, still don't have a camera, waiting for my bday when I was promised one for a present ;P] and also if anyone would like to listen to the albums themselves I am happy to share them with you.

It's truly invigorating to see such wonderful work especially after having to fend off "make that logo bigger" every day of your life :-)

5/25/2008

Thoughts of the evening

The idea of cognitive surplus (details here) is impossible in Romania as long as BMW, VW and Audi keep bringing out new models in every range every season.

For those working with beer clients, the first beer blog here [Brew blog] completely slanted by the fact it is owned by Miller, yet with curiously interesting news mainly about the US market. Must read for non-techie corporate blog example.

Cool analysis of the Yahoo Microsoft debacle here and here

Entrepreneurship

I have spent most of my weekend tinkering with an article I wanted to write about what I have been working on for the past 4 months. Eventually a blog post came out: it is about a small entrepreneurial venture myself and some friends tried to put together and which we eventually messed up completely :-)

I thought that maybe a good way to let go of the regret was to write down some of the things I've learned so I did. You can find the article [only in Ro] on my alternate blog here and I will, in time, translate it and post it here too.

[meanwhile, if this blog starts to look funny from time to time please bear with me as I am trying to migrate it to a template similar to the one on my alternate blog]

5/21/2008

Thanks


Today was a culmination of a couple of really bad months with some substandard decisions. But a couple of things helped. Thanks Cristi for the smoothies [they came in just right] and also thanks Bogdan for the phone call :-)

Also, I must mention the great guys at frufru who helped smoothen down my day with their lovely promo, featured here

5/19/2008

Good books to read


Guy's book "Rules for Revolutionaries" is packed with the best suggestions for further readings.

Here are some I selected:
Donald Norman, The Design of Everyday Things
Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly, from Troy to Vietnam
Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden, The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Profitable Decision Making

[as an interesting aside, the pricing book costs 55 in paperback and 28 in hardback :-) pricing strategy, huh?]

Speaking at AdBreak

I am going to AdBreak to speak about being a jury for the EUROEffies and hopefully not get pulled into some silly RoEffies debate :-)
Wednesday at Music Club.

5/18/2008

Weekend round-up


Some stuff happening over the weekend:

- Toolbox non-TV - I will be doing my evangelism presentation as part of this event; the presentation will also be posted here soon

- a couple of colleagues are thinking of setting up an Effie advisory committee to train jurors into the tricks of Effie case writing - this obviously begs the observation that the Romanian Effies are starting to go down the path of Ad'Or, our own creative festival, today in disgrace from having become a cesspool of ghosts and mis-judging. I find it disheartening that, even with the odds being basically about advertising (!!!), people still like to play these improper games.

- rumors about major agency losing a newly appointed head of Client Service and Strategy to the local branch of a network. To be confirmed Monday.

- am clearly on my way to accomplishing one of this year's resolutions: went planner dog "scouting" and came across this little darling. Unfortunately, he was taken but I am reassured that there are more like him :-) more pics on my flickr page

- Kylie concert was decent (though not exceptional)

- Have realized I need help to make this blog look like something readable so anyone willing to help with the design, I am open to suggestions for fees and such :-)

5/16/2008

Party tonight

Am going to Olimpiadele Comunicarii awards and party tonight. Hope to see you all there.

LATER EDIT: why did they keep advertising all the way at the end? anyway, great to see all the teams there and I really enjoyed the show. Plus, to the team who worked on BRD - truly that was a nutsqueeze brief, so you did great. John O'Groat team, drop a word, would really like to talk to you guys.
:-)

5/15/2008

Help! (LATER: SOLVED)

LATER UPDATE: I love people, someone just sent me a ticket! wohoooo, interesting here I come!


H e Wooden Tag L Bead Letter P
B Uppercase O  Houston, Tx DSC_0117 Wooden Tag D a-sf4 N A

I am forgetful and silly and that is why this year I have not been able to get a ticket for Russell's Interesting2008. So, because I would feel bad to call him directly and ask I am submitting this plea on my blog: PLEASE HELP ME GET AN INTERESTING TICKET! If you have an extra one, know where I can negotiate for one or know someone who's had a stroke and cannot go, I am your girl [bamby eyes]

A less exalted view of advertising

I work in an industry where "exaltation" is a keyword. We get passionate about things regular people couldn't care less. So, somehow, this article written by a CD strikes a chord [sorry, only RO]

Blinterviews - Yahoo has a person in Romania

Now I get why Microsoft has such a hard time with Yahoo, apart from everyone saying the MS are suckers and they should not get their paws on Yahoo.

Yahoo people are extremely difficult negotiators from the bottom up. So it goes with Yahoo's Romanian community manager, Bobby Voicu, whom I have asked a gazillion years ago to answer some questions for me in the blinterviews series [since everyone was head over heel on his being appointed Yahoo Ro community manager]. While bargaining over what to answer and what not, when to answer, what qualifies as Thursday (one nanosecond before 12 still does if the server records it correctly ) a lot of people have asked him bunches of decent questions. Find some of the info here and here.

So, to break the chain of decency here's my flash questionnaire which revealed that, basically, Bobby is a practical man of modesty and exceptionally bad orientation skills when it comes to bowel movements.

Enjoy

Me: What do you do as a regional Yahoo person?
BV: The same as before being a Yahoo. Which many would say is nothing.

Me: What was the hardest question they asked you when you were interviewed?
BV: Where is the toilet? (I had no idea, since we were in Istanbul, in a building I have never been to)

Me: Why does Yahoo stand a chance?
BV: Because they have me.

Me: When do you think Yahoo lost the Yaaaaa and got stuck at the hooo?
BV: Really?

Me: Why don't you own a Mac?
BV: I don't get the double tap.

Me: Would you have taken the job if Microsoft's offer had gone through?
BV: Yeah. I would have been a Yahoo for at least 5 more years, before they would have remembered Romania.

Me: Why is Yahoo Romania more interesting now?
BV: Again, they have me.

Me: How will you make it more interesting?
BV: Just by being there.

Me: Does your contract come with a company car?
BV: Yeap. On the key chain.

Me: What color business cards do you get?
BV: Purple and white. Like Seth Godin's cow.

5/14/2008

Today was not a great day for science

Today my best friend is leaving Romania for a long trip. His idea is to try not to come back. So I am pretty down because, despite connectivity and the flat world and internet and all that, I will not get to sit down with him for a drink and kick him underneath the table when he embarrasses me in front of other people by making fun of my shoes or earrings.

Today was not a good day for science. Because all the science in the world cannot replace closeness.

:-(

Effie Tag

Got tagged by IQads blog to answer the question: who writes the brief of effectiveness for Effies?

Since I sense a tidal wave of "it's teamwork between all those involved" I'll just keep it simple here: that person or persons who feel they "own" the project, they have nurtured it and know most about it. Sometimes it's just the planner, sometimes it's just the CS, sometimes (you rock Serban) it's just the creative, sometimes it's a team. There are no boundaries or set responsibilities because advertising is a blurry field.

5/13/2008

Google analytics

LATER EDIT: okay, I am obviously autistic. Analytics homepage has HUGE ad saying some data was lost and is being recovered, apologies blah blah. So forget the post below.

I have some Analytics issues: although I get comments to my posts, sometimes analytics does not register the visits. Can this happen? Can people post comments and still not get counted in by GA?

Better... there is hope

I have just come back from judging cases at the Olimpiadele Comunicarii with a smile on my face.

Finally, someone got the message, finally it seems the bludgeoning and foaming at the mouth some of us do pays off. Last year OC was a downer - I left feeling disheartened and thinking that maybe there was no hope for advertising after all. Few ideas and even less creative ideas - lots of buzz words, misused, abused and mispronounced. No common sense - no desire to solve problems, to take the time to internalize the heavy burden which is a "communication brief" and treat it with the respectful intelligence it deserves.

But today was different - not for all teams but for a lot of them. Problem solving was high on the agenda and most of the presentations were actual communication or idea solutions. Thinking had happened, brain power had been utilized. True, little executional power - not a lot of drawing going on, nor much care taken for copy to be finely tuned, BUT STILL there was hope because thinking had happened.

I am expecting some "permission to divulge" from the organizers, but I look fwd to writing about some of the better ideas I have heard. Because there were some. Actually more than expected and I feel so much better for it.

Good work you guys!

5/12/2008

EURO Effies


I am a member of the first round of judging for the EURO Effies and so far it's been a rather interesting experience.

The entire judging process takes place online and we never really get to see the actual creative work - unless the agency chose to upload it, which did not happen in many cases - but only read through market challenges and results.

What I find extremely interesting is the impulse to simply open a new tab and google the case you're reading to assess whether the results are actually real and to read some consumer reviews of the ads :-). Some of the cases we judge are high profile brands and high profile campaigns and sometimes you tend to think that you've read something on that specific subject and just want to check.

However, the extra twist of Effies is that they are, apart from awards for effective communication, also a test of effective writing and persuasion. Irrespective of how much information is available online you need to rely solely on your interpretation of the data you are given - that is why HOW the case is written is essential.

I look fwd to some results in the Romanian Effies for that specific reason also - because some of them will have been written by two great copywriters :-)

: )


Thanks Stefan

: )


I support the Design Police


















Which means I will be printing these and using them when threatened by bad design.

More from Ben via Iain

Go design police!!!

Great design


I have known Milos since I was working for Rompetrol and he did our corporate website. He still claims I talked him into an outrageously small price, I still think we overpaid by market standards but from this we managed to develop a nice relationship in which I worship everything he does with Iashido and he heartlessly takes advantage of my industry connections :-)

his portfolio is finally online here and a great one it is. Check it out for an eyeful of goodies and also a free font download

5/11/2008

Evangelism presentation

Am doing a presentation on evangelism marketing in a couple of weeks. More details to come but would be interested to ear what you guys thought about the topic.
What is an evangelist for you? Can you train evangelists? Are they staff or consultants? What do they do...all of these

:-)

Shorts for the week


I'm sure you know visual complexity but actually I have been having some fun with their books page here. Some of the books are also available for a quick - albeit fragmented - read on amazon with the search inside feature like so

The flip - or Flip video - is the smallest cheapest video camera available. Or so they say. It looks pretty neat and has a retractable plug which makes it linkable to your laptop immediately without any installation or CDs or such.

Iron Man - thank God for RobertD Jr. who turned what might have been a silly action hero movie into a gem. Loved it :-)

Looking back on cloud computing - explained here and also one of Amazon. com's controversial lines of profit as explains Mr. Bezos in Wired

Also interesting to read about WiiWare and the opening of the console to independent game producers.

Olimpiadele comunicarii 3


On Tuesday I will be in the jury assessing the advertising projects presented publicly for OC 2008. I was in the pre-jury sessions also and had loads of fun but also lots of down moments reviewing presentations and listening to the candidates.

I have been asked by the organizers to say a couple of things I thought were essential for the presenting teams on Tuesday so a put together a short list.

1. Remember it's just advertising - I know this sounds counter productive but it helps when you feel your stomach is clenching up and you cannot speak and you feel you must have done something really stupid that will embarrass everyone. Even if you get it wrong, you always get a second chance with advertising and this is important but not life and death so relax, take it easy and try to have some fun. If you don't the jury will not and then it will be a lose-lose situation.

2. Know yourself - think of what you do best (try to separate that from what you think or hope you do best and think objectively of what you do best, what do people constantly tell you you excel in) and try to do that. Are you funny, are you silly, are you serious, are you hypnotic. Don't try to be what you think we expect you to be. Because you don't know what we expect.

3. Know your audience - we are all marketing people, we have written, prepared, delivered thousands of presentations like yours. We are bored of presentations and expect you to do something that will inspire us to regain the enthusiasm we once had. Show us why you love advertising so that we can remember why we do.

4. Be professional - notwithstanding all of the above you need to do a good job. Don't be sloppy, don't improvise unless you have no choice or you decided you would. Don't include things because they are cool but because they are necessary.

I look fwd to all the presentations and to speaking to you after the event.
Good luck!

5/10/2008

Twitter break

I have decided to stop using twitter for a while.

I spent a couple of days analyzing the actual use of twitting other than being in with the "cool crowds" and realized that if I subscribed to all the "cool crowd" most of the content I got was on where they spend their coffee evenings and with whom.

If I subscribe to follow only some people who seem to use twitter as a shorter form of blogging, I generally get less information that i would if i simply read their blogs. Guy's twitts so far ar the only ones which I have found to include some form of usable content.

Also, what bothers me is the rat race to getting people to follow you so you feel even more bound to post trivial stuff about yourself. The ability to track a person's dates, life, flirts, business pitches and personal pitches by twitt disturbs me. So, I'm taking a break for a while until we get over the voyeruism of sharing our personal time with the rest of the world :-). This should give me more time to take care of this poor blog.

I know I promised cake to some of the followers when i hit 100 (actually 200 since the promise) which I will do. If you want to meet for cake I will be at Creme Caffe at 9 on Sunday. Come over for a chat, for real, not on twitts :-)

5/08/2008

About creatives


Yesterday I had a very long and interesting conversation with a creative about what can and cannot be done with strategy.

Main points of the conversation were largely:
- if strategy is not inspirational it should be changed
- strategy needs to be laden with "tension" to inspire
- strategy needs to make an "argument" rather than generate the potential for an emotion
- strategy is easily misunderstood and it's generally the planner's fault
- strategy is more important than creative execution (yeah, he said that!) because a creative execution without a big idea behind is not EVER going to work

Eventually we got into an argument about emotional executions vs. argumentative executions, meaning ads which simply made your hairs stand up and ads which made you go "oh, I get it. that was nifty of them".

Somehow, it seems this is another barrier in the creative vs planner relationship because strategy needs to fit with the creatives' "approach" too - besides being all of the above and more. Some creatives, it seems, only think with the emotion part of the brain and thus they can write about someone looking out of the window and make it a tear jerker. Others, however, can only work if they have a BIG Idea to dramatize and can make a point at the end.
It's very much like the difference between situational comedy and slapstick comedy (I really don't want to say Seinfeld and the Groucho brothers right now).

The things that bothers me right now is, however, if you can really state that as an argument to you not wanting to do a campaign. Because, I don't believe in advertising as a form of art, so, in theory, you should be able to do your job in whatever form you are required to. On the other hand, I also believe in skills and pushing people to develop their most acute skills. So, if you are an argumentative creative maybe you should be only asked to develop argumentative ads.

? .....

Shorts

1) Interesting presentation about how to make an agency blog on the IF blog (I should know, I put it there :-p)

2) Also, brief round up of chaos day: turned out to be not all that great because apart from having to decide on what to wear in the morning - which got solved pretty fast but not to my immediate advantage - the only serious decision I had to make was whether to buy yet another pair of shoes (which I did because I cunningly chose to ask someone who, I knew, was going to say yes). So, about 8 random decisions and a bunch of flash cards with options later, chaos day needs to be reconsidered and done properly, maybe throughout a whole week.

3) Plus, I met briefly with Andrei from bookblog who was nice enought to tell me how a bookblog is run and what his plans for the future are. Unfortunately, since they were not part of my blinterviews I cannot disclose but it was nice to discuss about love for books.

5/06/2008

New photos

From IMTO Iasi and of some weird packaging. I put them here

the packaging is there somewhere too :-)

Chaos Wednesday

I just ran accross this great trailer for the movie Chaos Theory.



And it strikes me as a cool thing to do: leave everything to fate for at least a day. Since tomorrow is a day packed with important conversations and some serious decisions to be made I though I might try to test the chaos theory and get myself a couple dozens flash cards and leave every decision to fate.

So, tomorrow I will only make decisions based on what complete strangers choose out of my flash card options which I will write on the spot based on whatever decisions I have to make. If you decide to ask me important things tomorrow, don't be disappointed. It's fate :-) and stay tuned for results later tomorrow

Frank Miller strikes again

5/05/2008

Amazon is the devil (??)


I love books. I don't just love reading. I love books, the physical things, almost as much as I love chairs. I will accept crappy books for presents without a wink if they are hardcover and colored and smell like new paper. I like the way they stack up, the sounds they make, how they pages become tattered after a while, the little "ears" they develop, the scent of paper and glue. I like books.

That's why i think I should hate this Kindle thingie. And also Amazon. But people around me say it's the future (although endgadget readers trashed its design here)
Plus if you read this Amazon profile on Wired (via Noah) you kinda begin to think they couldn't possibly do anything wrong.

free media


Romania has a third free newspaper, and a second one distributed in public transportation areas [others are Compact and Curentul]
RinG is owned by a "media trust" with powerful political affiliations (although not currently sporting any other titles in their portfolio) and will be a tabloid in both format and content. It is meant to attack head on Compact and, indirectly, Libertatea and Cancan/Click.

I guess if it manages to provide the same "quality" of tabloid content as Libertatea, what with it being free and all, it will be an instant hit. Trash at no cost is a winning proposition.

5/04/2008

New media? AWESOME



yeap, they get a point for creative guerilla...so much for clients who fear grafitti :-)
and this is some of their stuff (summer girl bandida hoodie); more at zooyork.com


Hits of the web 2.0

ROFLCon is a cool conference I wish i could have attended. One of the brilliant things they had was a screening of the best (over 100k views) "virals" of previous months. Beware these are not cool ads made by cool agencies but they give a whole new perspective on what viral means

ranging from crazy Korean ice cream commercials



to Snoop singing GERMAN pop music



these are really awesome to watch

full list here

Digital conversations

Yet another video about the power of the audience. What stuck is the idea that when people pool together their ideas something innovative might come up. Maybe it's time to take the ideas which come out of the age of conversation and start doing something with them.

5/03/2008

Gremlins too cool for BT?



via Faris

Holiday in pictures

Is business the new entertainment

I spent the past 6 days lounging about my parents' flat in a small town in Hunedoara and interacting as little as possible with the Internet. This has given me a chance to watch the same things my mom and dad do, and also check out what their friends and people not living in Bucharest are interested in. Next I spent some time with a friend from Timisoara and talked about what is interesting there.

Now, as I read an article about business TV formats and the struggle to get ratings I look back and wonder if we, the people who care about such info, and they live in different worlds.

Most of the people I spoke with had no clue about most of the business publications in Bucharest/Romania. Nor were they watching the Money Channel or, for that matter, Realitatea TV because, they said, it was mostly about stuff that was happening in the capital city.

I also checked to see what the regional distribution of business titles is and found that, for the most, they tend to be restricted to the capital and and five other major cities.

This made me wonder if, by any chance, we are building in Bucharest a mini-culture which feeds on itself and is unable to see beyond the borders of the city. Not so long ago Cotidianul - a national daily - featured a blog debate on it's second page, giving it a half page of text. Much like the advertising industry we seem to care about what happens here, who lives here, who makes money here. And this is not to say the estimated 5 million transiting daily the streets of Bucharest are irrelevant. It just means that we need to look beyond our circle of interests and that we might be missing out on some great opportunities in less crowded spaces.

Must read for corporations looking for bloggers

Victor Kapra has put together a great "how to deal with bloggers" guide. Very useful if you are a PR manager for a major corporation who spends his/her time trying to keep up with the world, while at the same time participating in all the "productive" 5-6 h meetings with your boss.

It refers mainly to interacting with bloggers and what the best ways are to not mess up your incipient relationship with them.

Full text here

2007 in quotes

Ed Cotton, who will be speaking at Idea Forum this year, has made an interesting presentation trying to summarize the most interesting developments in 2007 as depicted in quotes. I particularly like Iain's "It's mostly not about things being viral at all, it's just about dark media buying" :-)

have a look at the full presentation

Blogger looking for cafe


I spend my Saturday mornings eating omlettes and surfing the great wide web in a cafe at Universitate. Lately their omlettes suck and they do not have wifi anymore. So my Saturdays suck as well. Need suggestions on good places to spend Saturday morning eating good omlettes and surfing at decent speed.

Help.

TV online - I don't get it


I got all afluster with reading about Hulu (more here) and thinking how cool this may be if all the nice series I need to download off "legally-challenged" sources online would be free to view anytime and everywhere.

But the more I think about it the more two things nag at my logic.

1. It's a free website supported by syndication deals and advertising: soooo basically they make money the same way they do on TV by placing ads between shows or, as luck would have it, above and below the small screen on your computer screen.
True, there's only three ads/an episode but this begs the question HOW DO THEY SUPPORT THE PREMIUM CONTENT they brag about?
Because common sense says this: you have a script writer that writes a brill script. Cue money for that. Then you have Angelina and her kids and more money for her to play the script. Then you have the sound, light, props, nails etc etc etc people. Cue more money to make the script look good. Then you have equipment. So basically there's a lot of money needed to make a show. So when you sell it to a network, you need to sell it for a lot and the only way the network will get its money back is by putting a lot of ads in between the seconds of the show.

Now if the show goes online for free, and can only have 3 ads and 2 banners as it is being watched, the normal question is where does the money come from?

Truth is, there can only be one of two explanations: networks are trying real hard to deal with online and this is their silly way of doing it at the risk of losing huge money. Two, the shows will only be reruns or oldies but goldies which you might want to re-watch, in which case Hulu is really a threat to the DVD industry but not to the online revolution.

2. Why would two networks be kind enough to allow Hulu to search other networks' content if they did not have it on their website? Isn't this counterproductive to them working really hard to get exclusive content?
This smells like branded utility to me but I fear that in matters of "big bucks", branded utility may be the little hole that sunk the big ship. For two reasons:
- when you create an aggregator for content you need to treat all content the same which makes promoting and selling "better" advertising for your content almost impossible
- networks base some of their negotiation power on pure "cojones" driven by having owned best-selling formats which they syndicate at huge costs. When you support competitors' content also you are either sure you are the best or just plain dumb.

an interesting article on this here and also check wikipedia for Hulu (name by Interbrand) but if someone has the answer already please share

5/02/2008

Hugh McLeod is smart

I just rediscovered that rereading some of his stuff...
I mean look at this:

"The hardest part of a CEO╩╝s job is sharing his enthusiasm with his colleagues, especially when a lot of them are making one-fiftieth of what he is. Selling the company to the general public is a piece of cake compared to selling it to the actual people who work for it.
The future of advertising is internal."

yess! that is a fact...and proof of this is how you can tell when a new manager is in place by the way the advertising for a product changes. So how come we leave internal comms - or the so called brand engagement - to be done by agencies who think this is second hand jobs and screw it up constantly because, right?, there is no pride in making internal comms.

5/01/2008

Movies I want to see [help]

but cannot seem to get my hands on
In Bruges [not because of Colin's bodacious bod but because it's a comedy apparently]
Bunny Chow (it's not porn although sounds like it)
The last mistress [hey, sex and art must make a winner]
The boss of it all [it's Lars, what's there more to say]

can anyone please help with getting these?