Stephanie’s Fantabulous Blog

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To me new media is like a toddler.  You can start seeing their personality, their look and style, but it is not in full bloom yet.  That is how I feel about new media.  It is like Columbus when he discovered America.  Little did he know that how much land there really is in North America. 

New media has so many challenges and so many opportunities.   Within five years it has ballooned into a new media frenzy and it has only scratched the surface.  Public relations companies are discovering unchartered territory.  Advertising agencies are excited with the opportunities that lie ahead.  For the first time in a long time, creativity is back.

Over the last nine weeks, we have discovered blogs, advertorials, short films, mobile-2-mobile marketing and several other new media outlets.  This is fun and exciting, which is something we all have been waiting to feel.  Traditional marketing had become stale and new media jazzed it up.   Competitive pressure is mounting between companies, which encourages dishonest behaviors.  Ethics are being thrown back into the mix and the pressure to make money in today’s economy is more stressful than ever.  

Needless to say, let the games begin!  New media is here to stay!

Enjoy reading my blog!

Should a different set of rules be set for blogs then for newspapers and magazines?

The old ethics still apply, but the Internet is posing new dilemmas and challenges.  There are reporters in chat rooms, ad links in editorials, advertorials, tracking information and habits shared by advertisers, and everyone is now a publisher creating credibility issues. 

The biggest problem is the blurred line between editorials and commercials.  Alliances are being created between worthy news sources and advertisers, which is a scary combination for consumers.  For example, the New York Times added a link to purchase the books they were reviewing at the bottom of the reviews.  This raised some eyebrows and caused some to begin to see the line being crossed by credible sources. 

Another great example comes from Fred Mann, the general manager of Philadelphia Online, “An advertiser asked us to create an interactive game based on the news of the day and put it at the top of our home page. To enter and win prizes, the user had to download some of their software. The revenue was attractive, but we decided we’d be selling our soul a little bit. So we told them they could run an ad, but we couldn’t dress up their promotion to look like content.”

Many think that the traditional values of journalism need to be kept.  There should be no compromise between real news and advertisements.  Unbiased news needs to be shared with visitors, especially online, and that may not be the case going forward.  The one thing that compromises ethics is money and that is what everyone is trying to create.    

Reference:

http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=1787

The problem with advertorials is that sometimes they really are newsworthy and they make a ton of money.  With decreasing advertising spending due to the current state of the economy, advertorials are still bringing in significant revenue.  Once again, this is a dilemma because it depends on the advertorial itself as to whether it is unethical or not.  This again makes new media such a controversial approach to advertising because it depends on the company’s approach and ethical values.  Are they there to give the truth, just persuade the consumer or both?     

 “The wall between advertising and editorial is crumbling in one of the places Internet purists hold most sacred: search engines. A few years ago, the idea of tainting search results with paid listings set off an industry fury. But in today’s economic climate, what once was unthinkable by the most successful search engines is now being accepted as status quo and a means to eking out desperately needed online ad revenue.” (Ramos 2008). 

People are confused more than ever as to what is real and what is advertising.  This is detrimental to the e-commerce world because consumers are putting up walls and resisting information.  Traditional word-of-mouth marketing is the only true credibility that remains in the world of advertising.  

Even those that work with advertorials see that there is a line with them.  “When used right, advertorial pages can help you grow in new categories and do smart business,” said David Carey, publisher of The New Yorker, part of Cond Nast unit of Advance Publications. “When used wrongly, they can inflate your P.I.B. count and hurt your P & L,” or profits and losses.

References:

Ramos, James. (2008). WVU: Lesson 9.  Retrieved on Decembe  22, 2008 from https://ecampus.wvu.edu/webct

http://www.newmediamusings.com/2003/09/ethics_magazine.html

Blogs are really fun to follow.  Through my job with Notre Dame Women’s Basketball, we have a created a blog.  Some of the players and coaches write about whatever is going on within the world of women’s basketball at that time.  Although it hasn’t been updated in while due to the season beginning and the amount of press releases and video features posted, it may be fun to read for others.  It allows us to humanize the players, so that the fans become more invested in their success.  The more the players and coaches are humanized, the easier it becomes to build a loyal fan base.    

Check it out:  http://und.cstv.com/ot/nd-baskbl-blogs-06.html

What makes a great blog is the frequency and the legitimacy of the posts and the number of comments makes a great blog site.  Although there are not comments with this blog, it does serve a very important purpose. 

There is always the desire to make a really flashy website that will wow the consumer, but after the wow you need the usability.  There are 10 things 

Design for the common denominator – There is a particular place for certain things for a website.  For example the logo should be on the upper left corner, Contact Us should be on every page and Search should be on the top right.  These simple positioning tools will give the customer a comfortability about the website because they have a help line if they need to use it. 

Keep it Sticky – The quote from webdistortion.com says it all about “Keep it Sticky.”  What brings you back to any of the websites you visit on a regular basis? Generally, you will come back for a few reasons, primarily content. Teach me something and I’ll come back for more. Entertain me, make me laugh, and I’ll come back for more. Stir any of my emotions, and I’ll come back for more. Show me something new and I’ll come back because I’m nosey. Plant ideas in my head, and I’ll feel empowered. Fail to keep your website fresh, with fresh content and neither search engines or visitors will come back for more.”  Basically, be interesting and not boring. 

Keep it Simple – Simplicity is key because it won’t overwhelm the customer.  The company needs to answer their questions and not overload them with useless information.

Common Sense Tactics – People are actually easily scared online.  Use common sense when designing a website.   What turns you away from a website?  Flashing banners = advertisements.  Don’t be too flashy. 

Make it sexy. But not too revealing. – Hiring someone to professionally design the website is worth it.  The right designer will give you a great layout to build onto for future advancement and evolution of the website.    

Make it lightweight.  Cache while you can. – Simply don’t make the site slow.  The slower the website the more frustrated the visitor will become. 

Give users control – Giving the visitors control over the size of the font and what they want to click on that matches their interests would be worth a company’s while.  Visitors like to be in control of their surfing.

Leave out the gimmicks – Flash introductions are the annoying feature on the Internet.  Most people press the skip permanently button.

Maintain Consistency – Each page should have a similar layout with the links on the left and the navigational tools at the top.  The more organized the website, the less frustrated visitors become.

Clean Layout – A good combination of colors and a clean look will attract customers and welcome them back. 

These are the basic top 10 for website design.  The design is important to a company’s online image.  The idea is to get repeat visitors and for the visitors to take action.  Following these simple steps will give you a step up on many companies who try to be too flashy and less user-friendly. 

 

References:

http://www.webdistortion.com/what-makes-a-great-website.asp

You really have to hand it to President-Elect Barack Obama for the structure of his presidential campaign.  He knew that his mark was the younger generation and he ran with it.  I think it is so interesting that he used in-game advertising as part of his campaign.  How much did it cost 2008 US Presidential Candidate Barack Obama to put ads inside of Burnout Paradise and other titles? According to a Federal Election Commission filing (via Gamespot), Obama’s campaign sent $44,465.78 to Massive Incorporated to run in-game advertisements, from October 6 to November 3, in 18 separate titles. The real winner of these in-game ads, of course, was Tim the Paradise City Street Sweeper.

Obama also worked with Electronic Arts for in-game advertising.  Holly Rockwood, director of corporate communications at Electronic Arts, said, “I can confirm that the Obama campaign has paid for in-game advertising in Burnout.  Like most television, radio and print outlets, we accept advertising from credible political candidates.  Like political spots on the television networks, these ads do not reflect the political policies of EA or the opinions of its development teams.”

Now, this is creative advertising.  Who would have thought 10 years ago that a presidential candidate would be using in-game advertising?  His creativity had a big part in him winning the election.  He knew his market and he ran with it.   

 What was really interesting is that Massive Incorporated approached the McCain camp to do in-game advertising as well.  This shows that new media and the youth of America had a big impact on the election.     

References:

http://www.joystiq.com/2008/10/30/obama-billed-44-5k-for-in-game-advertising/ 

http://gigaom.com/2008/10/13/confirmed-obama-is-campaigning-on-xbox-360/

So I was online this week catching up on some of my ABC shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice and I thought to myself “Wow, how times have change?”  We used to Tivo or even record shows with our VCR’s and now we have every show at our fingertips.  We are able to watch shows faster and in any place we want, which makes me think, how does this affect productivity in the workplace or in school.  Several companies have regulations against personal use of the computer, but I know where I work there are people who admit that they just watched an episode of “The Hills” on mtv.com in the middle of the work day. 

When you watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, they have a 30 second commercial that is clearly targeting the female demographic.  The same commercial plays for every break and you cannot continue until you have watched a good portion of the commercial.  Are these commercials more effective than television commercials?  Absolutely.  Think about it.  When you are sitting and watching television and commercials come on, you get up to use the restroom or you get a snack and come back after two minutes.  When a commercial comes on through online television streaming, it is only 30 seconds, so you can’t go anywhere and you have to watch the commercial over and over again.  The key to the online television is that you have to click to continue or you also have the option to get more information on the product that is being advertised.  Because of this small interaction and watching three to four times, you remember the product and the commercial vividly. 

In my opinion, I believe that this could be one of the best forms of advertising out there to gain attention by the consumer and most importantly the right consumer.  Who is watching Grey’s Anatomy, but young women.  This allows marketers to find their niche and target them directly instead through mass media. 

I am just wondering if this is so successful, what is its price tag?