Sunday, January 14, 2007 tags 01.14.07

Procrastination is a bitch. I've got to catch up on a week of tags.


  • Last Sunday, Pew released a new study on teens' use of social networking sites. More interesting than the research itself is Danah Boyd's comment that the results were likely influenced by parents who stayed close by as their kids responded to the questions about things like privacy, speaking to strangers online and using the sites to flirt and meet new people.
Things that Made Me Laugh
  • Heather at Dooce wrote about getting her daughter Leta the laughing Tickle Me Elmo doll for Christmas (the video she posted is worth watching). I considered forwarding her this video, but I decided that I might just come across as a little odd. Of course, Heather is odd . . .
  • We're trying to ban the use of the term "blogosphere" from our office.
  • I have more of a sense of humor than Crooks and Liars. I'm not going to point out anything about the strength and power of the energy lobby. This is just damn funny (as a sad statement about how pathetic we really are).
  • I don't work in an advertising agency, but this still isn't entirely unfamiliar.
Digital Advocacy
  • With its new My State of the Union contest, MySpace is asking its users to tell the country what they think, just in time for the President's State of the Union address (January 23). It would have been nice if they had managed to find someone who wasn't a white guy to serve as judge, but it's an interesting idea nevertheless. Of course, then the winning kid will realize that their ideas go nowhere and they'll just go back to blowing things up and filming it and putting it up on YouTube. (Cynical Alison rears her ugly head.)
  • Justin Oberman at Personal Democracy Forum writes about Amnesty International's new anti-Guantanomo Bay campaign which asks folks to text their support for the campaign via SMS, thanks to Jed Alpert's Rights-Group, which also supports John Edwards' OneCorps. My old colleague, Katrin Verclas, offers up her critique of the campaign, which I agree with 100 percent. Amnesty delays gratification and makes it unclear what impact supporters' actions are having. By the way, Katrin's organization, MobileActive, has a great wiki with excellent information on "cell phone for civic engagement".
Digital Influence
  • Marketing Pilgrim reports on a recent study that concludes that Inc. 500 companies are embracing social media at a quicker pace than Fortune 500 companies. Time to catch up, folks.
  • I'm not trying to make money off this blog, but Tony Hung's tips on "How to Market Your Blog in 2007" are still worth tagging.
Digital Influence in Asia

John Bell is going to Asia on February 1 for three weeks to meet with our team members in that part of the world and I've been tagging relevant news items and blog posts for him and for myself, as my personal interest in global digital influence grows.
  • Google has invested in Xunlei, a "Chinese multimedia site" with more than 120 million users, as part of its effort to compete with, its "main rival in the country" and the country's #1 search engine, specifically for the youth audience.
  • Meanwhile, Yahoo is focusing its energy on a high-income business audience, after struggling for the past seven years to find its niche.
  • Business Week reported on the Catch-22 of the growing popularity of consumer generated media in China. "You can get monster traffic with the right video, but you could get in big trouble for showing it." State-controlled media has led to a whole generation of young people with "pent up energy" that they're looking to use to create their own material.
  • Imagine getting dating tips from the users of MySpace. Okay, that's maybe not such a good idea. But there's a great tale from Japan in Wired about a geek who managed to woo a pretty girl with the support of the members of 2Channel, a community site. "Get enough sleep, cut your nose hair, have breath mints, charge your cell phone, brush your teeth, take enough money, take a shower, and — in case of emergency — wash your penis properly." (A rule all of us should live by.) Train Man could just be Japan's version of LonelyGirl15, but he's still captured the attention of a nation.
  • The UK's Telegraph reports on Baidu's list of the top searches in 2006.
Digital Influence in Africa
  • The BBC's Paul Mason writes about the social and economic impact that mobile technology is having in Kenya.
Sound of Music
  • There's finally some good news for the music industry! According to, sales of music downloads continue to grow — "60% of U.S. consumers report that they are listening to more music since they have gone online . . . (expanding) their musical tastes, allowing them to discover new artists and explore new musical options." Bad news for Britney, but good news for the rest of us. The Long Tail in action! Word of mouth about music is on the rise, as is concert attendance.
  • Yeah, yeah, yeah, the iPhone (stop drooling), but Steve Jobs, Green My Apple! In an alternate universe, you did . . .
  • Why do people get so bent out of shape — like AdRants — about Green My Apple (enough to make me want to comment)? Greenpeace is not trying to make you feel guilty, so relax.
  • I considered investing in the iPhone, as the chains that Verizon binds me with become loose this March, but then I read this post from CenterNetworks about what the iPhone is actually going to cost me: $1,936. I'd rather go to Japan.
  • I don't think Barbara Boxer meant to suggest that there was anything wrong with Condoleeza Rice's choice to live her life as a single women with no children, but her comment on Thursday during Rice's testimony in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, rubbed me the wrong way too.
  • The new national political news site, The Politico, launches on January 23 — in time for the President's State of the Union address — but I'm with mcjoan at DailyKos that it's a whole lot of hype about not much of anything. In this case, the medium is NOT the message. It's about who is delivering the message: the people. Suddenly this feels a great deal like 2000 . . .
  • Despite the fact that I've barely eaten anything over the past five days and I have stopped watching television because the food commercials ad to my nausea, I tagged BakeSpace and FoodCandy, two foodie community sites that PSFK shared this week. While it appears to have a wealth of content, FoodCandy is tough to navigate and the Google Ads in the side bar make it look a little low rent, which I suppose it might just be. It has restaurant recommendations — while BakeSpace does not — but weeding through them is not an entirely obvious process. BakeSpace, according to the site, is "one big recipe swap." I think they might have a leg up over FoodCandy if they choose this path — focusing on food makers versus food eaters. They're not always the the same audience. Build a niche.
  • UrbanSpoon, meanwhile, is all about restaurants. And they know something about keeping it simple, as they say themselves in their tag line: "Just a simple restaurant site. Eat out. Take out. Drive through. It's all here." The best feature is the New York restaurant map, enabling users to search by neighborhood -- which is good for tourists (who might benefit from the ability to visualize the neighborhoods) as well as natives.
Some Other Stuff


Katrin said...

Whoa, woman -- that was one nice plug for MobileActive! Thanks, much appreciated! I can not figure out where you are these day -- what are you doing? And yes, procratination is a bitch but hey- so very worth it when coming across your blog :-) Hope you are well and happy -- and thanks! Katrin

abf said...

Hey, Katrin. Time for me to head back over to Mobile Active to say hello to you. Your stuff is great and well worth the praise.

dB. said...

Thx for the foodcandy plug - you are right on both points: foodcandy isn't bakespace, it's all about people while bakespace is all about what they cook. And it's a low cost and zero investment or revenue production hence the google ads. I think bakespace will be successful with my mother and foodcandy with ... well, me in the young thirties.

abf said...

Sounds like fighting words, db. Good luck with foodcandy.