The Media: Are Films Better Than The Mainstream Media When It Comes To Conditioning People?

For quite some time now, there has been one source that people look towards to be informed and another when they want to be entertained. This is not to say that someone thinks about one of these sources when they want to be informed/entertained, as it is likely to be something that just happens.

Over The Years

There is the chance that one has been exposed to these sources from a very young age, and this is why they want need to consciously think about them. Instead, they can simply look into what is taking place in the world, or see what films are out, for instance.

If, on the other hand, they needed to think about how they can find out what is taking place or how they can amuse themselves, they would need to use more energy. Once one of these needs arises, they can soon come into contact with what they desire.

One Experience

This could mean that one spends about as much time learning about what is taking place in the world as they do being distracted from it. In this case, one could have a reasonable understanding when it comes to what is going on, and when it comes to films, they might be fairly up to date.

One way of looking at this would be to say that they have a fairly balanced approach to it all. Therefore, if someone was to talk about something that has just taken place or a film that has just come out, they might be able to have a conversation with them.

Another Way

Alternatively, one could be in a position where they have the tendency to focus more on what is going on around them. They might watch films from time to time, but that could be as far as it goes.

Yet, if this is not how they experience life, it could show that they spend more time watching films. When it comes to what is taking place in the world, it could be seen as something they haven’t got time for.

The Odd Occasion

At the same time, even if one experienced life in this way, it doesn’t mean that they will always behave in this way. There could be moments when they will take a step back from what they would usually do.

For example, if they are going through a tough time, they might feel the need to watch more films; this can then be a way to deal with the pain/stress that they are experiencing. If something catastrophic is taking place in the world, it could cause them to sit up and take notice, and to forget about being entertained for a little while.

Omnipresent

When it comes to the technology that is available in today’s world, it is not going to be difficult for one to fulfil these two needs. The only thing they will need in order for this to take place will be to have some kind of device.

Through going online with a Smartphone/tablet, they will be able to find all the news they desire and as much entertainment as they can handle. Some of this will be free, and there can be times when they will have to pay.

Two Sides

On one side, there is going to be how this benefits the average person; With them no longer having to put in as much effort to come into contact with what they need. A lot of the time they would have spent looking for the news or going to buy a DVD, for instance, can now be used in other ways.

And on the other side, there is going to be the effect this has on the mainstream media and the film companies. The first source no longer needs people to come to them; they can deliver the news to them directly.

Online

This can take through posting articles on social media, and so as long as someone ‘likes’ or ‘follows’ them, they will be able to stay up to date. Or, they can simply go onto a search engine and find out that way.

When it comes to entertainment, one can join a website that will allow them to watch a film or a series whenever they want to. It is then going to be possible for them to get their productions right in front of people.

Direct Access

In the past, the primary way for these sources to gain people’s attention was for them to watch TV. This gave the people behind these sources a lot of control over people, and it could be said that the latest technology has given them even more.

However, although the mainstream media defined how people saw the world in the past, this is no longer the case. For one thing, they can now look towards the alternative media, and this has taken a lot of their power away.

Its Over

When it came to what this source of information said in the past, it would have been difficult for people to know if it was true or not. Nowadays, they can look towards other sources to see if there is more to it.

Through being able to do this, it has been shown that the mainstream media don’t simply exist to inform people. It might be more accurate to say that their main purpose is to condition people to see the world in a certain way.

It’s not over

Even so, while the mainstream media no longer has the same amount of control as it used to have, the same can’t be said when it comes to entertainment industry. It can be normal for someone to be critical of what they hear from the mainstream media, but when they watch something they can simply take it all in.

But if they believe that films are only made to entertain people, there is going to be no reason for them to take a step back. Thus, when it comes to conditioning people, it could be said that films are going to be the best option.

Conclusion

Now, clearly there are lot of people who no longer listen to the mainstream media, but there are still plenty of people who do. And while there is an alternative when it comes to being informed, the same can’t be said when it comes to being entertainment.

After a hard day at work, one can end up sitting back and allowing everything they see to enter their mind. On the surface, they can be watching something that has been created to entertain them, but at a deeper level, there can be far more to it.



Breaking Into Hollywood – How Do I Sell My Own Reality TV Show?

How do you sell your own reality TV show? If you’re like most people who work in reality TV, you sell a show by working for some years in reality television, amassing good credits and production experience, building strong relationships with production companies, networks and vendors, running someone else’s shows for trench education, then pitching your concepts and your solid reputation to make your first sale(s). If that doesn’t sound like you, or even if it does, please read on.

If you’re like most people who don’t work in reality TV, you sell a show by coming up with an entertaining concept and find a personal “in” to a network exec or a production company where you can pitch. If a network exec likes the idea, s/he will partner you with a production company or show runner s/he already knows and trusts, and they will execute your concept. You will turn all of the control of your show, as well as most of whatever initial fees come in, over to the show runner or production company.

The same process happens if you approach a production company yourself to bring your idea to a network for you. Your attorney will work with the production companies to hammer out a “deal memo” that spells out what involvement, if any, you will have in the show. The company will do their best to remove you from any control over the process…because you have no idea how to run a television show. They also will take most of the money involved…because you are bringing nothing to the table but an idea that they will have to do all of the work to develop then execute, as well as use their hard-earned contacts to sell. In their eyes, you are bringing nothing to the table.

If you are still reading this blog after that stunning statement, you are ready for the road ahead as you try to pitch a show. You understand now how the industry will perceive you, and you accept your own limitations as someone who knows nothing about making a show but has an entertaining spin on a popular concept. You also understand, because I’m about to tell you, that you are not going to become rich when the show is sold.

Don’t confuse non-fiction TV with selling a movie or a sit-com or drama. “Back-end” and “created-by” fees and “residuals” are rare in this world. On your very first sale, be ready for some serious compromise if all you have is an idea. Your attorney is going to work hard enough just to keep you from being removed from the show entirely.

I’m going to write that again. YOUR ATTORNEY IS GOING TO WORK HARD ENOUGH JUST TO KEEP YOU FROM BEING REMOVED FROM THE SHOW ENTIRELY.

So how exactly do you sell your own show?

The smart way is to work in the biz and know that you are selling yourself and your experience and your reputation and your contacts far more than any concept itself. In fact, networks who have come to know you will call you and ask you to do a show for them! And you will be able control the production process and make the fees from it, because you’ve learned and earned you way into that position. Your agent is your best friend here because s/he is pitching you non-stop to the nets, setting up meet-and-greets with execs and keeping you up-to-date on how the net calls for content are shifting (and they always are shifting).

The fast way is to have a terrific concept and partner with someone else who can get it executed. You will have researched similar shows, checked out imdb.com for company and network information and approached the right people to match your genre and audience. If all goes well, you, indeed, will have sold a show, but often with limited involvement or reward! Your attorney will be your best friend here because s/he will need to be determined and creative to keep you a part of the process after the sale.

The back-door way is to know a person or property (like a popular book) that people want a piece of, develop a show with them attached to it, and have a written “option” that binds them to any sale. This is where having Paris Hilton as a close friend actually is a good thing. A hypothetical: Yes, she stole your boyfriend, but she felt so bad that she signed an option agreement allowing you to shop a makeover show with her as the host. Pretty much anyone will talk to you now, and you’ll have a lot more power keeping yourself attached since you are, at last, bringing something bankable to the table!

Whatever way you try to sell your show, remember, as always, to do an “entitlement” check before you start the process. If you are not Tyra Banks, do not expect to get a deal like Tyra Banks. If your talent is not Donald Trump, don’t expect to get a budget like Donald Trump’s. And if you have never run a television show (I didn’t say never written, produced, edited or shot, I said RUN), then don’t expect to run even your own. Not the first season, at least.

And please don’t go into reality TV to get rich. (Where are all of these Discovery Health- and Food Network-producing millionaires people think they’re joining the ranks of?) If you want to get rich, please go back for your MBA and head to Wall Street and build and protect your stock options like everyone else does. There’s way more chance you’ll get a return on your investment – and in a far shorter period of time! If you want to get rich quickly, with minimal effort, keep buying scratchers and hope for the best. But if you really want to make reality TV, while there’s no money at the start in this world, like almost everything else, working hard in this business ultimately has its own personal, professional and, yes, financial rewards. Plus sometimes, you get to make people eat bugs.



Windows Media Video Compression Using Adobe Premiere Pro

I’ve written this tutorial for anyone who uses adobe premiere pro and wants to find out the best way to compress a video using “Windows Media Video”.

I cover things like what bitrate to use with what resolution and frame rate as well as what a few of the different settings do and mean. Find out for yourself and take a read…

(not you will need to copy and paste image url’s in to your browser)

Getting to Adobe Media Encoder

1. Render all unrendered footage if you haven’t done so already in premiere pro

2. Now go, File >> Export >> Adobe Media Encoder

3. Select “Windows Media” from the format drop down list

4. Then, from the preset drop down list, select something like “WMV9 720 25p” (doesn’t really matter what you choose)

Video Settings

1. Select “Video” on the left hand side of the Adobe Media Encoder

2. Under Video, make sure…

  • Select “Windows Media Video 9” as the codec
  • Leave “Allow Interlaced Processing” Unticked
  • Under Bitrate Settings, Select “Two” encoding passes and make sure the mode is “Variable Constrained”. This offers way better results compared to a single encoding pass

Image: fullvoltage.com.au/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=333.0;id=29;image

Audio Settings

1. Select “Audio” on the left hand side of the Adobe Media Encoder

2. Under Audio, make sure…

  • Select “Windows Media Audio 9.1” as the audio codec
  • Under Bitrate Settings, Select “Two” encoding passes and make sure the mode is “Constant”. This will make sure the audio quality stays the same the whole way through the video

Image: fullvoltage.com.au/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=333.0;id=30;image

Audience Settings

1. Select “Audiences” on the left hand side of the Adobe Media Encoder

2. Audiences is the most important part as this is where you actually set the quality and the file size

3. Now, select your desired frame rate, it’s usually best to keep it at its original level. But, say you’re original level is 50 frames a second, reduce it to 25. If you’re going for a really small file, then you’d want to bring your fps down to 20 or 15, but 25 will always enhance the footage as it will appear a lot smoother.

4. For Pixel Aspect Ratio, set it to however you’re original footage is set. If you’re editing footage shot on the computer, then square pixels will give you the best results.

5. Frame Width and Frame Height is a big factor for when considering image quality with file size. You kind of need to match them both up. In theory, for simple scenes like a close up of a human face “1 bit” per 200 pixels will offer good results,you may even want to try 250 pixels per bit. But with a more complex scene which includes maybe scenery and shrubs or a fast action video.etc, you’d want to aim around “1 bit” per 100 pixels (no where over 140 pixels per bit). To work this out, simply look at all the scenes in your video. If your scenes vary a lot in terms of colour and complexity, then you want lesser pixels per bit, this will increase file size (or reduce image size) but will offer way better results otherwise. On the other hand, if you’re video contains long interviews with a still background. Then the compressor will be able to produce good results with a high pixel per bit rate.

6. Now, moving down to the basic audio settings, if you’re video contains a lot of sound and the sound is really important in the video. Then you wont want to go under 96kb/s, but I usually prefer to use 160kb/s or 128kb/s as if you compare the 160kb/s bitrate of the audio to the say 5000 bitrate of the video, you can see that the audio isn’t going to effect file size much in this case. The higher your video bitrate, the lesser the impact the audio will have on the filesize. Use CBR audio, not (A/V) CBR audio. Use stereo if your sound differs from channel to channel (most music does).

7. Back to the Video now, Set Decoder Complexity to Auto

8. For key frame interval, if you have a high action video with complex scenes, set this to about 1 or 2. On the other hand, if you have not so complex scenes like an interview with a still background, then you can raise this up to about 10.

9. Leave buffer size as default

10. Now, here is the good bit. Because earlier on, we set a Video Encoding mode to a Two pass encode with a variable but constrained bitrate. This means we can now give a maximum and average bitrate. It will use the maximum bitrate in the more complex scenes and will use the average bitrate for normal scenes. Now, setting your bitrate is important. This is basically, where we shove all our resolution and other data, in to a tightly packaged file. If you package your file to tight, bits of data start oozing out the corners which is why it’s important to package your video tight, but not too tight. Let’s say we have a rather complex video which is fairly fast paced with lots of different colours and scenes. We set our resolution to 1024×768 with a frame rate of 25 and we want excellent quality, but a small file size.

Ok, let’s put what we learnt in to play. Ok, 1024 multiplied by 768 gives us 786000 pixels. That means that every single frame will contain 786000 pixels. If our video is running at 25fps, that’s 19.2 million pixels a second. The way compressors work, is they look for similarities across multiple frames and they try and share the data. Sometimes, when you set the bitrate too low, it just can’t deal with that data so it needs to throw away some pixels. The lower the bitrate, the more pixels get thrown around or ripped up.

11. Now, we need to set the bitrate. So, seeing our scene is fairly complex, and we want good quality, I think 130 pixels per bit will be fine. So, lets divide 786000 by 130. This gives us 6040 bits. So, 6000 bits a second is what we need. We’ll set 6000 as the peak and 5000 as the average. Now, 5000 bits a second will produce a fairly large file in terms of the internet, but remember, we are using a resolution of 1024×768 which is very big in terms of the net, but we want viewers to see “all” the work we have put in to it.

12. Now, once the bitrate is set, we have our buffer size, the larger your bit rate, the larger you want your buffer size. In this case, a buffer of 20/25 will be fine (buffer usually doesn’t effect anything).

Image: fullvoltage.com.au/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=333.0;id=31;image

Saving

1. Now, save the preset buy hitting the floppy disk icon up the top of the Adobe Encoder Window. But, before you do that, place a comment for the preset if you want.

2. Now, hit OK at the bottom of the window which will then prompt you for a location to save it. It will also give an estimated file size based on your video length and you’re peak data rate (for both the video and audio). But seeing we are using a variable bit rate, this estimate is usually higher than the end result.

3. Let it render out, then enjoy.

Tips

  • It’s usually good to set your work area to a length of 5 seconds over a complex part of your video, that way, you can do test renders to find the best bit rate
  • If you get errors while exporting and you use a hyperthreading processor or a dual core processor, visit this site to fix the problem. If you don’t get this problem, it may still be a good idea to visit the site and get the new adobe media encoder.

    [http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/330380.html]

I hope you learnt something from this tutorial Smiley

Cheers!

[http://www.fullvoltage.com.au]



Impact of Social Media on Society

“Do you have Facebook?”

“Yes, of course. But I don’t think you can find me, as there are too many people who have the same name as me. Try searching with my surname as well.”

“Hey, you celebrated your birthday in K-Box, right? I saw the photos in your Facebook.”

“Bro, I saw your comments about the YouTube video that I’ve posted in my blog. I’m happy that you are also deeply moved by the ‘Dancing Peacock Man’ as well.”

Social media or “social networking” has almost become part of our daily lives and being tossed around over the past few years. It is like any other media such as newspaper, radio and television but it is far more than just about sharing information and ideas. Social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Blogs have facilitated creation and exchange of ideas so quickly and widely than the conventional media. The power of define and control a brand is shifting from corporations and institutions to individuals and communities. It is no longer on the 5Cs (e.g. condominium, credit cards and car) that Singaporeans once talked about. Today, it is about the brand new Cs: creativity, communication, connection, creation (of new ideas and products), community (of shared interests), collaboration and (changing the game of) competition.

In January 2010, InSites Consulting has conducted an online survey with 2,884 consumers from over 14 countries between the ages of 18 to 55 years old on social networking. More than 90% of participants know at least 1 social networking site and 72% of participants are members of at least 1 social networking site. On the average, people have about 195 friends and they log in twice a day to social networking sites. However, 55% of the users cannot access their social network websites at work. In the past, not many adults were able to make more than 500 friends, but with social media, even a child or teenager can get to know more than 500 people in a few days by just clicking the mouse. Social media has devalued the traditional definition of “friend” where it means trust, support, compatible values, etc. Although we get to know more people, we are not able to build strong bond with all the people whom we met as our available time is limited. Hence, there is an upcoming social trend of people with wider social circles, but weaker ties (people we don’t know very well but who provide us with useful information and ideas).

Social media also influences people’s buying behaviours. Digital Influence Group reported that 91% of the people say consumer reviews are the #1 aid to buying decisions and 87% trust a friend’s recommendation over critic’s review. It is thrice more likely to trust peer opinions over advertising for purchasing decisions. 1 word-of-mouth conversation has an impact of 200 TV ads. With the prevalence use of social media, there is numerous news related to it from the most viewed YouTube video on “Armless pianist wins ‘China’s Got Talent'” to Web-assisted suicide cases (e.g. New Jersey college student who killed himself after video of him in a sexual encounter with another man was posted online). Thus, does social networking make us better or worse off as a society?

Positive Effects of Social Media

Besides having opportunity to know a lot of people in a fast and easy way, social media also helped teenagers who have social or physical mobility restrictions to build and maintain relationships with their friends and families. Children who go overseas to study can still stay in meaningful contact with their parents. To a greater extend, there is anecdotal evidence of positive outcomes from these technologies.

In 2008, President-elected Obama won the election through the effective use of social media to reach millions of audience or voters. The Obama campaign had generated and distributed huge amount of contents and messages across email, SMS, social media platforms and their websites. Obama and his campaign team fully understood the fundamental social need that everyone shares – the need of being “who we are”. Therefore, the campaign sent the message as “Because It’s about YOU” and chose the right form of media to connect with individuals, call for actions and create community for a social movement. They encouraged citizens to share their voices, hold discussion parties in houses and run their own campaign meetings. It truly changed the delivery of political message.

Obama campaign had made 5 million “friends” on more than 15 social networking sites (3 million friends on Facebook itself) and posted nearly 2,000 YouTube videos which were watched over 80 million times. At its peak, their website, MyBarackObama.com, had 8.5 million monthly visitors and produced 400,000 blog posts. In order to ensure that their contents were found by people, the Obama campaign spent $3.5 million on Google search in October alone, $600,000 on Advertising.com, $467,000 on Facebook in 2008, etc. Currently, Obama’s Twitter account has close to 6 million followers.

In 2010, after the earthquake happened in Haiti, many of the official communication lines were down. The rest of the world was not able to grasp the full picture of the situation there. To facilitate the sharing of information and make up for the lack of information, social media came in very handy to report the news about the affected area on what happened and what help was needed. Tweets from many people provided an impressive overview of the ongoing events from the earthquake. BBC covered the event by combining tweets from the work of its reporter Matthew Price in Port-au-Prince at the ground. Guardian’s live blog also used social media together with the information from other news organisations to report about the rescue mission.

It has been two years since CNN officially launched iReport as a section of its website where people can upload video material, with contact information. During the Haiti crisis, CNN had published a range of social media material but not all the materials were verified. The editorial staff would vet the reports from the citizen journalists and labeled them differently compared to unverified contents. On Facebook, a group, named “Earthquake Haiti”, was formed to show support and share updates and news. It had more than 14,000 members and some users even pleaded for assistance to the injured Haitians in the group. Using email, Twitter and social networking sites like Facebook, thousands of volunteers as part of Project Ushahidi were able to map reports sent by people from Haiti.

The most impressive part of the social media’s impact on Haiti is the charity text-message donations that soared to over $10 million for the victims in Haiti. People interested in helping the victims are encouraged to text, tweet and publicize their support using various social networking sites. The Global Philanthropy Group had also started a campaign to ask wealthy people and celebrities, like Ben Stiller and John Legend to use Twitter and Facebook to encourage others to give to UNICEF. An aid worker, Saundra Schimmelpfennig, allowed the advice from other aid workers and donors to post on her blog regarding to choosing which charitable organisations to support. In the meantime, donors were asking questions in Twitter, Facebook and blogs about their donations and endorsements of their favourite charities. After every crisis, the social media for social cause becomes a more effective medium to spread the word.

Negative Effects of Social Media

There are always two sides of every coin. Social media is just a tool or mean for people to use. It is still up to the users on how to use this tool (just like a knife, can help you to cut food or hurt others). Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center conducted a study on “The Future of Online Socializing” from the highly engaged, diverse set of respondents to an online, opt-in survey consisted of 895 technology stakeholders and critics. The negative effects presented by the respondents included time spent online robs time from important face-to-face relationships; the internet fosters mostly shallow relationships; the act of leveraging the internet to engage in social connection exposes private information; the internet allows people to silo themselves, limiting their exposure to new ideas; and the internet is being used to engender intolerance.

Some respondents also highlighted that there will be development of some new psychological and medical syndromes that will be “variations of depression caused by the lack of meaningful quality relationships”, and a “new world society”. The term, “Social Networking”, has begun to deceive the users to believe they are social creatures. For instance, spending a couple of hours using Farmville and chatting with friends concurrently does not convert into social skills. People become dependent on the technology and forget how to socialise in face-to-face context. The online personality of a person might be totally different from his/her offline character, causing chaos when the two personalities meet. It is apparent in online dating when the couple gets together in face-to-face for the first time. Their written profiles do not clearly represent their real-life characters. It is more enticing for people to type something that others want to hear than saying the truth.

Besides the “friendship”, creators of social networking sites and users redefine the term, “privacy” in the Internet as well. The challenge in data privacy is to share data while protecting personally identifiable information. Almost any information posted on social networking sites is permanent. Whenever someone posts pictures or videos on the web, it becomes viral. When the user deletes a video from his/her social network, someone might have kept it and then posted it onto other sites like YouTube already. People post photographs and video files on social networking sites without thinking and the files can reappear at the worst possible time. In 2008, a video of a group of ACJC students hazing a female student in school on her birthday was circulated and another video of a SCDF recruit being “welcomed” (was hosed with water and tarred with shoe polish) to a local fire station made its way online.

Much news has been reported about online privacy breach in Facebook and Facebook is constantly revising their privacy policy and changing their privacy controls for the users. Interestingly, even when users delete their personal information and deactivate their Facebook account, Facebook will still keep that information and will continue to use it for data mining. A reporter asked whether the data will at least be anonymized. The Facebook representative declined to comment.

In the corporate world, human resource managers can access Facebook or MySpace to get to know about a candidate’s true colours, especially when job seekers do not set their profiles to private. Research has found that almost half of employers have rejected a potential worker after finding incriminating material on their Facebook pages. Some employers have also checked the candidates’ online details in Facebook pages to see if they are lying about their qualifications. Nowadays, younger generations have a complete disregard for their own privacy, opening doors to unwelcome predators or stalkers.



Web 2.0 And Demolition of Print Media

Web 2.0 is an open source for all netizens to exercise their democratic rights without misuse. To me, the constitution of web 2.0 reads, ‘We, the people of e-space, having solemnly resolved to constitute the cyber world into sovereign, secular, democratic, republic, and to secure to all its netizens”

In plain, web 2.0 is a netizens/Internet users driven world. It has following features:

Network as platform

User driven/controlled contents

A rich, interactive, user-friendly interface based on AJAX technology

Social networking Aspects

1:1 Connection Between Mobile and Website

Any website based on web 2.0 concept has lots of scope for users. In short, democracy is the main feature of web 2.0. Thus, Web 2.0 is ‘For the People, Of the People, and By the People’.

Web 2.0 implies Netizen journalism. As web 2.0 popularizes Neitizen journalism and more people are becoming ‘public writers’, there is a fear that journalism as a distinct profession is becoming harder and harder to sustain. The boundaries between ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’ performance are breaking down

Until web 1.0, Internet was more or less treated like print media in digital form. But the technological advancement has made it possible to unleash the full potential of the Internet. Today, Internet is recognized as the most powerful medium, even more powerful than newspapers and TVs. According to a study, majority of youngsters surf Internet for a long time than sitting silently in front of the ‘Idiot Box’. Why?

  • Internet is one stop place for both motion pictures (TV) and literary texts (Newspapers)
  • Internet offers a place for 1:1 interactions
  • Internet Today offers lots of spaces for users’ to participate (web 2.0)

In short, Internet serves everything you wish for! Under these circumstances, one can never undermine the scope of Internet at time when the wave of web 2.0 is floating across. It’s high time to recognize the potential of Internet as important media, which seems to be dominating print and visual media (TVs). While TVs continue to grow at their own pace, print media (newspapers, magazines, etc.) may likely to face a tougher challenge from Internet.

I cannot predict how long newspapers will remain. But I do feel confident in predicting that the Internet will continue to demolish the printed world. And with the advent of new technologies (WEB 2.0 AJAX), creating multimedia advertisements inside web pages will make online marketing closer to the highly effective television and radio market strategy. Flash and JavaScript have added visual interactivity–and scripted database functions fill the web with more possibilities than even TV and radio.



Surviving the Threat – How TV Learned to Love the Internet

When it comes to “old”   media ,  TV  seems to be the one form of traditional  media  that has learned how to utilize the net to its advantage. The internet is still a content threat, but the TV world, unlike the worlds of music, film and publishing seems to have more quickly understood the pitfalls and opportunities. Instead of pulling up the drawbridge and preparing for battle, TV joined in and utilized the internet.

Companies that make their living selling content are reeling. Newspapers have been closing at a record rate. The music business is reeling like never before. ITunes has helped reset the playing field, but it’s nothing like it was before. Book publishing has been hit, particularly the brick and mortar bookstores and for the film industry it could just be a matter of time, before the ability to download free content (legal or otherwise) will make a true dent in their profits.

When it comes to “old”  media ,  TV  seems to be the one form of traditional  media  that has learned how to utilize the net to its advantage. Advertising took a huge hit last year, but the economy was also in the throws of the worst recession since the (strangely named) Great Depression. Just about everyone took a huge hit last year, not just TV ad revenues. But apart from basic economic ebbs and flows,  TV  seems to be the one form of  media  that has not only been able to weather the internet threat, but to utilize it.

To quote a recent article in The Economist: “In the final quarter of 2009 the average American spent almost 37 hours a week watching television. Earlier this year 116 million of them saw the Super Bowl-a record for a single program. Far from being cowed by the new  media ,  TV  is colonizing it.” The article goes on to explain how shows like “American Idol” and “Britain’s Got Talent” utilize the net to their advantage. Watchers are constantly messaging one another about such shows on email IM, Facebook or Twitter.

Plus,  TV  is a reactive  media . It doesn’t require much from the viewer. You turn it on, put on the channel you want and there you are. Although many programs are available online, most viewers are not going to do the work it takes to find their programs through nontraditional outlets. The internet is still a content threat, but the TV world, unlike the worlds of music and publishing seems to have more quickly understood the possible pitfalls and opportunities. Instead of pulling up the drawbridge and preparing for battle, TV joined in creating sites such as Hulu a joint venture of ABC, Fox and NBC; an unlikely partnership, but a smart one.

Other content providers are beginning to understand that the way to fight the internet is not to fight it at all, but to blend with it and make it an extension of their brand and their information outlets, but the TV world is way ahead of the game

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2010



Who is Batman?

Batman is the secret identity and alter ego of billionaire industrialist, Bruce Wayne. The fictional superhero introduced by DC Comics in 1939 has become one of the most iconic and recognized superheroes. Unlike most other superheroes such as Superman, Spiderman, or the X-Men, Batman does not possess any supernatural or superhuman powers. His main skills include his detective skills, technology and advanced weapons, intellect, and an obsessive pursuit of Justice.

Although Batman’s story has varied slightly overtime, the theme of his parents death and his resulting pursuit of justice have remained the same. Bruce Wayne was the son of billionaires and philanthropists who were murdered during a robbery. The witnessing of his parent’s murder as a child leads him to become Batman. Wayne swears to avenge his parent’s death by ridding the city of evil and begins training, both physically and intellectually. His studies and skills include his intellect, detective skills, martial arts, conditioning, escapology, and chemistry.

The character Batman has made the jump from comic book to other world media and popular culture including a newspaper comic strip, books, radio dramas, animated television series’, television movies, and multiple major motion pictures, including Tim Burton’s 1989 adaptation of Batman starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Batman has also appeared in multiple video games, board games, toys, and even as a stunt show and ride at Six Flags theme parks.

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Internet Marketing – A Maze In A Haze?

Internet marketing, website marketing, call it what you will, can be a bit like a maze. You charge off down one route……dead end. Someone sends you off down another route with a big smile on their face…….another dead end. Another route looks promising…….until it fizzles out and you reach another dead end. You can’t cheat by looking over the hedge, it’s about 20 feet high! A big ladder so you can get a good view? No, they’ve all been hidden. None left on the planet! Except those in the vaults of the internet gurus, you suspect.

So, you keep going around this maze, and at every turn there’s advertising, all about the maze itself, telling you about which way to go. Plans of the maze which, if you follow, may get you half way round, only to find you need to buy another plan to get the rest of the way. So what do you do? Carry on around this maze unaided? Or buy another plan? You buy another plan of this maze, and lo and behold, you end up at a place somewhere near the exit into real open daylight (you think), but how do you get the correct final few turns? Anyway, maybe you’re not near the exit after all? You could be on the far side of the maze from the exit. Sound familiar?

If you’ve been researching the internet from a business point of view for any length of time, you have probably found that much of the advertising, the marketing, is about …………….. internet marketing. This is partly why it can seem like a maze. If you are not sure what is going to work to market your website, or the products in it, how do you know which advice to listen too, which “offers” to take up?

Why is Internet Marketing Such a Maze?

Marketing is a subject I’ve been interested in for many years, long before I was partner in an advertising related business in the early 90’s. Then, marketing was a quite stable world. The most recent “change” of any significance had been TV, and TV advertising had evolved steadily over several decades. It was glossy, glamorous, and………..very expensive. That was good for the big advertising agencies, and they chased the big advertisers with massive budgets for TV advertising. They had their creative departments to come up with memorable TV ads, often designed to be memorable rather than to sell, and their media buyers to buy time on the commercial TV stations.

The glamour was in TV, but every company and every agency would work on a marketing mix: radio advertising, sales promotions, glossy magazine advertising, newspaper advertising, trade ads, direct mail…..all played their part. These all had one thing in common, though: they had been around for a very long time. Marketing was a stable industry, not in economic terms, but in the “tricks of the trade”. There were a few minor variations here and there, but basically, the marketing industry had its accepted, well documented, ways of doing things. Skill levels varied of course, and that’s where competition came in between the agencies and between companies in the same industries. The point is, though, it was all basically stable. Good or bad, it was stable.

Then along came the internet. Being involved in advertising in the mid 90’s, it was obvious to me that the potential was absolutely enormous. Mind boggling. It was difficult to demonstrate, though, as speeds were painfully slow. You’d try to show someone over a cup of coffee or tea, and you’d finish the drink while the second page was loading. Try coming back in 5 years. Well, they did. With a vengeance.

The internet itself came on in leaps and bounds after that. Technically it developed rapidly. Companies started to realise they “had” to have an internet presence. Why? Well, often because their competitor did, or because they thought they should before their competitor did. They were diving in, pretty much blind; they did not understand what they were getting into. The stock markets cottoned on that something big was in the offing, so .com shares were being touted to ever higher levels. Shares of companies with no substance in most cases.

I used to trade shares on a daily basis in those days, and I never touched one internet related company. I cringed every time I saw the financial figures of a listed .com. Prices of shares were often in the stratosphere while turnover was meagre and profits non existent, then and into the future. The traders in the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street did not understand. The internet was new, there was no history to go on. They simply did not understand. They were excited, and were exciting others too. The buying was frantic. The crash inevitable.

Companies all over the world were realising, though, that they must have a web presence. Companies had marketing departments and/or advertising agencies. So they too had to go along with the the tidal wave of internet anticipation. What did they do? They followed the accepted patterns for marketing in those days. TV advertising. Radio advertising. Big newspaper ads. The massive costs of those methods bore no relationship then to the potential for additional income, for sales. They were throwing money down the drain in most cases. Why? They simply did not understand!

The internet was, and is, a revolution in communications. But the marketing industry had not had a revolution, it was too bogged down in the rest of the marketing mix to realise what was really going on here. The printing press was a revolution in communications, but it took many years to spread its influence. Radio was a revolution in communications; likewise. TV? Likewise.

The internet has been more like an explosion, and after an explosion it takes time for the dust to settle. That’s one of the reasons for the maze of internet marketing. The dust is still settling. You can’t see through the dust yet. More of a haze than a maze I suppose! No, a maze in a haze!



Cable TV And Satellite TV – Which Is The Better System?

Cable TV and satellite TV – which is the better system? There’s a battle going on between Cable TV and Satellite TV. Today, consumers have a choice between conventional cable TV, digital cable TV, and all-digital satellite TV. Do you want to know which of the TV system is best for you? Lets compare cable TV and satellite TV head-to-head here.

First, some general things about Cable TV and Satellite TV:

Cable TV & Digital Cable TV

It is obvious that the conventional cable TV are by far the least advanced. Compare to satellite TV, cable TV provides limited features to their customers. Hence, most cable companies now are pushing hard to get their customers on their digital systems in order to compete with satellite TV providers in the market. Digital cable television has many advantages over conventional cable. Through digital cable signals, consumers are able to get high-speed internet access and video on demand, as well as hundreds of cable channel choices.

Satellite TV

Most of the features offered by digital cable TV are offered by satellite TV. Example? Major dish networks offer their own version of high-speed internet through broadband. DirecTV has DirecWay , and DISH Network has partnered with EarthLink to bring high-speed internet to their customers. Besides, satellite TV providers also provide electronic program guides, parental controls, and automated timers.

Here are major comparisons of cable TV and satellite TV:

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Popularity

Both Cable TV and Satellite TV are popular. Although cable still is more popular overall, satellite TV has made huge gains on cable TV. Equipment Cable TV systems require a cable to be installed from the network to your house. If your street has no cable you may need to wait a while before it is available in your area. Besides the cable you need a receiver. With digital services you need an additional box. Satellite TV requires a satellite dish, a receiver and a cable from the dish to your TV (no digging in your garden).

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Reception Quality

Cable TV and satellite TV used totally different systems for signal transferring. Cable TV has analog channels and even though you can upgrade to digital services, analog channels will still be analog, meaning an often fuzzy picture. Satellite TV is completely digital, which gives you all the advantages of digital systems. Very heavy rain or snow can obstruct reception briefly, but generally this happens very rarely. Reception quality is much better with Satellite TV.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Programming

Cable TV and satellite TV both served high quality programming channels. Cable TV can handle up to 260 channels. Satellite TV can handle more channels. Also, Satellite TV is more advanced in HDTV (High Definition Television) services.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Pricing

Pricing for cable TV and satellite TV have huge differences. Satellite TV is less expensive than Cable TV due to many additional costs that are related to Cable TV: franchise fees, taxes, plus costs for any pay per view services, and equipment costs. Dish Network Programming Package starts at only $29.99 per month.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Interactive Services

In general Satellite TV has more interactive services than Cable TV. Digital services like Dish Network’s DVR (Digital Video Recorder) which gives the option to rewind while recording even in live broadcasts, EPG (Electronic Program Guide), Instant Weather, video on demand, etc. are all available on Satellite TV, but not all are available on Cable TV.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: High Speed Internet

Cable has high speed broadband internet services. Satellite has this too, but is somewhat slower. DirecTV: offers Direcway High Speed Internet, which is ultra fast but somewhat expensive. Overall conclusion: Satellite TV is less expensive, has better picture quality (digital signal) and gives you more channels and programming options than cable TV.

I believe that currently satellite TV providers are giving a better services with a lower price. Satellite TV apparently is a must if you want excellent picture quality, fantastic value with excellent features and varieties in TV programming. There are lots more of satellite TV benefits to be talked about, in case you want to find it oput your self, I suggest this site to be viewed: http://www.satellitetvissue.com



Direct TV NFL Sunday Ticket

Did you ever have a friend who was a perfectly nice, normal guy most of the time and then as football season approached turned into this in-your-face obnoxious football-loving freak?

I do.

Don’t get me wrong, even though baseball is really my thing, I like football as much as the next guy, as long as the next guy isn’t Alan. He and I have been friends since high school and ever since I’ve known him he’s been a huge football fan…no, wait; make that a huge football junkie.

He can’t seem to get enough. He’s a walking encyclopedia of football trivia and loves to share his knowledge, whether you want it or not.

So I was more than a little surprised to learn that Alan, of all people, still didn’t have the Direct TV NFL Sunday Ticket!

When I asked him why, the poor guy actually looked embarrassed. He said he’d seen where it was over $200 to sign up and he didn’t think he could afford it.

So he spent a lot of hours on several different occasions trying to find a good deal online, but every time he’d go back to a site he liked, he never could find the same offer he’d seen before.

I would’ve been inclined to think it was just Alan – that he’d been hit one time too many as a linebacker back in high school, but I knew exactly what he was talking about.

I’d been there myself a few months earlier. If I hadn’t found one site in particular that keeps track of all the best deals not only on the Direct TV NFL Sunday Ticket, but also on other satellite deals, including Dish Network, I’d probably still be searching.

You don’t have to take my word for it. I listed it down at the bottom of this article so you can see for yourself.

I explained to him what I had learned. First of all, you don’t have to pay the total all at once, Direct TV will let you spread your payments out over several months.

I actually did the math, and with all that they offer, you’re getting a steal. The package actually works out to about a buck a game!

No where else can you get up to 14 games each week and have them automatically download to your DVR on Mondays. You can also track the performance of your favorite player, see real-time scores and stats, and hear play strategies straight from the coaches’ mouths.

But here’s what makes finding the best deals so difficult to do.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of websites to slog through, most of them poorly designed or full of graphics so obnoxious they make it hard to find what you’re looking for.

Some of them won’t even be in existence the next time you look for them. And the so-called ‘deals’ they offer seem to change almost daily. That’s why I think you’ll be impressed if you click on the links at the end of this story. Those guys stay right on top of the latest and greatest offers from Direct TV, which of course includes the NFL Sunday Ticket.

I’m happy to report that Alan finally got his Sunday Ticket and he claims he has me to thank for it.

I’ve giving you the same advice I gave Alan, so now you can get the Direct TV NFL Sunday Ticket and know you’re getting the best deal.

Go to the websites listed below. Get the facts. Get the most current offers available. Get your own Sunday Ticket. You know you want it. You deserve it. Just do it. You can thank me later.