Biggest Revenue Drop Since 1950 for U.S. Newspaper Industry

March 29 2008 / by Accel Rose / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Business & Work   Year: 2008   Rating: 8

U.S. newspapers experienced their biggest one-year drop in advertising revenue since 1950, and perhaps of all-time, reports the Newspaper Association of America.

A link buried at the bottom of a biased press release touting a 19% increase in online advertising for American newspapers (that also failed to mention the largest decline in print advertising since anyone began tallying the figures) reveals a spreadsheet that in turn reveals a 9.4% drop in traditional ad revenue. Of course, this figure dwarfs the online gains and totally wipes out the slight progress the industry made in the years following a 9.0% decline in 2001, the previous record.

The new stats reinforce the unsurprising notion that the old-school newspaper companies must transition to new online ad models or perish.

Adding insult to injury, another report finds that 73% of journalists “sometimes or always use blogs” in their research.

(via Editor & Publisher and Midas Oracle)

Rinse your mouth, it's Greenwash!

August 21 2008 / by jcchan / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

Going green is a noble cause. Both corporations and consumers are picking up on the trend due to market pressure. There’s no question about it, buyers like me feel warm and fuzzy when they purchase a product that is truly both sustainable and Eco-friendly.

But although this movement has grand intentions, it is not without its demons. After all, how can you tell if a product is really Eco-friendly or if the manufacturer just wants to make a quick buck? Enter Greenwashing, the practice of tricking consumers into believing a product to be green.

Examples of this practice include slapping a nice palm tree on a bottle of corrosive chemicals or being ambiguous about their environmental claims. Increasingly, greenwashing is a growing trend that any informed consumer must watch out for.

In the GE Ecomagination commercial below, the company portrays a mining operation with sexy and slender miners having fun with the pick-axes and drilling machines. The message is that energy from coal is getting more beautiful because of GE’s emissions reducing technology. It is an abundant resource that’s for sure, with an estimated supply of 250 years.

But many of us know that coal is the dirtiest burning fossil fuel, releasing hefty amounts of sulfur-oxides that produces acid rain and greenhouse emissions. Coal extraction is also a brutal process that severely scars the environment from strip mining and unthinkable amounts of toxic sludge (read: Thousands of tons). So what does a company like GE have in their bag of tricks that would make coal a viable candidate for all our future power needs?

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Is Google's Interest-Based Advertising Push a Positive Development in the Social Graph Wars?

March 11 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Information   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

google_evil.jpgGoogle's announcement that they are now openly beta-testing "interest-based advertising" confirms that the near-term future of web advertising will involve tapping into your behavior and interest graph.

From the Official Google Blog:

To date, we have shown ads based mainly on what your interests are at a specific moment. So if you search for [digital camera] on Google, you'll get ads related to digital cameras. ... We think we can make online advertising even more relevant and useful by using additional information about the websites people visit. Today we are launching "interest-based" advertising as a beta test on our partner sites and on YouTube. These ads will associate categories of interest — say sports, gardening, cars, pets — with your browser, based on the types of sites you visit and the pages you view. We may then use those interest categories to show you more relevant text and display ads.

There is no doubt that this will make for a more interesting and valuable advertising experience, while also boosting Google's bottom line by cutting out advertising inefficiencies.  It is also clear that allowing Google to pair your behavioral data with your ad click data will open up a new frontier of behavioral data mining that will further fuel the Google system and lead to additional advances in search, understanding online behavioral modes, and advertising strategies. 

Of course, the inexorable move to personal data integration (Facebook and Twitter are hard at work on similar initiatives and will be the next to jump into the data+search game - credit card, shopping club, and survey companies have been doing this for years) into one big-ass socio-behavioral graph pushes to the forefront a host of privacy, transparency, data control, and general social issues/questions that have been mustering force.

What does Google have to say about this?

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