Posted in Blogroll, gay on October 25, 2006|
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Marketing is all about demographics. They group, slice/dice into categories, social groups, gender and determine trends. These are “target segments”. Simplistically it involves age bands (as teenagers don’t purchase denture fixant), social class bands (the rich may want different products than middle/poorer classes and be willing to pay more) and gender (partially b/c different physical attributes require different hygiene and clothing products and partially due to male/female mindsets).
Not only does the demographic determine function/features, but also when and where advertising should be placed to get the most coverage for the $$ I’m spending to promote my product — an ad. In addition, demographics serve the purpose of me not seeing what doesn’t apply.
So, my day job routed me to look in the online social networking space. I’ve blogged about socialization with current leaders Facebook and Myspace etc.,.
The niche social networks are not new, but seem to be a thriving and have very viable businesses. Millions of us want to participate in social networks, and most prefer networks set up for people they can relate. Like minded interests so’s to speak. In my brief analysis an entire category jumped out.
Niche sites for Men who….uhmm like Men. I’m not pretending to speak for men who like…, but I was taken back on the quality and level of business sophistication behind the various sites.
From posh and pretentious to the happily hedonistic….there is something for everyone it seems. Here are a few I looked at:
BigJock.com – coming out party on November 5th. Will have a “hot-or-not” rating component.
Jake – calls itself the world’s largest gay professional community. Very British. 30K members.
Manjam – most widely discussed of all these sites.
Ohlalaguys – another rebranded manjam site from JuxMedia, LTD. Similar to Bentlads.
Lovetastic – bringing together “husbands”. Was originally called Scene404.
Connexion – LGBT site.
Outeverywhere – UK based that emphasizes real world events.
Dlist – straight forward site with blogs; ad supported. Video at DudeTube.
I’m sure there are a number of sites I’ve missed, but you get the idea. Niche sites have hit internet mainstream and multi-national corporations are laser focused on marketing campaigns to appeal or hawk their wares to all demographics.
My education reminds me that marketing is a function that attempts to create, expand and maintain a collection of customers.
I want to thank those same marketing people who blast me with ads, because the above site demographics mean that they don’t apply to me. I’m a customer that is quite okay thank-you with being left out…
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Posted in Blogroll, Music, Robbie Robertson on October 16, 2006|
Groov’n to my iPod this morning I was listening to Robbie Robertson – “Contact from the Underworld Red Boy” (1998), (http://theband.hiof.no/albums/contact_from_the_underworld_of_red_boy.html) and heard a song called Sacrifice. I’ve listened to this song before, but didn’t think much about the lyrics. Today was different in that something in the song caught my attention. The song is “supposedly” narrated and you hear this telephone-squawk box element of Leonard Peltier, introduced in the song? Being curious I thought is this for-real or just a clever way to write a song?
Who is this Robbie Robertson (http://www.ahroo.com/PIC/rrtimeline.html)? Born with the name Jaime Robert Klegerman, the wiki states – he’s the son of a Jewish father and Mohawk mother, and first brushed with music at the Six Nations Reservation. He is an accomplished musician. He composed the score to Scorsese’s movies Raging Bull, King of Comedy and The Color Of Money. He has appeared with Bob Dylan, U2, and Peter Gabriel. Most recent work was with Touchstone Pictures / Beacon Pictures’ ‘Ladder 49’ (John Travolta) and the feature track, “Shine Your Light.”
As it turns out the song Sacrifice is indeed a ‘protest’ song which does feature Leornard Peltier — a Native American who has been imprisoned since 1976 on charges of murder many believe are fabricated — his voice is recorded from a telephone call. Peltier, a native of Grand Forks, N.D., has spent nearly half of his 59 years behind bars in maximum-security prisons, most recently in the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan. (http://www.freepeltier.org/). Peltier was convicted for the deaths of two FBI agents who died during a 1975 shoot-out on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
If you’re into conspiracy theories, the Wounded Knee occupation of 1973 marked the beginning of a three-year period of heightened political violence on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Peltier was an American Indian Movement (AIM) organizer in the Northwest and was asked to go to Pine Ridge, South Dakota to support and help protect the people being targeted for violence. Peltier set up camp on a ranch owned by the Jumping Bull family and when more than 40 Native Americans participated in a gunfight, two FBI agents and one Native American were dead. The agents injured in the shoot-out, were then shot at close range. Of three people brought to trial (first two were acquitted in a federal jury in Iowa) only Peltier was convicted (in ND) and is serving two life terms. The protest song Sacrifice (lyric at: http://www.ahroo.com/pp/lyr/sacrifice.html) is very legit.
I wonder how many other musicians have created real-people protest songs and delivered them to the unassuming public as we march through our work day unaware?!
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Posted in Blogroll, Hawaii on October 16, 2006|
Dateline: August 29, 2005 New Orleans, LA – The costliest ($81.2B) and one of the deadliest (1,836 lost lives) hurricanes (Katrina) in the history of the U.S., hits New Orleans and FEMA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FEMA) officials took severe criticism over governments’ lack of reaction to the storm.
Advance ahead a year later and…
Dateline: October 16, 2006 Kailua Kona, Hawaii – FEMA’s (mainland) computer simulation indicates “a possibility” that as many as 170 bridges on the big Island could have suffered damage and Bob Fenton (FEMA Regional Director) immediately dispatches 50+ Federal Officials to span-out across the Big Island to “assess damage” and help begin any recovery work.This should zip-the-nay-sayers-shut who think the B-government can’t learn to become more effective and coordinated in a natural disaster.
I’m sure the location had nothing to do with this rapid response – As you can see the Kona Brewing Company suffered NO damage and the tourists are enjoying lunch http://www.konabrewingco.com/360/360-1.html …while watching Director Bob’s crew “assess” the brewery! FEMA will also need to close pool-slide #6 to check the concrete pillars on the Hyatt bridge that connects the all-you-can-eat egg & sausage/pineapple buffet to the Mai-Tai Bar. Once done with breakfast, all the federal “official’s” will of course have swimsuits to facilitate entry into the pool for full assessment…
Give me a break!
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Posted in Apple, Blogroll, iPod/iTunes, Music, Technology on October 16, 2006|
Best Buy announced (http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/061005/20061005005675.html?.v=1) plans to launch a digital music store powered by RealNetworks’ Rhapsody (http://www.rhapsody.com) service. The Music Store (http://www.bestbuy.com/digitalmusicstore), which launched yesterday (Oct. 15th), features tight integration with memory card maker SanDisk’s line of Sansa Rhapsody MP3 players (http://tinyurl.com/dz44x). Anyone who purchases the $139 (2GB) or $249 (8GB) Sansa e200 Rhapsody player will be given a free two-month subscription to the service, enabling unlimited downloads to the players; after the trial period the portable downloads service will cost $14.99 per month. Users can also purchase tracks from Rhapsody a la carte for 99 cents each.
“Whether they want to purchase downloads or a subscription and have access to all the music, we’re giving consumers the ability to enjoy entertainment on their terms,” said Jennifer Schaidler, vice president of music for Best Buy. http://www.dmwmedia.com/news/2006/10/06/report-digital-music-sales-buoy-overall-market
This launch aligns with the release of Rhapsody 4.0, an updated version of the digital music service that allows users to drag-and-drop songs from the service directly onto their portable players. By aligning with RealNetworks and SanDisk, Best Buy positions itself in the download music market, Rhapsody can drive more subscribers and the combination of all three mean they can compete in the end-to-end music solution space dominated by Apple. This is where Microsoft is headed with the Zune (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/sep06/09-14ZuneUnveilingPR.mspx), launch set for November. Best Buy is the #1 retailer of MP3 players in the U.S. SanDisk is the #2 manufacturer of MP3 players in the United States, and RealNetworks is the #1 digital music subscription services provider, with >1.6 million subscribers. An interesting side note is that the most-stolen item from Best Buy stores is the MP3 player (http://blog.wired.com/music/#1568666).
Best Buy clearly wants a larger piece of the download music sales and with a strong (DRM-ed) music service, and it might even influence customers to stop stealing?! They have significant floor space locked up in album displays and according to Nielsen SoundScan data (www.Nielsen.com), physical album sales dropped 8.3% year-to-date. At the same time more than 418 million tracks were purchased from digital music retailers, a rise of 72% over the same period last year, So, it’s easy to understand the motivation. When Digital album sales year-to-date (22.6 million, up 115% from last year) are combined with digital singles and physical sales, the overall music industry has sold 434.9 million albums, down from 439.2 million during the same period last year. http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=industryNews&storyID=2006-10-05T084239Z_01_N05410414_RTRIDST_0_INDUSTRY-INDUSTRY-DC.XML&WTmodLoc=EntNewsIndustry_C1_%5BFeed%5D-1
Best Buy as an online digital music retailer is focused on the TAM expansion sweet spot of the market. Rhapsody adds between 30,000 and 50,000 new tracks every week, and will be at 3 million tracks by the end of the year. The MP3 players and Rhapsody service require higher performance PC’s to rip, sync, download, post and update your listening history on a blog using RSS.I’m interested to see how the music implications of this deal plays out…
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Posted in Blogroll, iPod/iTunes on October 11, 2006|
I like to smile. I like iTunes. I like my iPod. I like podcasts. I like download Tuesdays. I like album artwork. I like Texas Hold ’em. I like Dennis Quaid. I like Steve Earl. I like Saturday Night Live. I like that I can play, watch and/or listen to all of this when I’m traveling or need a break from “cube cruisers”. And that makes me smile. But, I especially like music album artwork!
My CDs are “stacked” in a way that you’d never see artwork unless it’s during my once every decade spring cleaning cycle. I’ve always been annoyed that the easiest way to get artwork imported was to re-purchase the song/album on iTunes. This doesn’t make sense given that I have 12GB/3000 songs and even though I like artwork I’m not going to re-purchase what I already own. Sure, there are various 3rd party tools with relative success in obtaining and importing the album artwork. I’ve tried a couple with limited success.
One news items that didn’t get a lot ‘noise’ as Apple marched on in it’s path to the digital living room, was Cover Flow. Cover Flow was the work of Andrew Enright and a colleague. He came up with the idea and then put it on the Web and Apple purchased the technology and IP.
The latest release of iTunes (7.0) and the new album-browsing technology is not perfect, but did populate ~80% of my library. Sync your iPod and now you’re groov’n with picts of your fav artists. In addition, you can visually search on artwork – nice. If you have not done so, try it. In iTunes go to “advance –> get artwork” and after a slight delay your library is now populated with album artwork.
Yet another idea from the internet edge where helping people entertain themselves makes $$. Apple being the feature and customer focused company they are, acquired the technology and enhanced their product. That makes me smile.
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