Mobile phones – more than just one to one communication

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An interesting example of how mobile phone technology is transforming journalistic reporting and creative video recording today.

At this year’s Locarno Film Festival a film using new technology and creativity triumphed. Director Pippo Delbono showed that real talent can manifest itself through any lens.  His film, La Paura (Fear), a feature-length documentary was shot entirely on a mobile phone.

“The tiny camera, wielded like a sharpened knife, dissects the racism and hypocrisy of Italy through a range of quasi-related incidents. Delbono has transformed the pocket accessory into an artistic tool.” (The Guardian, Tuesday 18 August 2009).

Social media users – a desirable audience (new study by BIGresearch)

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An article published in on the importance of social media as lucrative audiences

The big lure of social media: Its users
By Diego Vasquez
Aug 20, 2009 – 1:05:37 AM

No wonder social networks are feeling such urgency to figure out how to monetize their audiences. According to a new study from BIGresearch, the Worthington, Ohio-based research company, social media users represent a hugely desirable audience. They are younger than the average American, more affluent, and more apt to buy certain big-ticket items, such as furniture, computers and televisions. Social media users tend to use multiple platforms. A Facebook user, for example, is far more likely to use Twitter or LinkedIn than the general population is. Social networkers have a median income of $68,311, and they’re more likely to be female (nearly 58 percent). Gary Drenik, president and chief executive officer at BIGresearch, talks to Media Life about why social media users represent a desirable audience for buyers and planners, why they’re more likely to be female, and why MySpace is losing users to Facebook.

What did you find most surprising or most interesting about this report?
The high level of usage and interactions among social media options. It demonstrates a new way for marketers to communicate with their customers. It’s interesting to see where the crossover is. For example, Facebook tends to be popular for LinkedIn and MySpace users, but Facebook users aren’t as apt to use LinkedIn or MySpace.

What’s the most important thing media buyers and planners can learn from it?
Not only is social media widely used, but the users are active consumers. They are planning on buying at a higher rate than the general population.
For example, 30 percent are planning to purchase a vacation (versus 26 percent of adults 18-plus), 18 percent are planning to buy furniture (versus 13 percent) and 17 percent are going to buy a computer (versus 13 percent).  With a higher propensity to spend, social media users need to be targeted by marketers.

Read full report …

Swiss watchdog demands shutdown of Google Street View – Article from AFP

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Switzerland’s data protection watchdog on Friday demanded that Google immediately withdraw the “Street View” facility it has started offering on its map of Switzerland. Federal data protection and transparency officer Hanspeter Thuer released a statement warning that the US-based Internet giant was not respecting conditions he set to respect personal privacy in Switzerland. Thuer said that based on public comments and his own browsing, many faces and vehicle number plates had not been covered up or were insufficiently blurred. He “demands that Google Inc. immediately withdraw its online service Google Street View concerning Switzerland,” the statement said. The Street View facility allows users to take a ground level panoramic view of some locations on Google Maps, based on still photographs taken by specially-equipped vehicles. Google recently started taking shots in Switzerland. The online service, which began in the United States, has sparked controversy because the snapshots also inadvertently capture passers-by on camera, sometimes in embarrassing or private moments. Thuer said he would meet representatives of Google early next week to “improve” the service and ensure that it conforms with Swiss law.

Copyright © 2009 AFP.

Small Businesses Turn to Facebook

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A video on ABC News reporting on how you can use social media to achieve business objectives.

Small Businesses Turn to Facebook

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communication – information or manipulation?

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Throughout history, communication has been used as a tool to manipulate both individuals and the masses. On an everyday basis we use it to convince people about our views, to persuade  them to either accept our ideas or to take some action. But can we use communication simply to inform, to clarify, to understand? Is listening part  of communication? If so, how many of us really consider all the steps of communication? How can we use communication in a positive way, to understand our audiences and inform accordingly?

This following documentary is about the work of Sigmund FreudAnna Freud, and Edward Bernays influenced the way corporations and governments  sought to control ‬people. Edward Bernays, is considered “the father of PR” and “the father of spin”. This series reveals a great deal about his approach, how he used PR to manipulate people into adopting the ideas of his clients.

He believed that propaganda and news were legitimate tools of his business, and he was able to offer philosophical justifications for these beliefs that ultimately embraced the whole democratic way of life.

An example of one of his most famous campaigns was in the 1920s, working for the American Tobacco Company. He sent a group of young models to march in the New York City parade  and told press that a group of women’s rights marchers would light “Torches of Freedom.” On his signal, the models lit Lucky Strike cigarettes in front of the  photographers. This ultimately helped to break the taboo against women smoking in public.