USA

Trends: Blog monitors and more UGC

A leading New York marketer predicts that 2007 will see the arrival of blog monitors in PR agencies. That’s one of ten forecasts offered by Renegade Marketing CEO Drew Neisser on The Wise Marketer website (requires registration).

In 2007 marketers will enhance their ability to defend against potentially ruinous blog attacks by dedicating resources to blog monitoring and blog response. The role of Blog Monitor will finally become a full time position in the communications department, as opposed to the occasional activity of a lone blog enthusiast. In addition to tracking blog noise, the Blog Monitor will actively engage other bloggers, correcting untruths and responding to issues as they arise. Corporate blogs will also be an important defensive weapon, assuming the authors are empowered to tell the truth (even if that means admitting a product’s shortcomings).

This brings to mind the recent problems with laptop batteries catching fire. Bloggers publicised the issue relentlessly, keeping up the pressure on Dell and Apple to issue recalls.

Neisser is also bullish on user-generated content:

User-generated content (UGC) seemed to be all the rage in 2006. Everyone from Doritos to Mentos, MasterCard to Panasonic, Chevy to Oreos, offered user generated content programmes. And not without good reason. Consumers really responded. Mentos’s effort to ride the wave of consumer interest in watching Coke bottle geysers has created a corresponding explosion in sales (up 17% over the previous year). Looking ahead, however, marketers will need to raise the stakes if they hope to get consumers involved in such campaigns. One way will be to offer cash (or other incentives), not just for the winners as Doritos is doing, but for all UGC that other consumers end up watching. This “pay for play” approach is certainly gaining traction with the emergence of Current TV (which is paying for ads) and Revver.com (which is paying for content). Creative consumers will undoubtedly follow the money.

Hat tip: Michael Carney’s Marketing Digest

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US removes key legal protection for non-citizens

20 June 2014: Unfortunately a couple of links in this article are no longer working.


US President George Bush this week signed a Bill removing the right of habeus corpus for non-US citizens. Within hours, the Government had asked US courts to strike out habeus corpus petitions which had been filed on behalf of detainees at the US military prison in Guantanamo, Cuba.

Critics of the law say it will inevitably be overturned as unconstitutional, but the process could take a year of legal wrangling. In the meantime, the more than 400 detainees at Guantanamo have no right to appear before a court or to hear the charges against them. (In most cases no charges have been filed.)

Moreover, the Bill, innocuously titled the Military Commissions Act, means the President can detain indefinitely anyone, anywhere in the world, whom he deems to be an “enemy combatant”. That’s particularly chilling in light of recent investigations which suggest that most of the “enemy combatants” held at Guantanamo are entirely innocent.

National Public Radio’s On the Media has links to more on the story, plus an audio interview with Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg who covers the Guantanamo detainees.

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Remembering September 11

It’s going to be hard to avoid references to the Sept 11 attacks during the next few days. Over at nzherald.co.nz readers are sharing their thoughts, and their “learnings”, five years after the attacks which killed 3000 people.

For many Americans, it’s a time to recall where they were at the time. Readers of Manhattan-based Rocketboom for example, and Brooklyn video blogger Ze Frank.

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High school radio lessons

Everyone knows that high school students are some of the most ardent radio listeners. More remarkable is the fact that thousands of them actually run their own FM stations at school, carrying on a tradition that began fifty years ago. Actor Harrison Ford honed his skills on a high school station in Illinois. And the writers of Beverly Hills 90210 included school radio in their portrayal of California’s coolest teenagers. 

Hundreds of today’s radio and television professionals began their careers covering school sports or playing record dedications between classes. 

But high school radio isn’t just for aspiring broadcasters. Teachers and students agree that radio offers valuable lessons for anyone. 

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