Popular Posts

Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Study Will Be Watching What You’re Watching

Dr Media says well finally Neilson admits it doesn't know what it's talking about and finances a study at Ball State, not MIT, I might add. And this study proposes to follow people around and watch what they do with media. Well, not so sure that this method will yield any significant results, after all following people around does have some impact on what they do , doesn't it ? However, the fact that the study is being done and asking questions about what is going on in this new media universe which is emerging is very good. Dr. Media however, says, just ask people the right questions and have dialogue with them and they will tell you what they are doing. This is called dialogical research and has shown itself to be most effective Thats right ask people and they will tell you, of course you need to know how to ask them. This is a start on finding out whats going on that is at least based on research rather than speculation.

New Study Will Be Watching What You’re Watching

Imagine what you would learn if you spent all day looking over people’s shoulders to see how they consume media.

What do they do when they wake up, when they’re at work, while they’re at their computer or sitting in their living rooms?

The Council for Research Excellence has commissioned a $3.5 million
study that will do just that, beginning next month. The council is an
independent forum of research experts created and funded by the Nielsen

The results of the observational study, conducted by Ball State
University’s Center for Media Design & Sequent Partners, will help
Nielsen figure out the gaps in current audience measurement,
particularly when it comes to video.

Shari Anne Brill, VP and director of programming at Carat and a
co-chair of the Council’s media consumption and engagement committee,
called the study a landmark piece of research.

“We really do not have any understanding whatsoever of how consumers
go about accessing content throughout their waking day,” Ms. Brill
said. “We all make assumptions, but due to the technique that Ball
State University has pioneered, we get a better understanding of that
and what the implications are for the future.”

Ms. Brill said one of the committee’s objectives was to test some of
the myths about media consumption that arise when a bunch of industry
people in New York and Los Angeles rely on their own consumption
experience as a model.

For example, there’s a feeling that videocassette recorders have
disappeared and everyone is using digital video recorders to tape
shows. There also was a sense that people would be moving from the TV
to the Web, watching shows and movies on their iPods and other such

“We really wanted to understand how consumers were engaging with
media, specifically video,” Ms. Brill said, “to get an understanding of
how it’s changing over time, in order to propose the optimal form of
video media measurement.”

Howard Shimmel, senior VP for client insights at Nielsen, said the
study will give the research company a good sense of how much video is
being watched using different devices.

“It’s important that we understand the size of consumption before we
make a decision about whether we have a dialogue with our clients about
whether we include it in our measurement framework or not,” Mr. Shimmel
said. “So as you think about something like video consumption on iPods,
knowing whether that’s 1% or 5% or 10% is an important part of the
dialogue we need to have with our clients.”

Knowing more about how people are watching TV now also could provide
insights into how viewing should be measured going forward, he said.

The Video Mapping Survey will conduct its research by following 350
people in five markets: Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago and
Seattle. The panelists will be measured twice over a six-month period,
with the researchers using a computerized device that records data at
10-second intervals.

“We’re logging their exposure to and their use of 17 different media
and the different ways in which they’re used,” said Mike Bloxham,
director of insight and research at Ball State’s Center for Media

While the study is primarily focused on video consumption, “We are
still nonetheless going to be taking into account use of other media,
such as newspapers, magazines and the telephone, and all the rest, so
that we have a full contextual understanding and we can look at
simultaneous media usage,” Mr. Bloxham said.

With the computerized data device, if a researcher is watching
someone who is watching TV and has a newspaper open on his lap, “It’s
possible to tell when you’re paying more attention to one or the other
because you’ve got to look at both of those, and then our observer will
be toggling between the two.”

In addition, a 100-person panel in the Indianapolis market will be
observed before and after what Ball State calls a “media acceleration

The people in that group are offered a 50% discount on digital video
recorders, wireless laptops and other devices the researchers think
might change media consumption habits.

The people in the test are interested in the devices, but they’re
waiting for the price to go down. They’ll be observed before they’ve
acquired the device and after they’ve had time to establish a new
pattern of use.

“What we’re trying to do is avoid the early adopters, and we’re also
trying to avoid the people who will just say ‘yes’ when you offer them
a free shiny object with lots of buttons and flashing lights,” Mr.
Bloxham said.

The acceleration process has already been tested via a smaller project backed by Time Warner, Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo.

All of the participants in the study will be people who have rotated
out of other Nielsen audience panels. That will give the researchers
further ability to compare their media usage over time.

Mr. Bloxham said he expected results to be available early next year.

Ms. Brill is already looking ahead.

“We’ll probably have a really great opportunity to learn more about
multiplatform viewing, get our first understanding of how mobile
devices are being used for accessing video content,” she said.

The project also takes a look at how DVR playback affects live
viewing and will measure channel-changing and fast-forwarding, she said.

“The output of this is we’ve got an incredible granular data set,
which is, importantly, a continuous timeline throughout the day,” Mr.
Bloxham said. “It’s not one point in the day, it’s not self-report,
it’s not one medium, it’s not one environment like home or workplace,
it’s all of these things together,” he said.

“From an industry point of view, this is a study that will be
utilized and talked about for years to come,” he added. “In academia it
will be there for at least 20 years.”

Monday, February 18, 2008


Dr Media says the comments of this indie filmmaker should be taken to heart not only by filmmakers but by all media makers, and entrepreneurs. You've heard it before, you have to believe on your vision, regardless of what the world says

By Braden King

Last spring we took an exclusive look inside the Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Labs as filmmaker Braden King posted weekly stories about his experience with his project, Here,
co-written by himself and Dani Valent. Now, he's graciously given us an
insight into what he took away from the Institute, including attending
this year's Festival, where he was involved in the New Frontier's
Multimedia Performance Events with
The Story Is Still Asleep and Here was selected as the U.S. recipient of the 2008 Sundance / NHK International Filmmakers Award.

“I haven’t fought much with the past, but I’ve fought plenty with the future.”
- Patti Smith at the Sundance Main Street Music Café, January 21, 2008.

before the Sundance Film Festival last month, Emily Brunt from the
Institute asked me if I’d be willing to put together some reflections
on my experiences over the past year with the Sundance Writers and
Directors Labs and, more specifically, what comes after. I was completely overwhelmed with preparations for a multi-media and live music piece entitled The Story Is Still Asleep that would soon be presented in the New Frontiers section of the Festival and I had just been informed that my lab project, Here,
had been selected as the U.S. recipient of the 2008 Sundance / NHK
International Filmmakers Award. It was an incredibly busy time, as was
the Festival itself. (I saw one film in seven days, Man On Wire,
about Philippe Petit’s infamous, unauthorized high-wire walk between
the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in 1974. It couldn’t have been
more appropriate. If you don’t know the story, stop reading now, get on
Google and don’t come back. This real-life, true myth contains more
essential lessons about the world, life and filmmaking than anything
that I could possibly write.)

At any rate, the blur of the
Festival has begun to recede, the dust (snow?) has begun to settle and
I’ve managed to collect a few impressionistic thoughts.

NHK Award at Sundance capped off what was, for me, a life-changing year
spent with the Sundance Institute - first at the January Writers lab
and then at the June Directors Lab. People often ask what the Labs were
like and I often say things like, “They were an overwhelming gift.” But
that doesn’t really do the experience justice. The totality of it is
difficult to articulate. At some point the Labs begin to transcend
being solely about filmmaking. They really do. They end up being about
something much larger, something that revolves around getting to the
deepest and most resonant places that you can find within yourself and
those around you.

And then you come out. And it’s kind of
sadistic – after the January Writers Lab, which takes place at the
Sundance Resort, high in the idyllic Wasatch Mountains, they take you
over to the Marriott in Park City and kind of kick you out of the van,
out of their warm, perfect womb and into the cold, hard, hassle-filled
reality of the Sundance Film Festival’s first weekend, which is a
madhouse. I went from a luxurious and cozy mountain cabin with its own
fireplace and kitchenette to a cold, ratty, basement motel room with a
shower that barely worked. Which mirrors the metaphoric journey you
undertake coming out of the Lab - from a warm place of pure creativity
toward a direct confrontation what can feel like a very frigid business
landscape for independent film.


once you come down from the mountain and survive that initial splash of
cold, hard reality, you start to go about the actual making of your
film and you start to hear a lot about what a difficult climate it is
out there and “how are we going to market this?” and “who is your
audience?” and “it would be great if all we had to care about was the
art but that’s not the world we’re living in and and, and, and, and...

Well, we live in the world we accept.

rather than writing about how crazy it is to begin to try to orient
yourself in the “industry,” I wanted to write about a few ideas that
have been forming as I’ve begun to slowly wade into these (most
definitely shark-infested) waters.

Jack Kerouac, when asked to
give a talk on the question, “Is There a Beat Generation,” began with
the following introduction: “What we really should be wondering about
tonight is ‘Is there a world?’ And I could go and talk for five, ten,
twenty minutes about ‘Is there a world?’ because there really is no
world. Sometimes I’m walking on the ground and I see right through the
ground. And there is no world. And you’ll find out!”

My current project, Here,
is a landscape-obsessed road movie about a brief but intensely
affecting journey that is undertaken by satellite mapping engineer and
an art and landscape photographer who impulsively decide to travel
together into uncharted foreign territory – literally and

It has been an attempt to make a film that
felt personally essential; an attempt to confront an unavoidable place
and to find my way into something that I simply could not NOT do. And I
recently realized that it is, at least in part, a film about whether we
choose to live in a world we accept or in a world that we create.

I was trying to navigate Sundance this year, a series of questions kept
recurring inside my head: “Is this Festival (love it or hate it) - is
the Institute – is the NHK Award, given with so much hope and so much
trust to projects that are not yet realized – is any of this result of
people who lived in a world they accepted?” The answer, obviously, is no. These are people who live in a world they created. They are people who live in a world that they are constantly
creating. And that realization was an incredible source of strength and
inspiration as I ran around the festival trying to figure out if there
was anyone out there in the “film world” with whom I might share a
compatible vision.


I finally came to see is that the “reality of the market” does not
exist. The “reality of the market” is what we allow it to be, what we,
as creators, choose to accept. If my time with Sundance has taught me anything, it’s that we have to create our own realities; that we have to create the world that we want to live, work in and create in. As filmmakers, we have a responsibility to be as creative with the lives and the business of our films as we are with the films themselves. We have to fight for what we believe in and for the world we want our films to live in. Period.

Listen to John Cassavetes (from the completely essential Cassavetes on Cassavetes): “The main thing is to support art. If we, the artists, kill our own avenues of working – the theater, film, etc. – we ourselves
suffer. The movies are not dead. And if somebody says to you. ‘Ah, I
don’t know, this picture’s not going to make money,’ or ‘That play’s
never gonna make it,’ you’ve got to attack them. You’ve got
to attack them! Because they will only get away with that social custom
if you don’t protect your art. And if you don’t, then next year you
will come into a dead business and you’re going to suffer. Find the people that you want to emulate and support them. No matter where they are and what
form of art – whether it’s music or anything. Support them because they
are later on going to be your support – by keeping that pure thing


back on the past year, I see this idea as the heart of what the Robert
Redford and Sundance Institute’s vision is all about. As I move forward
with Here, and get caught up in the “reality” of fundraising,
logistics, casting, “marketing," etc., that sense of possibility feels
like the most priceless gift of all the priceless gifts that came out
of my experience with the Labs, and the one that I feel the most
passionate about continuing to fight for and to help realize.

We all live in the world we create, if we are willing to create it.


Online dating firms split over screening / Some ask if criminal background checks help clients' safety
Online dating firms split over screening
Some ask if criminal background checks help clients' safety

David Crary, Associated Press

Sunday, February 17, 2008
True.com founder Herb Vest: "The online dating industry t...

(02-17) 04:00 PST New York --

All is not lovey-dovey in the high-stakes online dating industry.

The contentious issue of the moment - pitting one of the three biggest companies, True.com, against its major rivals - is whether online dating services can enhance their clients' safety by conducting criminal background screenings of would-be daters.

Last month, New Jersey became the first state to enact a law requiring the sites to disclose whether they perform background checks.

True.com - the only large online dating service that already does such screenings - was elated by its successful lobbying and hopes other states will follow suit.

"The online dating industry tends to get a real bad rap because of criminal activity," said True.com's founder and chief executive, Herb Vest. "If we were to clean up, there's hordes of offline singles who'd come online to find their soul mate."

The pitch appeals to women like Jayne Hitchcock of York, Maine, who was victimized by three years of online harassment and cyberstalking in late '90s after someone assumed her identity and sent sexually explicit messages.

When Hitchcock later decided to try online dating, she turned to True.com.

"There are people out there looking for a site where they'd feel a little bit safer," said Hitchcock, who recently met her fiance on True.com.

However, Vest's many critics in the industry say he is acting mostly out of self-interest. They contend that True.com's screening method - running names through state databases of criminal records - is incomplete and too easily thwarted, potentially creating a false sense of security for customers.

"It's so superficial that it's worthless," said Braden Cox, policy counsel with NetChoice, a coalition of e-commerce companies that includes Yahoo, AOL and other major players in online dating.

Match.com, one of largest dating services, said it had been assessing online background checks for six years and concluded they offered no extra protection.

"Match.com is disappointed New Jersey has enacted a flawed and unconstitutional law, and we will explore opportunities to challenge it," a company statement said.

Even sponsors of the New Jersey bill conceded it was imperfect, but suggested it would at least make online daters more aware of security concerns.

There are no authoritative national statistics on serious crimes arising from online dating, but such cases periodically make headlines.

A Philadelphia man, Jeffrey Marsalis, was accused of raping several women he met through Match.com, and was sentenced in October to at least 10 years in prison.

A Cleveland firefighter, George Greer, was indicted in June for raping a woman he met through an Internet dating site.

An online dater in New York City, actor/musician Franca Vercelloni, said background screenings "couldn't hurt matters" but should not be a reason for dropping one's guard.

"You're not going to rely on what you learn from the online profile anyway," said Vercelloni, who's in her late 20s. "Dating in New York City is just as hard as trying to get a job or an apartment. You have to take a risk."

The New Jersey law, similar to ones considered in other states, will require online dating services to notify their customers in the state whether criminal background screenings have been conducted.

If a dating service doesn't perform such screenings, it must acknowledge that in large capital letters in every electronic communication with members from New Jersey, who would be identified by ZIP codes they provide when registering.

Details of the notification rules are still being worked out.

Services that do conduct screenings must disclose that fact and say whether they allow people with criminal convictions to use the site. Those services also must note that background checks are not foolproof, but that disclaimer doesn't have to be displayed as prominently as the disclosure by companies that don't do screenings.

Critics say the type of screening envisioned by the law - checking for a particular name in databases of criminal convictions - has inherent flaws: users could give fake names, and many dangerous people may not be in the databases. Methods used in more probing background checks - such as fingerprint scans and research into employment records and Social Security numbers - are not required by the law.

More broadly, some worry that New Jersey's action will push other states to regulate the online dating industry, creating a hodgepodge of laws that will drive up operating costs and force some companies out of business. Some in the industry say they would prefer federal legislation addressing background checks, rather than a patchwork of state laws.

Huge sums are at stake. Projections by Jupiter Research, an Internet consultancy, suggest the online dating market now totals $700 million or more, and Online Dating Magazine estimates that more than 20 million people visit online dating services each month.

A relative newcomer - founded in 2003 - Dallas-based True.com has drawn attention with racy ads as well as background screenings.

Avowedly for singles only - not straying spouses - it claims to be the only dating service that checks on marital status as well as criminal convictions.

"We can't guarantee that criminals can't get on our site, but we can guarantee that they'll be sorry they did," the site declares. "We report violators to appropriate federal, state and local authorities, including parole boards."


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Yahoo Deal Is Big, but Is It the Next Big Thing?

Dr Media says now we are talking BIG. Lets see Microsoft also is MSNBC, and Yahoo is also SBC, and ATT, which means that Microsoft is in TV. phone, search, guess the only thing missing is a movie studio.Have no fear, I imagine thats around the corner, after all, it's all just a amtter of software delivery.We are looking at the new TV netwroks coming into being. AND, the good news is there will be a need for new indie production companies.

Yahoo Deal Is Big, but Is It the Next Big Thing? - New York Times
The New York Times
February 3, 2008
Silicon Valley Memo
Yahoo Deal Is Big, but Is It the Next Big Thing?

SAN FRANCISCO — In moving to buy Yahoo, Microsoft may be firing the final shot of yesterday’s war.

That one was over Internet search advertising, a booming category in which both Microsoft and Yahoo were humble and distant also-rans behind Google.

Microsoft may see Yahoo as its last best chance to catch up. But for all its size and ambition, the bid has not been greeted with enthusiasm. That may be because Silicon Valley favors bottom-up innovation instead of growth by acquisition. The region’s investment money and brain power are tuned to start-ups that can anticipate the next big thing rather than chase the last one.

And what will touch off the next battle? Maybe it will be a low-power microprocessor, code-named Silverthorne, that Intel plans to announce Monday. It is designed for a new wave of hand-held wireless devices that Silicon Valley hopes will touch off the next wave of software innovation.

Or maybe it will be something else entirely.

No one really knows, of course, but gambling on the future is the essence of Silicon Valley. Everyone chases the next big thing, knowing it could very well be the wrong thing. And those who guess wrong risk their survival.

That is why, in this silicon-centric economy, front-runners do not stay front-runners for long.

Many big names of the 1980s — Commodore, Tandem, Digital Equipment and MicroPro — are in a graveyard shared by the highfliers of the 1990s — the At Home Network, Netscape and Infoseek, to name a few.

Now Yahoo, founded by Stanford graduate students who became media darlings and instant billionaires after an exhilarating initial public offering of stock, may be the next to disappear.

And Yahoo, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is only 13 years old. Microsoft wants to buy the company for $44.6 billion as its way to compete with Google, the hot company of this decade, which was also founded by Stanford graduate students who became media darlings and instant billionaires after an exhilarating initial public offering.

“This is the very nature of the Valley,” said Jim Breyerof the venture capital firm Accel Partners. “After very strong growth, businesses by definition start to slow as competition increases and young creative start-ups begin to attack the incumbents.”

The economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter had a name for this principle of capitalism: creative destruction. Perhaps nowhere does it play out more dramatically — and more rapidly — than in Silicon Valley, where innovation unleashes a force that creates and destroys, over and over.

Microsoft, at the still-young age of 32, is making its largest acquisition because it, too, is affected by this force. Founded in 1975, Microsoft has had a longer run than most tech companies largely because it became very good at chasing the next big thing: an operating system, point-and-click computing, software for servers, Web services, video games, and, most recently, Internet search and online advertising.

Technological innovation may not have always been what gave Microsoft the edge. It has been frequently criticized for me-tooism and for getting it right the third time. Sometimes, marketing skill and bullying seemed also to be keys to its success. (To be fair, the creative use of those skills can also be regarded as a form of innovation.)

Microsoft won huge business battles, starting with its domination of personal-computer software against Apple during the 1980s. A decade later, it made quick work of Netscape Communications, which popularized Web browsing in the mid-1990s.

While Microsoft remains very profitable because of its lock on desktop software, its efforts to dislodge the Valley’s leading third-generation Internet company, Google, have so far failed.

Google’s central innovation, Internet search, has confounded Microsoft, despite investing billions in both technology development and numerous smaller acquisitions. Internet technology has overtaken the PC desktop as the center of the action, as people increasingly view the computer as merely a doorway to their virtual world. Google calls this phenomenon “cloud computing.”

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., has been setting up giant data centers around the globe. It benefited from the software innovations of hundreds of nimble garage start-ups to develop programs that reach millions of users over the Web.

It has unleashed the power of free — not a new idea for the Valley — to endear itself to a new generation of computer users with services they find they cannot live without, like e-mail, digital video and social networking.

Now Microsoft is trying to make up ground by buying what it has not been able to build. To many technologists and entrepreneurs here, the deal does not indicate any imminent threat to the Valley’s start-up culture or suggest that the region might go the way of Detroit; it underscores the health of the heartland that has produced waves of ever-more powerful technologies for more than half a century.

There is a sense here among investors that Microsoft, as a more effective counterweight to Google, might actually serve to spur innovation in the Valley.

“When Microsoft was in the ascendancy, there were whole areas of investment that were of less interest to investors,” said William R. Hearst III, an affiliated partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “Now you could enter a new area and people will think that maybe one of the two colossuses will be interested in acquiring your start-up.”

Innovation has been the driving force of Silicon Valley, and the results over the last quarter-century have been stunning. More than a billion personal computers are in use around the world. Cellphones are in the hands of three billion people. The next generation of mobile computers appears destined to reach another two billion people in just six more years.

The productivity gains from these devices have driven the world’s economy to faster economic growth and a higher standard of living for an ever-widening swath of the world’s population.

If Microsoft acquires Yahoo, some executives said, the question is whether it will shake its obsession with catching Google and instead look to the next generation of the Internet, even if it threatens Microsoft’s dominant position in PC software.

The bid for Yahoo “underscores how Microsoft’s hold on the personal computer desktop is meaning less,” said Nicholas Carr, author of “The Big Switch,” which describes the consequences of Internet computing.

In that sense, Microsoft may in a situation identical to the one faced by I.B.M. in the early 1980s. Dominant in the mainframe business and threatened by PCs, I.B.M. responded by quickly becoming the largest PC vendor.

However, despite all of its manufacturing proficiency, the PC business was far less profitable and I.B.M. was unable to make that business work. It took a wrenching cultural change and the shedding of its management and tens of thousands of employees to regain its footing.

Ultimately, Microsoft’s challenge in making its new acquisition work will be a cultural one. Can the giant software maker — which, incidentally, is based in Redmond, Wash., about 850 miles from Silicon Valley — use a huge acquisition to tap into what makes the Valley tick? Will it force Microsoft to look forward instead of backward?

To many, these questions frame the challenge that Microsoft confronts.

“To a large degree, it’s the willingness to move on and abandon something,” said David Liddle, a venture capitalist at U.S. Venture Partners. “It’s that ability to let something go and move on to the next big thing.”

Powered by ScribeFire.