Reporters without Borders released its 2006 list of "internet enemies," comprised of countries that stifle free speech. Placeholders include China, which reigns supreme in 'net surveillance and censorship and blocks "subversive word strings."
Cuba was also a mainstay. Private internet connections are banned. To get online Cubans visit public cafes, universities and computer clubs. These networks trigger the police when subversive keywords are spidered.
Egypt was a new inclusion for 2006. While they don't do much censoring, several bloggers were recently arrested for rallying for democratic reform. Other bloggers are regularly harassed and websites can be closed if they're suspected of threatening national security.
And apparently the US ranks 53rd in terms of press liberty in general. Finland is #1. But do the Finns actually have anything interesting to report? They're not really big "conflict" people. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Rimm-Kaufman Group released a study about the difference between pay-per-click ads proffered by both sides of the election. Some findings are below. Oh, and we're going to call the Republicans and Democrats Elephants and Donkeys because the animal names are funnier than the euphemisms:
- Political advertisers prefer Google to Yahoo. (We always thought that was just a universal preference)
- Elephant and anti-Donkey ads outnumber pro-Donkey and anti-Elephant two-to-one
- Donkey ads are three times more likely to be negative than red ads
- No campaigns reference Bush
- Donkey ads are longer than Elephant ads
- Donkey ads are more likely to include exclamations; Elephants favour provocative questions
We'd conclude this political digression with something trite but meaningful like, "God, can't wait until this day is over," except we'll probably just drink ourselves to oblivion like any other night. Cheers and may the best heels win. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Yeah, what a shocker.
Some suspect this demographic skew may be partly because attending a live taping means getting dressed up - not, like, $200 jeans and flip-flops dressed up but, like, sequins and silk shirts dressed up. But hey, any show that can get 200 grandmothers and Ron Jeremy in the same room has got to be doing something right. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Because we're all scrambling to work out what to do about all these nebulous algorithms wrapped around SEM, SEO and other components of search and neo-'net advertising, Ad Age has done us the courtesy of releasing a free 52-page guide.
The Search Marketing Fact Pack includes a ranking of search advertising agencies, detailed SEO strategies, ways to extend the life of a :30 second spot, and the definition of that elusive and confusing marketing phrase "golden triangle."
Swoop up that bad-boy right here. We doubt it will make your job less guessy, but you'll at least sound like you know what you're talking about. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
- Research firm MarketingExperiments has acquired research firm and publisher MarketingSherpa. The two will continue to operate as separate entities while capitalizing on each other's assets.
- This morning Dennis Publishing's The Week magazine distributed 100,000 copies to New York City commuters. The promotional issue is part of Philips' "Sense and Simplicity" campaign and was ad-free except for a Philips branded cover wrap.
- Today through election day, when people in Brazos County call 1-800-FREE411 for a listing, they will hear a very brief ad for Justice of the Peace candidate Albert Navarro. It's the first time a political advertiser has used the free 411 service.
- Kooky vodka purveyor 42 BELOW was awarded Cocktail Spirit of the Year for the second year running at the 2006 Australian Liquor Industry Awards (ALIA) in Sydney last night.
Uh-oh. Guess now is a bad time to figure this out, considering social networks seem like rabid acquisitions that go for a pretty penny - like, gazillions of pretty pennies at a time.
But did we actually need to tell you this? Were you really ever under the impression all those ads slathered across MySpace's site were achieving anything? There's only one way to market on MySpace: save some money, throw together a somewhat clever site, and whore yourself out to where the eyeballs really go - the Top 8. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
We all love to go to trade shows to schmooze with others in the industry, attend panel discussions in hopes we pick up the latest cool marketing tactic and, perhaps, strike a business deal or two. While some of that may have merit, in this fast changing media landscape where everyone's skipping your ads, blocking your pop ups and stripping banners from web pages, it's unlikely any panel is going to deliver you as much insight and usable information as this Guy Kawasaki-led panel called Next Generation Insights. The panel consisted of kids aged 16 to 24 and offered up more a treasure trove of first hand information about media usage habits that will soon define the future of media. From cell phone usage to use of MySpace to IM to online shopping to text messaging gaming to computer usage habits to television viewing to magazine readership to iPod usage to email to online video to RSS and more. It's a motherlode of insightful, usable information about a generation that is indicative of what media usage will look like in the future.
After watching this, you will very quickly realize that all current methods of marketing have a very, very...very short lifespan. There are bright spots though. Interestingly, magazines and billboards were mentioned as viable media outlets. Give it a watch.
- This Saturday, HighBeam Research is opening up their premium online subscription service to everyone for the entire day. Nothing like forcing the industry's research enthusiast to work on a Saturday.
- Dutch actress Halin Reijn explains her recent nipple slip at the premiere of her Paule Verhoven-directed film was a planned stunt for Pink Ribbon during the Netherlands Breast Cancer Awareness month. If only Tara Reid thought of that when she revealed her newly created jug to paparazzi a while back.
- Pace Communications, publishers of Quince Girl magazine, has launched Quinceanera Eleganta, a catalog for the U.S. quinceanera. Quinceanera is the lavish, wedding-like celebration of a Hispanic girl's 15th birthday.
- Gateway announced it will award its mdia account to Initiative who peviously handled the account up through 2003 when Carat took over.
If you're involved with search engine marketing, MarketingSherpa has just released its new 2007 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide which analyzes 3,944 search engine marketing company efforts including what they spent and how their campaigns worked. The study also includes eyetracking heatmaps which indicate how ads are seen on a page and reams of data on pay per click paid search programs. Yes, MarketingSherpa advertises on this site.
- Davis Freeberg sends us this long form commercial for TiVo called Blue Moon which is a 50's-style video explaining an important scentific discovery that turns out to be, yes, a TiVo.
- While we really like this new campaign for Florida's Commerce Bank which, in the TV spot, asks "When did you stop thinking you were a magician?" and other kid-related things along with images of kids that change to adults at the end of the commercial, there seems to be a missing transition between the innocence of dreaming in kidhood and Commerce Bank's assertion you can keep dreaming in adulthood if you bank with them. The work was created by Hispanic agency, The Lab thelabideas.com
- Put your Hispanic marketing caps on because the demographic segment is growing eight times faster than other other groups and will, this year, match the purchasing power of African-Americans spending over &800 billion.
- Arthur Schiff, the man behind the classic Ginsu Knife commercials as well as many other informercials died earlier this week at the age of 66.
- Debuting next week during the Come Out & Play festival in New York this month will be "kill them with kindness" game called Cruel 2 B Kind. The game assigns players one weapon and one weakness which consist of random acts of kindness which are to be delivered to other players who could be anyone on the street in the game zone.
- Maverick Media has created another Windows Live Messenger video, called Bottle, that points out the dangers of using old technology to deliver office messages.
- South African singer Verity is hoping record her album by pre-selling 5,000 CDs through a project called the Lucky Packet Project to finance the cost of recording the album. About ten percent of the revenue will go to the South African charity People Opposing Women's Abuse.
- OK, this Great Escape video for the PSP game Dark Mirror is just weird but it definitely reminds one to be sure which bed they slip into the night before.
- T-list is taking social media physical by selling t-shirts on which people can place thisr top five lists of bands, movies, places or any other list one might find on MySpace or any other social media site.
- Getting even closer to the day ads will be affixed to the back of church pews, the Boy Souts of America are now accepting brand sponsorship of its Scout Badges.
- While you may have heard of this stunt already, here's the video of UK artist Bansky "punking" Paris Hilton's new CD by buying copies, altering the cover sleeve's content and replacing her CD with an audio remox of her favorite and inane comments.
- A&T is hyping its online entertainment site Blue Room by airing, on September 10, footage from the Conde Nast Fashon Rocks pre-party featuring Elton John performing highlights from the songs on his upcoming The Captain and the Kid album.