Monday, April 26, 2010

Guilty of AppleCrime

Perhaps in our great futures, we may all share in the guilt by association of committing the ThoughtCrime of revealing a new iPhone to the world. In the most classic example of no good deed goes unpunished, Gizmodo is paying the heavy price for thumbing its nose at Steve Jobs.

Funny, when an Arkansas court finds for WalMart or Tyson, its some kind of hillbilly justice. When a San Mateo, Calif., court greenlights an evidence raid into Jason Chin's house looking for God knows -- excuse me -- Steve knows what, that's alright because it is the enlightenment of California.

Now, how Chin got the phone still seems more than fishy. Perhaps he plied the unsuspecting Apple employee with that "really good" German beer that led to his "loss" of the phone. Perhaps Chin is culpable in this deal.

Nevertheless, is no one else just a little creeped out by this? Is protecting corporate secrets that important -- to run ram shod over an individual's rights?

It also will force a lot of legacy media to think long and hard about their opinion of the blogosphere. Already the stories are aping similar headlines: are blogger's journalists?

Federal and California laws would appear to provide some shield for journalists and their newsrooms. What if your newsroom happens to be your living room? If Chin worked for the San Jose Mercury, would Apple have made this run and would mainstream media be even more outraged.

In the San Mateo warrant, the computers taken from Chin's house were "used as the means of committing a felony."

Once upon a time, they called that journalism.

However, Gizmodo says it paid for the lost phone -- $5,000 -- and to many legacy media it smacks of the same kind of "checkbook journalism" the purists of the field love to cluck about. TMZ's payoffs and network TV "exclusive" deals -- just National Enquirer techniques of the 1970s redeux.

The Old Grey Lady's on-line has a very interesting take on the cost and potential profit for Gizmodo. Is the lawsuit and associated costs worth the publicity and traffic bump for the previously unknown to middle America geek site?

Only if everyone spells their name right. And, to keep it current, makes a permalink.

One Day Too Many

In entertainment parlance, they call it jumping the shark. Or in Jack Bauer's world, Kim and the Cougar.

Look, I've always loved me some 24. The only appointment TV in our house. My wife, huge Kiefer fan, declared it over tonight.

"They should have stopped it last year," she said tonight as Jack stole the helicopter.

For me, when they sent "the Air Force chopper" after him. Last time I checked, the USAF had none. Yet another infiltration of CTU (is this the most insecure intelligence operation in human history), an EMP blast that didn't cause any explosive damage, there's a dead body stuffed in a wall panel (remember the probation officer from Little Rock - shouldn't he be starting to smell), and just how in the hell (once again) is Jack alive.

It was always the smartest tech and writing. But this year's plot has worn thin.

Copy that.

One Fan at a Time

"Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today."

"I'm just one fan. You don't have to spend time working on this."

Two fans, each wit unique questions or problems. Same solution, however, for each one.

Taking time to talk to them.

It's really easy to stand up at convention back in Tampa and tell the membership of CoSIDA that it was time to change from a speech to a conversation. Having the conversation is what is hard.

You have to believe in the fans and supporters. You have to be willing to be wrong when you're wrong. You've got to be willing to tell them the truth, even when it hurts.

Why in the world do you waste time with that. Because today's angry fan has the potential to become your most ardent supporter. I know it to be true, because it has happened to me and others.

One fan a day. That should be your goal. Solve one fan's problem a day and they will begin to multiply. They will tell their friends. It can be a revolution - one person at a time.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Willing to Laugh

Two sided post. In catching up on The Chronicle, a column by the president of Macalester College, Brian Rosenberg, got my attention with this pull quote:

"The longstanding notion that colleges can carefully control their public image is antiquated."

Reading on, Rosenberg provides a refreshing realization from the top that the top can't command the message. Two thumbs up -- highly recommended read.

This leads me to the YouTube piece referenced. My suggestion is read the column first, then judge the video. And, read the comments -- the proof of the original point.

The public controls your image.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Next iPhone Saga

So my iHog developer forwards the following Gizmodo story about a lost and found future iPhone.

Considering how initially excited we were about MacWorld Australia's April Fool's joke on Flash, calling BS -- and I don't mean Bill Smith -- on Apple rumors comes quickly in this space.

That said, after reading the whole thing, one might believe this is real. However, I am reminded by my more Mac-Centric colleagues that Steve shares only what Steve feels we need when Steve wants to. Therefore, don't get too excited about the feature set on this prototype. Recall it wasn't that many years (yes, years) ago that Jobs said tablet computing was crap.

With sufficient caveats, here are the links -- worth the read for tech folks and the casual social media managers:

This is Apple's New iPhone || How Apple Lost the Phone || Apple Reclaims

Monday, April 19, 2010

By Whatever Means Necessary

One of the core concepts behind our new media strategy is taking the events to where the fans are regardless of platform. So, mobile platforms, traditional platforms, etc -- all running with the same content in methods suitable for the platform.

Perfect example -- last weekend's baseball. The fans will take the best available path. On Friday night, ESPN2 was in town and that cut down our interactive blog participation severely -- just under 600 readers when we've been averaging right at 1,000 -- but Saturday and Sunday were back to the big scores (1,500 and 1,300 roughly, respectively).

But doesn't the TV drop prove the point? You shouldn't have streaming video against broadcast video; no streaming audio in-state against terrestrial radio network.

No -- this overlooks the broader goal. That was still almost 600 Razorback fans who had no other outlet to stay up with the game in real-time (or a considerable number who wanted to have the interaction with the official website and other fans along with their TV watching).

As nature abhors a vacuum and seeks to fill it, fans will utilize the highest "bandwidth" feasible. To repeat, you don't watch on your computer if you have access to a TV, you don't listen on the radio if you could have sat down in front of the tube, you don't follow live stats unless you didn't have enough speed for streaming.

The exception to the rule is the interactive blog. As the person on the keyboard Friday, I can confirm that the majority of those folks were doing both -- watching and typing. Many also comment the rest of the weekend that they are listening and typing.

Interactive isn't the future; it's here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dead Man Marketing

In the wake of Tiger Woods' dad commercial, I hear Billy Mays coming from the TV this afternoon. Wow, somebody really screwed up the commercial que.

No, it was a Garden Weasel remix, with an announcer jumping in to update the ad offer and price with a "and hey, Billy, there's more" tag line.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Once Posted, Preserved Forever

All those Tweets, the ones many thought were disposable information.

Well, they will be will be with us forever thanks to a deal announced Thursday with the Library of Congress accepting the archives of Twitter.

That means every Tweet since the start of the system, archived. Forever. 50 million messages.

To read more, well, go to the LOC blog.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Leaving Las Vegas

NAB continues to evolve, and yesterday's sessions no better example. Stan Lee spoke to the convention, and here is a man who's career and reputation is firmly build in the world of legacy media. While officially moved on from Marvel Comics and from the fawning crowd could easily spend his retirement years soaking in the adoration of the masses, he's forging straight ahead into POW Entertainment and doing things like motion comics with Disney. With Reed Richards dexterity, Lee continues to lead his content creation industry.

Last year was eye-opening, personally, to how much an event that officially is the National Association of Broadcasters was adapting to the reality of changing media. Good luck finding that long phrase anywhere -- its NAB Show; sort of like KFC instead of the oh-so-regionalizing Kentucky Fried Chicken.

There's a reason for that -- "new media" dominated the sessions in the Post|Production seminars. Even the videographer and director segments were things like "Directing for the Web".

Presentations about brand management and awareness of brand reputation were particularly relevant to our world here, with the business community embracing after learning some very hard lessons about ignoring the conversation and the on-line community.

Engagement was the buzz word -- companies now sending their staff into chat rooms and on-line communities to represent the brand, posting in the open under their real names and real jobs. No surprise to those who follow this space, but a great validation for those who continue to think that they are the sole arbiters of their institution/team/organization's reputation.

It's a conversation now, more than ever.

And yes, I know I've promised more entries from the sessions with notes relevant for the college sports community. I beg your temporary forgiveness as a very special project cropped up on Tuesday and needed to be engaged. Let's hope for the best.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

Seriously. There is a ton of positive ahead. I'm seeing the future, and it works.

Just not like the way you are use to it.

Hope to have time in the next day to catch up and on the flight home to digetw some of these notes.

The last two days have been like drinking from a fire hose,

Don't Start Spending Those Savings

I've been in this business for 25 years. I've seen most of the NCAAs media guide and other cost cutting measures.

Let me assure you of one great constant: the budget never goes down.

No color inside pages begat the first phone book size guides.

The 208 page limit begat the lenticular covers and other emboss and foil effects.

And no printed guides to recruits - well, let me just say from right here at the epicenter of video - the National Association of Broadcasters convention - that whatever your printing budget was, it just became your video and digital media production budget.

Flash animations and other cool programing doesn't come cheap - in time, effort or money.

The computer that was just fine to do a printed guide; hardly the power to render video.

Good times ahead. Like I am fond of saying, REM had it right.

Its the end of the world as we know it,

And I feel fine.

After all, why do you think I'm here?

Crossing the Rubicon

The NCAA showed a modicum of good reasoning by removing media guides from the permissible materials for recruiting. This preserves the institutions ability to address their needs with their own good judgment.

Tha said, I was bemused by some online commentary lammenting a "change" in the job of the SID.

Let's get something straight:

Sports information is about providing the maximum amount of information to the largest potential audience.

Media relations is about servicing the media.

Neither job exists in a vacuum, and those who try to create pristine vessels for those concepts are overlooking the hard reality.

The job is to message in every possible format - from print to pixel.

Make no mistake, the NCAA has removed the governor off the engine.

The infinite possibilities that lie ahead have little respect for the finite time constraints of the humans involved or the potentiality for incredible inequities resulting from the funding streams of the haves vs the have nots.

Our leaders have let slip the hounds. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Making it to NAB

Could not see paying e $14.95 for wireless last night, and could not get my travel router to work. Since vie got a little side trip to LA for gymnastics this afternoon, didn't want to waste a day's Internet - do that tomorrow.

The lack of direction keys for serious work is a little annoying.

So far, I've watched more video podcasts from Adobe than ever. Time spent on the plane was more like watching TV - PBS for computer - and the experience is great.

I can see how iPad becomes the major league teaching tool.

Continuing to Vegas

So now I have officially stopped traffic in the airplane as the flight attendants want to know about the iPad.

Since I was listening to a podcast with some interesting tweaks on building iPod/iPad icons, I've got the earbuds in and discover that this notepad has a really cool, realistic typewriter sound that comes along with the typing.

Been a long time since I've experienced the old Smith-Corona sound (I'm not Underwood old, people).

I guess this could become annoying, but it's actually a little comforting and helps block out the ambient noise of the cabin.  Now with you're gen x and not use to that you'd probably find it distracting.

I'm finding that my typing stroke is a little fast for the keyboard when I type my "th" and I'm getting a lot of unintended auto completes.

The spell/auto complete also allows you to touch back to errors.  An Ive that didn't put and auto apostrophe can be touched and corrected on the fly.

Friday, April 09, 2010

On the Road with iPad

Today is the first try at travel with the iPad. Will be interesting to decide if this is a viable platform for mobile computing.

So far, here's the details:

It is a pain in the ass that the apostrophe is not on the immediate shift keyboard, it is two levels down.

Wi-Fi vs 3G - well, let's see how much I really need 3G for content.

Right now, I'm pretty easily on-line as I get ready to board at XNA.

Help for apps is almost non existent - for example, who do you save stories to your AP app to read on the plane? And USA TODAY is just crashing on launch all morning.

Worst of all - blogger doesn't work in safari - the text block won't recognize, so his is typed in notepad and copied in.

More later . . .

Travel Pad

Today is the first try at travel with the iPad. Will be interesting to decide if this is a viable platform for mobile computing.

So far, here's the details:

It is a pain in the ass that the apostrophe is not on the immediate shift keyboard, it is two levels down.

Wi-Fi vs 3G - well, let's see how much I really need 3G for content.

Right now, I'm pretty easily on-line as I get ready to board at XNA.

Help for apps is almost non existent - for example, who do you save stories to your AP app to read on the plane? And USA TODAY is just crashing on launch all morning.

Worst of all - blogger doesn't work in safari - the text block won't recognize, so his is typed in notepad and copied in.

More later . . .

More Inflight

More notes on the iPad.s. USA TODAY still failing, and discovered a work-around for Blogger (choose the HTML entry rather than regular editing and you can get the ipad keyboard to recognize the test entry area.

This flight had GoGo service,  but $7.95 seemed like a lot for Internet access. Plus, you needed an account before getting on, so I could see losing a good deal of the connect time with the registration process.

BBC News pulled down the text of the news stories before I left XNA, so was able to read a lot of things that AP could not save.

Hmm . . . Some Lay's potato chips for a snack, but they only accept credit cards.  maybe that's why we've got wifi - to run the credit card swipe on the beverage cart.

Typing is getting easier; just like it did over about a week's use of the iPhone.

Here's one big asset - in the monstrously cramped space of my seat (a window seat on the two side of a MD80, further wedged by two sleeping passengers - one reclining and one in the aisle seat leaning) I can still type.  Never ever would have been able to even open the laptop here (twitpic to come).

I've joked with fellow SIDs that this was just the rebirth of the Model 100 with e small flat computer and the tiny little alpha only keyboard.

Maybe so.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Live Stat Plea


Please heed the MLB iPad app. Live stats should be, well, numbers. Quick text summary. Updates.

Because if I wanted to see the cartoon balls move around, the Fisher Price base runners, the faux X-Box game animations . . . . . .


This is my number one frustration with every single version of the "enhanced" game viewers out there. GameTracker may be a little more elegant, but it is too much Flash, and not enough substance. I have to work too hard through the slick interface to get what I want -- the stats.

And developers, please, PLEASE, hire someone that knows something about the game when you are making your interfaces, apps and widgits.

You know, it's really a little silly to not have total rebounds on your basketball live stats (or individual assists, but you included blocks). Things that those of us who care about stats, again, I'd be watching the game by itself if I didn't care about the numbers.

The dream date? Hitch the human touch of a CoverItLive content blog with the older stat number interface of Total Sports (hey, internet old timers, do you remember that one?).

Now, heading back to MLB . . .

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

iPad +48

A run of general comments regarding the iPad:

It's too expensive for the limited amount of content available. That said, obviously, that changes rapidly over time.

Generation next will flock to it. Two students were elbowing their way to touch and feel, one declared he was headed to get one because it would become "his day planner".

How many will be left in airplane seatbacks, dropped in toilets and generally lost over the next month as people come to terms with its use?

Until the Flash question is solved, the immediate impact for college athletics may be limted; however, you're all on notice -- I'm talking to you CBS Sports and NeuLion -- that we all ahve about 60 days to figure out how these things will impact college football.

Network TV and other digital content providers (like NetFlix) have stunning presentations on the machine. I've already watched as more ABC content in my lap as I've watched on my wall the past two days. ESPN3, hello?

Meanwhile, get ready to brush up on your HTML (as in HTML5) which looks like the work around until Steve Jobs gets over himself and opens the door for Adobe onto his precious mobile platforms.

As in, all those nifty new Acrobat/Air based media guides -- nothing but the Blue Question Mark of Death, to revive an old school reference. Start warming up those crib notes for transcoding from PowerPoint into Keynote.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Resets on Official Feed

Saying it here since there's more characters than on the @ArkRazorbacks, I've made a follower policy change and I hope no one takes it as some "black helicopter" move.

Since the starting days on Twitter, we'd followed the other schools that had feeds and local media. That's eventually led to a couple of problems. A) Keeping up with the new adds for the media so that we don't inadvertently leave anyone out and B) Where does the school following stop.

To that end, we've reset and moved the following of media and other schools to our personal accounts, and reduced the official feed's followers to just the other UA official feeds, coach official feeds and SEC official feed.

That's not because we don't want to interact with the followers -- we are adding new interactive ways for the fans to talk with us, notably the CoverItLive style blogs, our official Facebook page, new ways to comment and talk to us through the website and looking at rolling out a talk-back Twitter feed as well.

Hope that gives all a clear reason why you're feed may have un-followed today.

More Proof of the Obvious

Real Time Reporting continues to grow as a means of getting out the news, and today being no better example than former Razorback football player Ken Hamblin's tweet this morning:

Former Arkansas safety Ken Hamlin confirms on Twitter (@KenHamlin26) that he's no longer with the Cowboys.

What's interesting here is that the reporter, Brandon Marcello, didn't simply retweet Ken's message, he used it as the sourcing for Brandon's own news feed.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Resume PDF

Occasionally, folks need this as a reference for when I'm speaking to groups. So, here's a link to the current PDF.