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The next frontier – mobile marketing.  It’s no lie that more and more people are spending time away from home thus away from televisions and radios and some times, even the computer.  How are these people getting reached?  Through their cell phones.  Text message ads are becoming more common.  While they may be somewhat annoying depending on their timing in your everyday life (nothing like getting a text message ad in the middle of a business presentation, right?) they’re generally harmless.  Now our phones are being used against us in a sick ploy to sell us things we don’t want.  What makes this so much worse than more modern mobile marketing is that they’re calling us!

*Ring Ring!* Oh look, a number I don’t quit recognize.  I wonder who it could be? (Answer the Phone) “Hello?” “This is second notice that the factory warranty on your car is about to expire.”  What to do next? Angrily hang up? Freak out about not having a warranty on your car and actually handing over money for something you don’t need or even have in the first place.  Who’s the victim in this game?  Unfortunately it’s the elderly who’s targeted.  These messages come through on cell phones, which scammers are betting and relying on the fact that most elderly people who have cell phones don’t know how to fully use them.  A lot of the older generations aren’t aware of how to send or receive texts and may not have these capabilities on their phones so that’s why they call.  They also use an automatic machine caller who picks numbers at random.  If you get a spunky young adult like myself on the other end, you’re going to get hung up on.  If you have a sweet grandma on the other end, chances are she’s going to listen, be frightened, and pay up.

Spam.  It’s not just a mystery meat in a can.  It’s now a message being thrown and shoved at people who would otherwise not receive it.  Most spam is simply a bunch of commercial advertisments for bogus products, get rich quick schemes, and semi legal services.  It’s been reported that almost 2/3s of all emails sent are spam messages! Don’t believe it?  Check out your own email account.  In fact, I’m going to do so right now and see what’s in there.  Hm, look at the goodies: spam piece from Direct Buy on Home Renovations (I don’t even own my own home), Credit Crisis information, weight loss emails (Great, now I have SPAM telling me that I need to lose weight), offers from Macys (I don’t shop at Macy’s), and ASPCA Newsletters (the ONE thing I signed up for). So out of the 5 emails I received in the past 5 hours since the last time I checked my emails, 4 of those emails were spam.

So if we’re not signing up for this stuff, how do spammers get our email addresses?  In a surprisngly scary number of ways:

  • Posts to UseNet with your email address
  • Mailing Lists
  • Web Pages
  • Various Web and Paper Forms
  • Ident Daemon
  • Web Browser
  • IRC and Chat Rooms
  • Finger Daemons
  • AOL Profiles
  • Domain Contact Points
  • Guessing and Cleaning
  • White and Yellow Pages
  • Access to the Same Computer
  • Previous Email Address Owner
  • Social Engineering
  • Address Books
  • Buying Lists from Others

To check out more details on this list go to http://www.private.org.il/harvest.html

http://email.about.com/od/spamandgettingridofit/a/spam_finds_you.htm

http://www.ftc.gov/spam/

When Ralphie snuck an ad for a Red Ryder BB gun into his mother’s women’s magazine he had a genious idea.  He thought his mom would go about reading her magazine and be dooped into reading a sales pitch.  Truth is there have been times where I’ve gone flipping through a magazine and seen an article, or what I thought was an article, and realized I’d just spent 2 or 3 minutes reading an advertisement.  How could this be?  There is only one answer – Advertorial.   An advertorial is an ad that takes on the appearance of an article.  Ah, ever underestimate the sneakiness.  Is it really ethical to trick people into reading an advertisement?  At least with television or the radio, if a viewer or listener doesn’t want to watch or listen they can turn it off or change the channel.  With advertorials, a reader may be half way through the ad they didn’t want to read in the first place before they realize it’s an ad.

This is where the ethical problems start to araise. Yes, they are misleading, but most do have some sort of educational value to them.  The blured ethical line depends on how they look, where they’re placed, and what they say.  A few suggestions that have been made to keeping consumers aware of what’s an actual editorial and what’s an advertorial are a few simple changes such as: using “Paid Advertisement” lables, make the advertorials distinctive by using fonts that are not used in typical news editorials, and even offering a third party disclaimer.  Is it really so much to ask as a consumer not to be tricked into reading ads? 

Check Out More of Advertorials from http://www.clickz.com/3510076

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Is it any real surprise that Copyright Laws apply to the Internet?  This is one of the last things we’re talking about in class.  We were asked our opinion about if we think it’s a good thing to have laws that apply online and what would happen if there were no laws for online content.  Hands down I was for online content being protected by laws.  What kind of laws are we talking about though?

  • First Amendment (though it doesn’t extend to deceptive advertising or spam)
  • Libel Law
  • Negligence Law
  • Privacy Laws (concerning appropriation of name, likeness, or voice)
  • Copyright Law
  • Trademark Law

The great thing that I learned in some papers I found on the Internet is that a person doesn’t even have to apply for a copyright for the copyright to be applied.  Once a work is created and or posted, it’s officially a copyrighted piece of work.  Which it should be.  It’s someone’s writings, ideas, images, art, music, movies.  They should be copyrighted and if someone borrows from that, the original creator should at least receive credit. 

I was a little shocked by a few people who thought that the great thing about the Internet was that we could all “share”.  I have a feeling their idea of sharing was that in a sneaky sort of way an Internet user can log on, find something, copy and paste it and pass it off as their own.  The sad thing is that this is seen in schools.  A friend of mine teaches at a Junior College.  She explained to her class that they had to write a paper with a minimum of two sources.  A student asked her why he couldn’t just copy and paste something off the Internet and hand it in!  When he was told it’s illegal, he acted so shocked.  It’s stealing.  Stealing is stealing no matter what form it’s in.  Everyone knows that pirating music and movies is wrong.  It’s wrong to walk into a store and steal merchandise.  It’s wrong to steal money from someone.  In most cases it’s even wrong to walk into your own grandmother’s kitchen and steal cookies.  So why do people think it’s ok to steal things off of the Internet?

I love music.  I constantly have to have a soundtrack to my life. Today, we have more musicians than ever before! We have very well known popular artist and then there are local artist who are trying to spread their name around.  When I was in junior high and early high school years, back before emerging media and IMC really took off and became the beacons they are today, I remember street team promoting.  I would be in the mall handing out flyers or at local music shows passing out flyers for upcoming shows.  Now musicians have a marketing outlet, social media!

In doing some research I came across an article which interviewed Corey Denis, a woman which is described by one of her former employees as just short of a genius at marketing bands and artists. In this interview Ms. Denis expressed the importance of artist participating in social media.  Using social media gives artists a chance to take advantage of new online tools which may actually enhance their current projects. The top 10 sites she believes artist should have a pressence on include MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

While Denis suggests it doesn’t hurt to have profiles on as many networks as possible, it isn’t going to help the artists unless they are aware of how to use them and how to integrate them together into a powerful network in themselves.  For example provide links to your other social media sites on each social media page you have.  It’s suggested to start with 3 sites and to hire someone to do it for you if you know nothing about doing it yourself.  This also leads to another bit of advice.  Artists with only 30 minutes a week to dedicate to their own social media sites should consider setting a small budget aside to hire someone (another band member) to do it for them.   

To Read Corey Denis’s Full Interview Go To http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/social-media-online-marketing-for-musicians-10-questions-for.html

Check Out Some Local WV Bands on MySpace

Lonely Town (my cousin’s band) http://www.myspace.com/lonelytown

Ten Carp Lie http://www.myspace.com/tencarplie

Shindig (Started out in WV) http://www.myspace.com/shindig

  My friend Richie (the lead singer) doing it right on YouTube!

Before college, I had never heard of a wiki page.  In my first semester communications class, my professor expressed his extreme hatred for students turning in research papers with wiki sites such as Wikipedia as a reference.  What in the world was Wikipedia?  What was a wiki page? Most importantly… why were these sites so horrible to him?

Before any of that can be explained, what is a wiki? Wikis or a wiki site allow for asynchronous communication and group collaboration across the Internet. They are the ultimate user-generated content sharing service.  What they are then adds into where my beloved communications professor had a problem with them.  Since they are user-generated sites, they are not secure sites.  Users can post pretty much anything they believe to be true on these wiki sites which leads to wrong information, misinformation, hacked enteries, and even marketing on a wiki can all be seen as a downfall.

Wrong information can occur when someone who is not such an expert writes about something they believe to be an expert about. While a wiki is a great source for some quick information for entertainment purposes, relying on a wiki site to see what kind of medications make a deadly combination or how to spot signs of pregnancy may need further research to verify the quality of the information found on the wiki site.

Misinformation is not wrong information, it’s worse.  It’s when a user goes onto a wiki site a purposely posts false information.  What’s the reasoning behind posting false information? No one can tell for sure, but employee espionage has been listed as a reason.  Other reasons include rival companies being accused of changing information on one another’s websites to famous people being targeted as a practical joke.

Hacked entries is the more obvious form of misinformation. It’s like online vandalism.

Marketing enteries are considered a downside to wikis. While it may come off as a great idea for a company to have their own wiki site, a customer would take them less seriously because it’s going to be a biased cut up site.  A perfect example I found on marketing downsides was a celebrity.  A not so famous celebrity was wanting to hire someone to create a Wikipedia article about them.  Users would get a very accurate list of movies the celebrity was in, but it’s doubtful that they’d be reading how no directed wanted to work with them due to their alcohol problem.

Information from this blog and more information about wikis can be found at http://webtrends.about.com/od/wiki/a/wiki_downside.htm

One of my favorite subjects in my emerging media class has been the use of online videos to market.  How often are we really drawn in to buy something from an online video though?  I recently had a big blast of buzz and online videos recently overwhelm my purchasing powers.

I was at work on a relatively slow night.  I know several people who have iPhones and them seem to like them.  I turned to my coworker and asked her if she liked hers as well.  She told me that she loved hers, but if I was wanting one, I should hold off.  Why would she tell me that on a phone she loves so dearly?  Word of mouth buzz just about kicked me in the face when she told me there’s suppose to be a new iPhone coming out that will allow you to take actual videos.  If it was something I was interested in, she said, I should wait.  Well this was the first I had heard of it.  The next day I mentioned the amazing new iPhone to another co-worker who had the same iPhone 3G.  I had just participated in buzz and word of mouth marketing sharing this information which was completely new to her. 

Later that day, I found myself on the apple.com website.  On the website there’s some pretty pictures of the new iPhone along with 2, not one, but 2 online videos for the new iPhone 3GS. The first video is the television ad.  The second video is a guided tour of the iPhone 3GS. This 14 minute video is a beautiful ballet of how to use all of the features and what makes iPhone3GS a superior phone experience.  Even though it’s a tour of how to use the iPhone3GS, it’s really a very long commercial on why iPhone 3GS is the revolution in communications.  It certainly got my attention and I will soon be purchasing this phone next month when I can upgrade my plan!

See For Yourself!